TOKYO (Reuters) – Sadako Ogata, a former prime United Nations official who was the primary and solely lady to function the U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Refugees and have become identified for donning a helmet and flak jacket on journeys into the sphere, has died, aged 92.
FILE PHOTO: United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata gestures throughout a information convention in Geneva November 20, 1998. REUTERS/Pierre Virot/File Picture
Japanese authorities officers stated Ogata had died on Oct. 22 however they solely introduced her demise on Tuesday. They didn’t give the reason for her demise.
Her tenure as U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Refugees throughout the 1990s coincided with a genocide in Rwanda and ethnic battle within the former Yugoslavia.
“She stood on the entrance strains of humanitarian points akin to poverty, refugees and conflicts, the place she demonstrated excellent management,” chief cupboard secretary Yoshihide Suga instructed a information convention on Tuesday.
“Her pondering, akin to guaranteeing human safety and emphasizing work within the area, is even now the premise for humanitarian help efforts each in Japan and abroad,” he added.
“We want to specific our deepest respect and pray for the repose of her soul.”
The good-grand daughter of a pre-World Battle Two prime minister, Tsuyoshi Inukai, Ogata earned a doctoral diploma in political science from the College of California, Berkeley, and later served as Japan’s particular consultant on Afghan reconstruction.
In an interview with Reuters in 2015, she urged Japan to point out extra management on points concerning refugees.
“Japan has to arrange a state of affairs to welcome folks … to not welcome all people, however those that are in want, in critical want and who’re prepared to come back, or want to come,” Ogata stated. “I believe we ought to be open to bringing them in.”
Japan, the place many delight themselves on their nation’s cultural and ethnic homogeneity, accepted simply 42 refugees final yr, from greater than 10,000 candidates.
“If refugees are available thousands and thousands, that’s a unique story, however the arrival price isn’t that vast and (to say) Japan doesn’t have assets, that’s nonsense,” she stated within the interview.
Filippo Grandi, the present UNCHR, praised Ogata for her work.
“Mrs. Ogata was a visionary chief who steered UNHCR by way of probably the most momentous a long time in its historical past, reworking the lives of thousands and thousands of refugees and others devastated by conflict, ethnic cleaning and genocide, and serving to redefine humanitarian motion in a quick evolving geopolitical panorama,” he stated in an announcement.
Reporting by Elaine Lies, Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka; Enhancing by Clarence Fernandez and Gareth Jones