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University of Leicester Global Citizen Signs Peace Resolution

Management Centre PhD Student Ibrahim Umar, representing the University in Japan

University of Leicester Global Citizen Signs Peace Resolution

Students from 8 countries converge for Japan conference

University of Leicester Management Centre PhD Student Ibrahim Umar was one of 64 student delegates who visited Japan in August for a Global Citizenship conference.

The students signed a resolution urging the Japanese government not to review its peace constitution. Debate has been going on in Japan for a review of Article 9 of its constitution which renounces the country’s right to go to war by limiting its army to defensive roles. Proponents of change have suggested that it would enable Japan strengthen its security and participate in international peace keeping operations. Japan’s neighbours hold the view that any change to article 9 would lead to a militarized Japan which could lead to an arm race in the region.

Ibrahim said:

“It was a great opportunity for me to represent University of Leicester and a wonderful experience. I now see myself as a global citizen who is much concerned with issues that would bring lasting peace to the inhabitants of our global village, in this age when there is greater need for dialogue between different cultures and civilizations.”

The students, who came from 13 universities across 8 different countries as part of the International Network of Universities (INU), converged in Japan in August for a one-week seminar on Global Citizenship in Hiroshima which coincided with the 61st anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on the city.

Professor Gibson Burrell, Head of the Management Centre, said:

‘We are all very proud of Ibrahim. For a Nigerian PhD student studying in England to take part in a conference in Japan suggests just what global citizenship might mean. To associate this with an event like Hiroshima shows just how important global citizenship actually is.’

During the week the participants witnessed the Lantern Ceremony and the Peace Memorial Service event which attracted dignitaries including the Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. They also visited the Peace Memorial Museum, listened to a narration on the atom bomb experience by a survivor and brain stormed on issues relating to conflict resolution, development and poverty. Mr. Umar’s PhD is sponsored by the Nigeria Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).

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