Social Education 58(7), 1994, p. 452
National Council for the Social Studies

The United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international academic organization that plays a unique role in world affairs and in promoting the United Nations' aims of peace and progress. Conceived more than twenty years ago by then UN Secretary General U. Thant, the Charter of the University was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1973. In June 1992, the Japanese Government completed the permanent headquarters building for the UNU in Tokyo.
The University was established to promote scholarly, international, and scientific cooperation geared at helping to solve urgent global problems. It is very different from a traditional teaching university in its structure and mode of operation. It has no students of its own, no faculty, and no campus, but operates through worldwide networks of academic and research institutions in both developing and developed countries. The UNU's academic and professional staff at its headquarters and regional programs are recruited from universities, research institutions, international organizations, and similar institutions. The University's academic network personnel generally hold positions at major universities worldwide and remain in their posts while working with UNU programs. A variety of nationalities and cultures are represented.

Priority Areas
The UNU takes a multidisciplinary approach, ensuring a broad range of viewpoints. The current work is carried out within five program areas: Universal Human Values and Global Responsibilities, World Economy and Development, Global Life-Support Systems, Advances in Science and Technology, and Population Dynamics and Human Welfare.

Research and training centers and programs are set up to work on specific problems requiring a sustained effort. Located in Finland, the Netherlands, Ghana, Zambia, Macau, and Venezuela, they help strengthen research and advanced training institutions, particularly in developing countries.

A variety of other institutions are formally associated with the University because of their academic excellence in research or training. The UNU also cooperates with other institutions and individuals on specific projects. These include work on food policy and planning in the United States and Kenya; food science and technology in Japan, India, and Ghana; biotechnology in Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Argentina; nutrition and health in Guatemala and Thailand; science and technology policies in Brazil; microprocessors and informatics in the Cameroon, Italy, and Ireland; limnology and reservoir management in Brazil; natural hazard reduction in Switzerland; conflict resolution and ethnicity in the United Kingdom; geothermal energy in Iceland; renewable energy systems in India; and remote sensing in Brazil.

For further information, please contact the following:

UNU in Tokyo: Rector-Professor Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, 53-70 Jingumac, 5-chrome, Shibuya, Tokyo 150, Japan; Telephone (81-3) 3499-2811.

UNU Office in New York: Jacques F. Fomerand, UNU Office in North America, DC-2 2462-70, United Nations, New York, NY 10017; Telephone (212) 963-6345; E-mail: unuona@ige.apc,org.

UNU Office in Europe: c/o UNESCO, Peter Koenz, Rooms 7B 111-113, 1, Rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France; Telephone (33-1) 4568 3007/10.