Sadako Ogata

Sadako Ogata is former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She also served as the Chairman of UNICEF Executive Board, as President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and as dean of the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Sophia University, Tokyo.

Since the United Nations was established, significant progress has occurred. When the Charter of the United Nations was ratified, most Asian and African countries were still European colonies. The United Nations started with 51 Member States, expanding over these 70 years to 193 Member States today. The evolving threats and challenges against which the Organization is tested may have outpaced the progress. Article 1 of the Charter proclaims that the first aim of the world Organization is to “maintain international peace and security”. If to be secure means to be free from being killed, persecuted or abused, free from extreme poverty that brings indignity and self-contempt, and free to make choices, then still too many people today cannot afford security.