Seminar programme | Participants biographies


Media advisory


Press release - First day


Press release - Second day


Photos by UNIC Tokyo | Photos by Sophia University

Second day: 12: 45 | Concluding Session

Closing Statements:

Ambassador Yutaka Iimura, Special Representative of the Government of Japan for the Middle East and Europe

Mr. Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Coordinator for Multilingualism

Second day: 11:15 - 12:45 | Panel 5: New tools for the media in covering the Middle East - Infographics: merging journalism with design

With the acceleration in digital media, the popularity and sophistication of data visualisation in the form of infographics has grown tremendously in the last few years, becoming a key part of the toolkit relied on by activists and journalists around the world. In the Middle East, infographics have been used to varying degrees of success by all sides. In Japan, with a rich tradition in visual art forms and graphic design, infographics have also found their place in the overlapping worlds of journalism, communications, marketing and activism. This session discussed the impact of infographics, their advantages and disadvantages, and emerging ethics surrounding their use. Participants showcased examples of their work. 

Moderator: Ms. Margaret Novicki, Chief, Communications Campaigns Service, DPI

Mr. Ramzi Jaber - Visualizing Palestine Co-founder

Mr. Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Huffington Post Live

Ms. Roni Levit, Infographic designer

Mr. Takashi Tokuma, bowlgraphics

Second day: 9:30 - 11:00 | Panel 4: Japanese media coverage of the Middle East, including how the Japanese media covers its Government’s support for Palestine

Although geographically far removed from the Middle East, the Government of Japan has played a critical role in support to Palestine, providing generous and sustained funding to UNRWA – last year amounting to almost US$ 29 million. It has also been an engaged and active supporter of internationally-sponsored peace efforts between Israel and Palestine, most notably through its Special Representative to the Middle East and Europe, Ambassador Yutaka Iimura. At the same time, the Japanese media has a long and prestigious record of covering the Middle East conflict and the Government’s role in support of peace in the region. This session explored that coverage from the perspective of the Representative of the Permanent General Mission of the Palestine to Japan, Ambassador Waleed Siam, and two prominent and highly-respected Japanese journalists.

Moderator: Ambassador Lyutha Al-Mughairy, Chairperson of the Committee on Information and Permanent Representative of the Sultanate of Oman to the United Nations

Ambassador Waleed Siam, Representative of the Permanent General Mission of Palestine to Japan

Mr. Hiroshi Fuse, Chief Editor, The Arab magazine and Senior Editorial Writer, The Mainichi Newspaper

Ms. Yuki Hasegawa, Chief, Kofu Branch Office, and former Chief of Cairo Bureau, Yomiuri Shimbun

 

First day: 16:30 - 18:15 | Panel 3: Coverage and narratives surrounding Palestinian refugees - turning the spotlight on Yarmouk

As the crisis in Syria continues to spread, Palestinian refugees face violence, displacement, and lack of basic resources such as food and healthcare. Already a vulnerable minority in Syria, many Palestinian refugees and their families now face the unbearable choice of staying in their homes and risking their safety, or fleeing and facing further displacement. Thanks in part to a highly effective advocacy campaign by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the desperate plight of Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk has made it onto the front pages of newspapers and into the minds of policy makers. This panel discussed the evolution in narratives surrounding the lives of Palestinian refugees, especially in light of Yarmouk. Experts also discussed UNRWA’s efforts to highlight the suffering in Yarmouk as part of its push to get access to the camp for desperately needed humanitarian access. 

Moderator: Mr. Chris Gunness, Spokesperson, UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)

Ms. Phyllis Bennis, Director, New Internationalism Project Institute for Policy Studies

Mr. Nidal Bitari, Palestinian Association for Human Rights in Syria

Mr. Faisal Irshaid, BBC World   

Professor Ryoji Tateyama, Visiting Fellow, Institute of Energy Economics, and Professor Emeritus, National Defense Academy, Japan

First day: 14:15 - 16:00 | Panel 2: Shifting narratives in media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Middle East peace efforts

This session discussed how narratives in media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Middle East peace efforts might have shifted, especially in light of the major developments in the past 12 months such as the Kerry initiative and the Palestinian reconciliation deal.

Moderator: Ms. Deborah Seward, Director, Strategic Communications Division, UN Department of Public Information (DPI)

Mr. Nobuhisa Degawa, Senior Commentator, NHK

Ms. Nour Odeh, Founder and CEO, Connect Strategic Communications Consultancy

Mr. Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine

Mr. Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Huffington Post Live

First day: 10:30 - 12:15 | Panel 1: The status of peace efforts - what now?

It has now been more than two decades since the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Governing Arrangements – better known as the Oslo Accords.  However, while the international community remains committed to the creation of an independent, viable and sustainable Palestinian state, and security for Israel, and despite the recent initiative on the part of U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, there has been no progress towards peace. In the meantime, dramatic changes continue to re-shape the political landscape in the wider region. This session looked at internationally-sponsored peace efforts over the last 12 months, their current status, and what might lie ahead for relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Moderator: Mr. Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal

Ms. Phyllis Bennis, Director, New Internationalism Project, Institute for Policy Studies

Mr. Avraham Burg, International Coordinator, Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue

Ambassador Yutaka Iimura, Special Representative of the Government of Japan for the Middle East and Europe

Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations

First day: 09:30 - 10:00 | Opening Session

Opening Statements:

Mr. Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Coordinator for Multilingualism, United Nations

Mr. Hirotaka Ishihara, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan

Dr. David M. Malone, Under-Secretary-General, Rector, United Nations University, Tokyo

Mr. Takashi Hayashita, President of Sophia University, Tokyo

Messages:

H.E. Ban Ki-moon,Secretary-General of the United Nations

H.E. Mr. Abdou Salam Diallo, Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

The 2014 United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East will be held at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, on 9 and 10 June 2014. The event is being organized by the UN Department of Public Information in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
For more information, click here.


Seminar programme | Participants biographies

The 2014 United Nations International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East will be held at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, on 9 and 10 June 2014. The event is being organized by the UN Department of Public Information in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

For more information, click here.

Seminar programme | Participants biographies


Seminar programme | Participants biographies


Media advisory


Press release - First day


Press release - Second day