Dr. Ai Kihara-Hunt is a Professor at the Graduate Program on Human Security and Deputy Director of the Research Center for Sustainable Peace, at the University of Tokyo. Her main area of research is on United Nations (UN) Peace Operations, in particular UN Police, the security sector, accountability and human rights. She worked in Nepal, East Timor/Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Japan.
She was nominated by Japan and served as a member of the UN Police Doctrinal Development Group, which drafted the doctrinal framework for the UN Police in 2016-2017. Prior to that, she worked with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-OHCHR) in Nepal for nearly five years, where she managed a UN Peace Fund project on transitional justice, mapped serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and served as the Security Forces Focal Point/Lead Trainer undertaking Security Sector Reform initiatives, Security Forces’ curriculum reform, transitional justice related work, as well as leading capacity building programmes for different stake holders. Part of her work was published in 2006 as Armed Police Force (APF) Human Rights Handbook and has been incorporated into the mandatory curriculum of the APF.
Her other work experience includes Human Rights Officer assisting two Special Procedure mandates at UN-OHCHR headquarters, Assistant to the Executive Director of the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry for Timor-Leste; Associate Protection Officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sri Lanka, Public Information and Community Outreach Officer at the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor, Human Rights Officer in the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), Electoral Officer in the UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET), Election Supervisor at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Research Officer at the Human Rights Centre attached to the University of Essex.
Her publications include: Holding UNPOL to Account: Individual Criminal Accountability of United Nations Police Personnel (Brill, 2017); Why does the immunity afforded to UN personnel not appropriately reflect the needs of the Organization?: the case of the UN police, (United Nations Studies, vol.17, 2016); UN Peace Operations: from National Security to Human Rights and Human Security in Takahashi (ed), Human Rights, Human Security, and State Security, Praeger, 2014); The Accountability of Personnel Associated with Peacekeeping Operations (co-authored with Prof. Françoise Hampson, in Aoi, de Coning and Thakur (eds), Unintended Consequences of Peacekeeping Operations, United Nations University Press, 2007); and The Right to resort to External Self-Determination outside of the Colonial context (co-authored with Prof. Takashi Tsugeyama, Aoyama Journal of International Politics, Economics and Business Vol.64 , 2004)She has obtained a PhD from the University of Essex with her research on individual criminal accountability of UN police personnel, under the supervision by Prof. Françoise Hampson.
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