What is the question of political administration in response to a crisis? Ask UN Secretary-General Nakamitsu on May 29, 16:16

A person in our article, which tells us about the hard working situation of Kasumigaseki, sent us this tweet.
“My father was also a bureaucrat. I'm cheering for him.”
That person is Mr. Izumi Nakamitsu, the head of the UN disarmament department. What does the new coronavirus in each country look like in the eyes of the international crisis response professionals, and what do you think of Japanese political administration?
(Maho Arakawa, reporter for Kasumigaseki Real Interview Group)

The woman is the top UN disarmament department

Izumi Nakamitsu was born in Tokyo in 1963. He graduated from the Graduate School of Georgetown University in the United States and entered the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 1989. Under Mr. Sadako Ogata, we will deal with refugee issues in conflict areas around the world. He has served as Deputy Director General of Asia and Middle East of the PKO Bureau, Director of Crisis Response Bureau of the United Nations Development Program, etc. Currently, it is the highest rank among Japanese UN staff.

Mr. Nakamitsu sent this tweet to the article "Public bureaucrats who are physically and mentally ill" published in "Kasumigaseki no Real" this March.

Ale sent to a Japanese bureaucracy from a person who is active over the sea. What's more, Kasugaseki's response is being questioned in the new coronavirus. I wanted to know

"how professionals responding to the crisis see the current situation,"

and immediately applied for coverage.

"The kitchen table is the office"

The interview was conducted in the middle of last month using Mr. Nakamitsu's home in New Jersey and a video call. Speaking of the United Nations Headquarters, it is New York State, but due to the spread of people infected with the new coronavirus, all UN staff were also teleworked.

The top of the UN disarmament department is dignified, but the person himself was very friendly, and he began to speak.

“All my work is basically online. Sometimes I connect 150 people and have a meeting. At home, four families are each facing their computer screens, but I don't have my own room, so I have a kitchen. The table is my office, but the thing I'm most in trouble with is the beauty salon, except for supermarkets and pharmacies, everything is closed. My hair is messed up and my daughters always say, "What should I do with my mom?" I have been told! "

Father is Japanese bureaucracy, husband is Swedish bureaucracy

I was interested in the article because my father was also a bureaucrat. Mr. Nakamitsu, who was a child from a father who worked for the former Ministry of Education, said, "I am a civil servant family, so please do not bother people. Honestly, seriously, fix yourself" Said that he grew up.

Mr. Nakamitsu: My
father was a type of so-called career bureaucracy. I had many relocations, but when I was in the ministry, I had to deal with the Diet, and at that time I said that it was the most difficult time. You said, "A civil servant is a job that serves the interests of the people rather than a country." I am an international civil servant, but like my father, people who live there rather than member states. I always think that I have to do a job to benefit

Furthermore, Nakamitsu's Swedish husband is a diplomat. He said that even the same "civil servant" has a big difference between Japan and Sweden.

“In terms of work style, this is enviable work-life balance, and my husband is much easier to take vacations than I am at the United Nations. For example, my husband has four or five weeks of summer vacation. If you apply for, you will be reminded, “Is it possible to be so short?” It is common for men and women to cut off their work and pick up their children at a nursery school before 5 pm, and even transfer jobs. It is a system in which the person makes a request and applies for a post. It is not a form in which appointees come and are appointed like in Japan. Then, it is not seniority order, it is natural to become an executive staff even at a young age, It's also normal for me to be subordinates, while Sweden has a lot of political bureaucracy and I don't think it's a good thing, every time there is a transition between the Conservative Party and the Social Democratic Party. Personnel changes up to the level of the bureau chief. Even bureaucrats are allowed to be political party members. A young staff member of the government of the time suddenly became a secretary secretary after the election, etc. There is also "

What is asked in crisis response

Mr. Nakamitsu has extensive experience in advancing difficult negotiations in conflict areas and organizing support measures at disaster sites. What should each country around the world consider to be important in “crisis response” regarding the new coronavirus?

