The United Nations - The Nippon Foundation of Japan Fellowship Programme
~ Human Resources Development and Advancement of the Legal Order of the World's Oceans ~

Fellowship Background and Overview

On 22 April 2004, the United Nations and The Nippon Foundation of Japan concluded a trust fund project agreement to provide capacity-building and human resource development to developing States Parties and non-Parties to UNCLOS through a new Fellowship Programme. The Programme is executed by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) of the Office of Legal Affairs.

The objective of the fellowship is to provide opportunities for advanced education and research in the field of ocean affairs and the law of the sea, and related disciplines including marine science in support of management frameworks, to Government officials and other mid-level professionals from developing States, so that they may obtain the necessary knowledge to assist their countries to formulate comprehensive ocean policy and to implement the legal regime set out in UNCLOS and related instruments.

Upon completion of the fellowship, fellows should have an advanced awareness and understanding of key issues and best international practices in ocean affairs and are expected to return to their home-countries to contribute their experience to assist with the effective implementation of UNCLOS and related instruments and programmes. Fellows should be able to design, implement and/or evaluate specific improvement projects in their home countries related to ocean affairs, develop a core leadership capacity and have an in-depth understanding of legal frameworks, methodologies and tools to further improve implementation of instruments and programmes and to provide for their effective enforcement in conformity with international law.

Programme Structure

The 9-month Fellowship Programme is composed of two consecutive phases which provide Fellows with advanced and customized research and training opportunities in their chose fields:

  • Phase One: 3-month Research and Training - normally undertaken at DOALOS at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
  • Phase Two: 6-month Advanced Academic Research and Study - undertaken at one of the prestigious participating Host Institutions and under the guidance of subject matter expert(s) who have recognized in-depth expertise in the Fellows' chosen field of study.

Programme Information Pages

The deadline for applications for the 2015-2016 session of the Fellowship is 12 September 2014

Download brochure

All 2014 Fellows have successfully completed the first-phase of their programme and have commenced their second phase at the respective host academic institutions.

The United Nations - The Nippon Foundation of Japan Fellows contribute to a United Nations publication entitled "How oceans and seas-related measures contribute to the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: Local and regional experiences" , launched on the occasion of World Oceans Day 2014.

Chairman Sasakawa and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
share podium (link) and exchanged views (link)
on the occasion of World Oceans Day and an
event to mark the 30th Anniversary of UNCLOS
in New York at the United Nations on 8 June 2012


Information for Applicants
(Qualifications and Application Materials)
updated: 17 July 14
-- Applications for the 2015 session are currently being accepted.
The application deadline is 12 September 2014

Information for Successful Applicants and
Current Fellows

(Forms, Procedures, Administration, Reporting)
updated: 7 Feb 13

Status of Placements
(Placements and Fellows in Session)
updated: 29 Jan 14

List of Host Institutions
(48 Institutions in 24 States)
updated: 22 April 13
-- welcome to:
Columbia Law School, Columbia University (New York, USA)
The World Maritime University (Malmo, Sweden)
University of Tromso (Tromso, Norway)

The Fellows and their Thesis
(Fellows' Profiles and Research Thesis and Presentations)
updated: 28 June 12
-- updated 2009-2010 Fellows' Profiles
-- thesis and presentations are available for download

Alumni Affairs
(Information, Events , News Letters)
updated frequently: Pacific Alumni Meeting was held in October 2013
Alumni Website and the Alumni Facebook Group



Programme News and Developments

For the latest news and events of the programme at its alumni
check out the alumni Alumni Website

pre-2012 Fellowship News and Media Page

-- Some Alumni Testimonials --

For more information, please contact:

The United Nations - The Nippon Foundation of Japan Fellowship Programme
Attn. Valentina Germani, Legal Officer, Programme Advisor
Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea
Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations
Two United Nations Plaza, Room DC2-0412
New York, N.Y. 10017, U.S.A.

Telephone: +1 (212) 963-3962
Facsimile: +1 (917) 367-0560
E-mail: questions

Prepared by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations.

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