February 18, 1999

Press Contacts:Yvonne French, Library of Congress (202) 707-9191; Panos Moumtzis, Washington, D.C. Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (202) 296-5595, ext. 23; Nia Lizanna and Mary-Jane Atwater, Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs (202) 347-1994
Public Contact: Library of Congress Special Events (202) 707-1616

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata To Speak on National Identity and International Pressures March 10

Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, will deliver the 1999 Mansfield American-Pacific Lecture, "America, Japan and Myself: Global Challenges and Responsibilities," at 6:30 p.m. March 10 in the Library of Congress Montpelier Room, James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E.

The Mansfield American-Pacific Lecture series explores the shared and competing values and interests that underlie policy debates between the United States and Japan.

Seating will be limited. Seats must be reserved in advance by calling (202) 707-1616.

Drawing on her own unique experience as High Commissioner for Refugees and as an academic and a Japanese woman, Mrs. Ogata will explore the importance of international leadership in addressing global challenges. She will examine the evolution of "internationalism" in Japan after World War II with a specific focus on United States-Japan relations, how the United States is exercising its leadership, and her concern that there is a lack of strong and creative leadership to deal with today's global issues and challenges.

"We look forward to welcoming Mrs. Ogata to the Library of Congress. She is a woman of great wisdom who has shouldered difficult responsibilities in often tragic situations. She is admired throughout the world for her courage, steadiness and persistence in pursuit of humanitarian goals," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

"We are honored to have Sadako Ogata deliver this year's lecture," said Tovah LaDier, Executive Director of the Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs, which is co-sponsoring the lecture with the Library of Congress. "As a distinguished internationalist and educator, she has demonstrated throughout her career a profound concern for people caught in the midst of international crises and upheavals, and for how the United States and Japan can exercise their leadership responsibilities."

The topic for this year's Mansfield American-Pacific Lecture is national identity and international pressures. Increasingly, nations are vulnerable to the globalized economy and the flow of capital, economic and political developments that encourage the international migration of labor and waves of refugees, and efforts by ethnic minorities to preserve their own separate identities. In her lecture, Mrs. Ogata will touch on these issues and explore how the United States and Japan can exercise international leadership in this area.

Mrs. Ogata has been United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees since 1991. She is the first woman to hold this position. Previously, she held a number of high-level positions with the United Nations, including independent expert of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, representative from Japan on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Chairman of the Executive Board of UNICEF, and minister and delegate from Japan to the U.N. General Assembly. She has also taught at Sophia University and the International Christian University.

Mrs. Ogata received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.A. in international relations from Georgetown University, and a B.A. from the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo. She has written numerous books and articles on diplomatic history and international relations and is the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees.

Past Mansfield American-Pacific lectures have included some of the most distinguished leaders in their fields: Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard professor and acclaimed scientist; Hiroshi Inose, one of Japan's leading scientists; Cokie Roberts of ABC News (formerly of National Public Radio); Ayako Sono, award-winning novelist and social critic; Robert Bellah, renowned philosopher; and Hayao Kawai, distinguished Jungian psychoanalyst. For each lecture, the Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs selects an American and a Japanese speaker. They address the same subject in each other's capital. Their two speeches are published in a single volume.

The Mansfield Center directs the public policy and international outreach functions of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation. Founded in 1983, the Foundation is dedicated to building on Senator Mansfield's lifelong efforts to bring about improved relations and greater understanding between the United States and Asia.

The Mansfield American-Pacific Lecture is sponsored in the Library of Congress by the Office of Scholarly Programs. It is the third such lecture to be held at the Library of Congress.

Interpreting services (American Sign Language, Contact Signing, Oral and/or Tactile) will be provided if requested five business days in advance of the event. Call (202) 707-6362 TTY and voice to make a specific request. For other ADA accommodations, contact the Disability Employment office at (202) 707-9948 TTY and (202) 707- 7544 voice.

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PR 99-023
2/18/99
ISSN 0731-3527

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