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SIS Student Discusses Diversity with Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General at the UN

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A Mainichi Shimbun Online Session: “The Peaceful World Our Lives Will Create"

Yuki Kusanagi (2nd year, School of International Studies) participated online in a special session with United Nations Under-Secretary-General Izumi Nakamitsu, “The Peaceful World Our Lives Will Create,” which was organized by the Mainichi Shimbun in mid-August. She asked Nakamitsu questions about UN initiatives with regard to making diversity a reality, and they engaged in a conversation which was published in the September 9 digital edition of the Mainichi Shimbun. Reflecting on her conversation with Nakamitsu, Kusanagi said “Though I had the impression that nuclear disarmament was something that only politicians were connected to, I felt that we also need to take ownership of the issue and get involved as citizens. Regarding gender issues, she said that she had a lot to learn from her daughter, and I felt that I want to learn from her approach of continuing to gain knowledge from people in various positions, too.”

Kusanagi has studied abroad at the University of British Columbia since this September. There are murals on UBC campus walls that say, “Respect the rights of LGBTQ+,” and the fact that the university was built on land stolen from indigenous people is shared before the beginning of class. She will primarily be taking classes on politics and gender, race and social justice. “I feel that there are a lot of things at UBC that will be catalysts for taking ownership of social issues. Every day, I come in contact with the question of how to live together with people who think differently from me. I want to think about the way that diversity and coexistence should be in Japanese society through discoveries in volunteer work to serve the poor, field work, and my daily life,” she said, showing her ambition.

Ms. Kusanagi

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