Izumi Nakamitsu

United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs


Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu assumed her position as Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs on 1 May 2017. Prior to taking on this post, Ms. Nakamitsu served as Assistant Administrator of the Crisis Response Unit at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since 2014. She has many years of experience within and outside the United Nations system, most recently as Special Adviser Ad Interim on Follow-up to the Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants between 2016 and 2017. She was previously Director of the Asia and the Middle East Division of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations between 2012 and 2014, and Director of the Department’s Division of Policy, Evaluation and Training, from 2008 to 2012. Between 2005 and 2008, Ms. Nakamitsu was Professor of International Relations at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, where she also served as a member of the Foreign Exchange Council to Japan’s Foreign Minister, and as a visiting senior adviser on peacebuilding at the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Between 1998 and 2004, she was the Chef de Cabinet and Director of Planning and Coordination at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, based in Stockholm, Sweden. Earlier in her career, Ms. Nakamitsu was a member of the United Nations Reform Team of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan. She also held positions with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), including within the office of Assistant High Commissioner for Policy and Operations Sergio Vieira de Mello, and in UNHCR field operations in the former Yugoslavia, Turkey and northern Iraq. Born in 1963, Ms. Nakamitsu holds a Master of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor of Law degree from Waseda University in Tokyo. She is married and has two daughters.


Fireside Chat: Izumi Nakamitsu, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs


The United Nations has to keep up with the newest technologies in any given moment and in few areas is the potential impact as great as with Artificial Intelligence. The implications for the future of development and humanitarian activities, but also security and arms are enormous. Facing both the incalculable benefits AI can bring, as well as threats like lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS) and unattributed cybersecurity attacks capable of destabilizing massive public and private infrastructure, the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs decided to move in a proactive manner. In this conversation with the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and UN Under-Secretary General, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, we will discuss the new challenges and threats but also approaches to solutions and opportunities for collaboration with the public and private sector alike.




2-4-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Marunouchi Building, Hall


April 22, 2019 at 11:30AM - 12:00PM