Public contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692
Press contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
Request ADA accommodations five days in advance at (202) 707-6362

February 7, 2005

Gen. Wesley Clark and Sadako Ogata To Discuss Refugee Crises of the 1990s on March 8

Gen.Wesley Clark; Sadako Ogata, former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and Dana Priest, who covers the intelligence community for The Washington Post, will discuss the refugee crises of the 1990s at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8, at the Library of Congress in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event, which is sponsored by the Library's John W. Kluge Center, is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

In her recently published book, "The Turbulent Decade: Confronting the Refugee Crises of the 1990s," Ogata recounts her experiences and the lessons she learned as U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees from 1990 to 2000. In her book she explores issues of refugee protection and humanitarian assistance, coordination among humanitarian organizations, NATO and military groups and the global political and strategic climate in which these crises occurred.

Ogata and Clark will discuss some of the challenges that humanitarian aid workers faced during the refugee crises of the 1990s, focusing on relief efforts in several regions, including the Balkans and Afghanistan.

Priest, who used to report on the U.S. military for The Washington Post (now she covers national security) will moderate the discussions. Her book about the role of the American military in peacekeeping operations is called "The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America’s Military."

Ogata has had a longstanding commitment to human rights issues. From 1982 to 1985 she was Japan’s representative to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, and in 1990 she served as the independent expert to the United Nations in examining the human rights situation in Myanmar (Burma). Her career at the United Nations also includes two years as minister to the Permanent Mission of Japan and two years as the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary.

A resident of Tokyo, Ogata received her doctorate from the department of political science at the University of California at Berkeley and has served as professor and director of the Institute of International Relations at Sophia University in Tokyo and as dean of the faculty of foreign studies at that university. She has published a number of books and articles on diplomatic history and international relations including, "Defiance in Manchuria: The Making of Japanese Foreign Policy, 1931-1932" (1964) and "Normalization with China: A Comparative Study of U.S. and Japanese Processes" (1989). She is currently president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Retired four-star general Wesley Clark, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, competed as a Democratic candidate for president in 2004. He retired from the military in 2000, following his service as Supreme Allied Commander-Europe, U.S. European Command, from 1997 to 2003. In 1999 he led U.S. and allied troops in NATO’s war in Kosovo, the largest European conflict since World War II. The grandson of a Russian Jew who fled his country to escape the pogroms there a century ago, Clark is said to have been especially sympathetic to the plight of refugees who were victims of Serbian ethnic purges during that conflict.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information about any of the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the John W. Kluge Center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax (202) 707-3595, or visit the Web at

# # #

PR 05-007
ISSN 0731-3527

Back to top