Daisaku Higashi

Associate Professor
Center for Global Discovery,
Sophia University, Tokyo


In this timely podcast, Daisaku Higashi joins host Alistair Edgar to discuss the South Sudan Peace Process. Professor Higashi, a former journalist and author of Challenges of Constructing Legitimacy in Peacebuilding, spent time in Africa this summer conducting interviews with key officials including: Haile Menkerios, UN Special Envoy to AU; James Morgan, South Sudan ambassador to AU; and Dr. Peter Adwok, former Minister of High Education in South Sudan, who is a leader in opposition against President Salva Kiir.

UN Member States have, according to Higashi, a sense of ownership and vested interest in the South Sudan Peace Process, and on 12 August 2016 the Security Council adopted Resolution 2304 “Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and national unity of the Republic of South Sudan, and recalling the importance of the principles of non-interference, good-neighbourliness, and regional cooperation.” In addressing the complex and fragile nature of the peace process, Higashi draws attention to both civil conflict and the challenges for international efforts.

NHK World, “Africa’s Path to Prosperity”, to watch the interviews click here.

ACUNS Book Talk 12 – Challenges of Constructing Legitimacy in Peacebuilding: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sierra Leone, and East Timor Listen here.

United Nations Security Council, Resolution 2304. See especially:
“8. Decides further that UNMISS shall include, consistent with paragraph 7 above, a Regional Protection Force established for an initial period until 15 December 2016, which will report to the overall UNMISS Force Commander, to be based in Juba, with the responsibility of providing a secure environment in and around Juba, including in support of the outcomes of the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Workshop, and in extremis in other parts of South Sudan as necessary, and stresses that the Regional Protection Force will carry out its mandate, as set forth in paragraph 10, impartially and in strict compliance with international law, including, as applicable, international humanitarian law.”

Dr. Daisaku Higashi is an associate professor in the University of Sophia in Tokyo. He worked for NHK, Japan Public TV station as a program director from 1993 to 2004 and produced a numerous TV documentaries, including “Rebuilding Iraq: Challenges of the United Nations” which received the silver medal from UN Correspondents Association in 2004. He then completed his MA and Ph.D in the political science at the University of British Columbia in Canada. He consulted on Afghan policies with top government officials in both Japan and the United States; his policy recommendation to create a new reconciliation mechanism in Afghanistan was adopted by the Japanese government on its Afghan strategy which was announced in November 2009. He then worked for United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from December 2009 to December 2010 as a team leader for reconciliation and reintegration, stationing in Kabul, and supporting the Afghan government to set up a reconciliation mechanism, such as High Peace Council, international reconciliation trust fund, and Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program that were established in the end of 2010. After he finished one year service in UNAMA, he started working for the University of Tokyo as an associate professor in January 2011. He also served as a Minister-Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN from August 2012 to August 2014, directing the activities of Peace Building Commission (PBC) as a part of exchange program between the University of Tokyo and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He returned to the University of Tokyo in August 2014. He transferred to the tenure position at Center for Global Education at Sophia University in April 2016. His publication includes “Challenges of Constructing Legitimacy in Peacebuilding: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sierra Leone and East Timor” (Routledge 2015), “Peacebuilding (Heiwa Kouchiku) (Iwanami Press 2009)”, “Why did we go to the war: dialogue of former enemies in the Vietnam War (Heibonsha Library 2010).”

Recorded September 2016
Feature Image Photo Credit: UN Photo/Paul Banks