When I asked the person so, the specific example that can be evaluated in this response was Governor Cuomo of New York, whose leadership is attracting attention even during the serious spread of infection.

Nakamitsu: Governor Kuomo answers questions in his own words every day at an interview for about an hour. He uses various statistics and the advice of scientific and medical experts to give a polite presentation while using PowerPoint. The explanation, showing the data and the grounds, makes the listener feel, "If you do your best, you can overcome this crisis." In other words, there is a sense of trust and security. I think it's very good. ''

Even in Japan, I think that there are many people who have the impression of Governor Kuomo, who appeals tenaciously while making full use of data.

In addition, Mr. Nakamitsu expressed the "secret of crisis response" with the following words.

“There is no manual for“ crisis response. ”That's why it is important to decide the priorities based on the overall picture, assume the worst scenario, and proceed with various preparations in parallel. Up until now, I have faced many “crises,” but a new thing in my memory was the abduction of UN personnel by a group of al-Qa'ida international terrorist organizations seven years ago. It took me many months.There is no manual for hostage release.As the Director of Asia / Middle East of PKO Bureau, I set up a response team that crosses the departments, negotiate with related countries and negotiate with the abduction group. At this time, I was thinking about a countermeasure in the worst case, that is, even if the staff were killed, I was thinking about a countermeasure. It's the same. We all have to think flexibly about things that are not in the manual, and work together as one. "

In addition, Mr. Nakamitsu used the word "trust" as an element necessary for responding to this crisis.

Mr. Nakamitsu
"In the hostage case of the staff, the relationship of trust with the people involved was also very important. We would like to share information transparently with the government and family of the country of origin of the abducted staff, and We also kept in close contact with each other and tried to communicate with each other.Through the United Nations, we thoroughly enforced that we do not hide information. In Europe, for example, we are taking measures such as going out restrictions in this situation, but many people trust what the government says. It is related to maintenance, so for the time being, as the government says, people do not go out and try to do their best together.It is because they have credibility in the government and the administrative system. I think it's one reason. "

How do you cultivate this trust? Nakamitsu emphasized the word “transparency”.

Mr. Nakamitsu:
"For example, from my husband, Sweden is highly transparent at all levels, and politicians and bureaucrats are being monitored in a good way by the public. One minister, not a joke, uses it only for public activities. I had accidentally bought chocolates for about $ 5 as a souvenir with a government-issued credit card, and I was forced to step down. I can trust that I work for a high administrative service. "

With the words of Sadako Ogata in the chest

"Trust" and "transparency" required for politics and administration. When I think about the current situation in Japan, I feel that these words are caught in my body.

How does it look in the eyes of Mr. Nakamitsu who has been active overseas for a long time? When I heard that, I named the person I respected and said,

“Sadako Ogata, who you used to work with, once said, People involved in public work should always think about history and work ”. In that sense, Japan is transparent and trustworthy. I think there are many issues in political administration.In this case, there was a debate about the restriction of private rights, but the fact that such a debate comes out in a crisis situation is a problem in "trust" to the government from peacetime. Even if we disclose information in official documents, I feel a strong sense of incompatibility in that it always appears in black. Besides rewriting documents and the absence of records, this is something that I take seriously. Thinking and working will lead to trust in the government and administration. ''

Review after the Coronal Evil!

Finally, when I asked a message to all Japanese public officials, he sent me such an ale.

“I think it's really difficult for civil servants in the field, but I think this time the people have learned the size and weight of the role of the public sector. When such a crisis occurs, The private sector alone cannot handle this, and I think there is an aspect of Japan's efforts to bash bureaucrats and civil servants, and to cut back on people and budgets, hopefully after the end of this corona. I think it would be a great opportunity for the nation as a whole to reconsider what kind of country should be shaped and what is needed to deepen trust in the government. I would like you to find out where the root of Nikusa lies.

Mr. Nakamitsu said, "I want you to turn the corona crisis into a good opportunity." We would like to firmly observe such movements in the post-corona era.

Social Affairs Department reporter
Maho Arakawa

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