PhD Program




Held at United Nations Headquarters, on 1 March 2006, in Conference room 8

Those present:

Ms. Noriah Tahir, Third Secretary, delegated by H. E. Mr. Adnan Jaafa, Chargé d’affaires a.i., Permanent Mission of Brunei Darussalam to the United Nations

H. E. Ms. Maria de Fatima Lima da Veiga, Permanent Representative and Ms. Sonia Monteiro, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Cape Verde to the United Nations

Mr. Wang Wu, delegated by H. E. M. Wang Guangya, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations

Mr. Mohamed El-Marouf , Counsellor, delegated by H. E. Mr. Rong Ji Chan, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Comoros to the United Nations

Mr. Haile Selassie Getachew, Second Secretary, delegated by H. E. Mr. Teruneh Zenna, Chargé d’affaires a.i., Permanente Mission of Ethiopia to the United Nations

Mr. Troy Torrington, Second Secretary, delegated by H. E. Mr. Samuel R. Insanally, Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations

Mr. William Exantus, Minister Counsellor, delegated by H. E. Mr. Léo Mérorès, Permanent Representative of Haiti to the United Nations

Mr. Javad Amin Mansour, First Counsellor, delegated by H. E. Mr Javad Zarif., Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations

H. E. Mr. Dato Mohd. Radzi Abdul Rahman, Deputy Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations

Mr. Ngolo Fomba, Counsellor , delegated by H. E. Mr. Cheick Sidi Diarra , Permanent Representative of Mali to the United Nations

H. E. Mr.Alfed Capelle, Permanent Representative of the Marshall Islands to the United Nations

Mr. Subhas Gujadhur, Counsellor, delegated by H. E. Mr. Jagdish Koonjul, Permanent Representative of Mauritius to the United Nations

Mr. Benito Jiménez Sauma, Third Secretary, delegated by H. E. Mr. Enrique Berruga Filloy, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations

Mr. Aung Lynn, Counsellor, delegated by H. E. Mr. Kyaw Tint Swe, Permanent Repesentative of Myanmar to the United Nations

H. E. Mr. Boubacar Boureima, Chargé d’affaires a.i., Permanent Mission of Niger to the United Nations

Ms Farhat Ayesha, Third Secretary, delegated by H. E. Mr. Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations

Ms. Ewa Anzorge, First Secretary, delegated by H. E. Mr. Andrzej Towpik, Permanent Representative of Poland to the United Nations

Mr. Samir Koubaa, Minister Plenipotentiary, delegated by H. E. Mr. Ali Hachani, Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations

Mr. Nguyen Duy Chien, Deputy Permanent Representative, Mr. Duong Hoai Nam, Second Secretary et Ms. Nguyen Van Anh, Third Secretary, delegated by H. E. Mr. Le Luong Minh, Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations

Mr. Jean Gazarian, delegated by Mr. Marcel Boisard, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)


Mr. Michel Thao Chan, President of the Cercle de Réflexion des Nations

Mr. Jean-Luc Pérez, Executive President of the Cercle de Réflexion des Nations

Mr. François Gaucher, Vice-President of the Cercle de Réflexion des Nations

Ms. Kim Le, Vice-President of the Cercle de Réflexion des Nations

Mr. Bruce Boeglin, Interpreter of the Cercle de Réflexion des Nations

Ms. Soraya Ayouch, Representative of Association Minkowska- France

Mr. Abdelhaq Bensaad, President of Migration-Santé- France

Mr. Keo Douang, President of Securitas Systems- France

Ms. Thao Le, Professor, University of Colorado

Ms. Olivia Le Horovitz, Representative of Women International Leadership Program- New-York

Ms. Eleonor Spiegel, Representative of NASFRA



1- Opening of the meeting (agenda Item 1)

Mr. Pérez, chairing the meeting, opened the meeting at 10.45 am and welcomed all participants.

The agenda was adopted.

The Chairman indicated that the Permanent Representatives of Canada, Chile, Denmark, Liechtenstein and New Zealand had sent apologies for being unable to attend because of prior commitments. They sent their wishes for a successful meeting.

Moreover, the Cercle de Réflexion des Nations was informed that Mrs. Laura Bush, the First Lady of the United States of America, had sent apologies for being unable to attend the meeting, because she was on an official visit to India and Pakistan.

Mr. Duy Chien conveyed the apologies of the Permanent Representative of Viet Nam who was unable to attend the meeting as he was hosting a visiting delegation from Washington.
He indicated that Viet Nam was very much involved in the process of implementation of the PhD Programme which he considered to be “very important” for his country.

Mr. Gazarian welcomed the participants and conveyed the wishes of the Executive Director of UNITAR for the success of the meeting. He recalled that UNITAR was participating in the PhD Programme as an associate partner.

2- Introduction of the Training Programme for the PhD in International Governance and Sustainable Development (agenda item 2)

The Chairman recalled that the PhD Programme was to be implemented in partnership with the National School for Administration of Viet Nam (NAPA) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and that a Protocol of Agreement had been signed on 14 October 2005 in Hanoi, Viet Nam, between the three parties. He indicated that the Cercle de Réflexion des Nations, which had been inaugurated at the United Nations in 1994, was an organization with governmental participation, aiming to become an intergovernmental organization.

Mr. Thao Chan explained that the PhD was deeply rooted in the “Duties of Man,” illustrating his point with the “butterfly effect,” meaning that insignificant events, such as the flutter of a butterfly’s wings in the Amazonian forest could start a major hurricane at the other end of the planet. He went on to say that human activities had their own “butterfly effect” and that Man was capable at any time of destroying life on Earth forever.

Mr Thao Chan then solemnly stated that “Earth being the prime Heritage of Mankind, it was Man’s foremost duty” to protect it and that this sense of duty, shored up by Virtue, would quickly spread and develop, enabling Man to build Peace, Fraternity and Happiness among peoples for centuries to come.

Regarding the Programme’s content, Mr. Thao Chan said that the PhD syllabus dealt with the various fields covered by Public Governance on an international scale. He added that its originality came from the fact that it created an exceptionally good platform for the acquisition of innovative knowledge and experience. He indicated that, contrary to traditional learning courses that rely for 80% of the process on training by means of downloading and comparative analysis, with only 20% being devoted to generative knowledge or knowledge acquired by empathy, this PhD completely reversed the percentages. He further explained that candidates would be split into small groups of 3 or 4, coming from different walks of life and having different responsibilities, and that each would be followed by three mentors of diverse skills, such as ministers, CEOs of international corporations, spiritual leaders, renowned researchers or professors, thus creating the most favorable conditions for the opening of hearts and minds and wills; for such is the keystone of the Programme.

Mr. Gaucher then commented on the six broad clusters of subjects of international governance, namely, understanding the fundamental changes in the world, economics and finance, politics, sociology and religion, the sciences and environmental problems, psychology and human behaviour, adding a word on the models and principles of governance.

3 - Questions and debates on the PhD programme in international governance and sustainable development (Point 3 of the agenda)

The representative of the Marshall Islands asked whether this new method of training had already proved itself to be reliable. It was answered to him that the principle of this method was already successfully used in the "executive business administration" programmes dedicated to business managers.

The representative of Malaysia wondered about the type of professors who would contribute to the PhD faculty and the process of selection of the candidates. The answer specified that the teaching staff would be composed with equal shares of leaders of States, presidents and chief executive officers of large international companies and professors of university as well as leaders from the civil society and spiritual leaders. The selection of the PhD candidates, nominated by their respective government, would be decided by the three partners of the PhD programme.

The representative of Pakistan mentioned that there might be a risk of having this training focus on candidates from “rich governments” while candidates from developing countries stayed away. The answer was that candidates’ applications would have to be examined case by case.

The representative of Poland asked what kind of training would be given between seminars, since the sessions would be held every two months. She was told that there were plans for individual work or work in small groups between two seminars and that such work was to be followed by the mentors and the team of teaching coordinators.

The representative of Ethiopia asked if the candidates’ travel expenses were included in the training costs. He was told that the expenses that were covered were the costs of training, board and lodging and of the security protection of the candidates, the cost of transportation being the responsibility of the candidates.

The representative of Myanmar asked for a clarification on the language in which tuition would be given and on the choice of mentors. He was told that the training would be given in English, but that the language used should not be a barrier for the acquisition of knowledge and that mentors would be chosen not only on the strength of their knowledge and competence in their relevant fields, but also on the amount of experience they carried in those fields.

The representative of Mexico asked a question on the type of thesis to be produced. He was told that theses would not bear on traditional academic subjects, but would rather involve actual governance problems.

Mrs. Spiegel brought up the question of the kind of generative knowledge and the methods for acquiring it and asked how to avoid the arbitrariness of governments in the choice of candidates.. She was told that to avoid having the training being merely the downloading of knowledge, the seminars would comprise three stages: a traditional didactic phase, a reflective stage with guest speakers and a practical implementation phase. In reply to the risk of selection, it was explained that the specific training of governance through virtue was a challenge of the programme.

The representative of China wished to know whether certain governments had already shown interest in the PhD programme. The Chairman confirmed that this was so and recalled that the letters calling for candidacies had been sent to all the Foreign Ministers of Member States and Observers of the United Nations, no more than one month ago and that favourable replies had already been received from certain countries such as Madagascar, New Zealand, Rwanda and Viet Nam.

Mr. Douang suggested that the PhD programme should be offered to the heads of international companies. It was explained him that this suggestion was possible but would be limited.

4- Summing up and closing of the meeting (agenda item 4)

The Chairman reminded the members of the meeting representing their countries that candidates’ applications must be sent in by the Governments of their countries by 31 May 2006 at the latest, since the training for the Doctorate was due to start in September 2006.

The Chairman added that the inauguration of the PhD Programme would be held at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, Viet Nam’s first University, inaugurated in 1076 and the cradle of training for ministers for many centuries.

After thanking the representatives of Viet Nam and UNITAR as well as all participants, the Chairman adjourned the meeting at 12.45 pm.