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Academicians Discuss ‘Pursuing Interdependence’ at ILC2020—Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific—The International Association of Academicians for Peace (IAAP) hosted Session Eight of the ILC2020—Asia Pacific program, which took place on September 12, 2020. Eight distinguished academicians shared their valuable perspectives on the theme, “Breaking Down the Walls: Pursuing Interdependence in A Community for Peace.” Around 1,000 participants joined the webinar.

Dr. Sung Bae Jin is the chairman of HJ Academy of Arts and Science, Korea, and the international coordinator of the IAAP. In his opening remarks, he emphasized the importance of planting within the family the seeds of “conscience for the whole purpose,” or hyo jeong, as Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, UPF co-founder, calls it, that can become the basis for creating new values and culture based on interdependence.

Dr. Heung-soon Park, vice president of the United Nations Association-Republic of Korea and the former dean of the Graduate School, Sun Moon University, also gave the opening remarks. He highlighted the role of member states of the United Nations, world leaders and UPF to promote multilateral cooperation to resolve common global threats and to persuade the UN to return to a spirit of multilateral cooperation.

Amb. Nobuyasu Abe, former UN under-secretary-general for disarmament affairs (2003-06), Japan, stressed that in this pandemic, “safety should not be sacrificed for the sake of competition” between nations. As world attention has focused on the pandemic, the issues of climate change and nuclear threat must still be solved. Moreover, Amb. Abe proposed to establish an international emergency fund for pandemic situations.

Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta is a biologist and fisheries scientist, a Sun Hak Peace Prize laureate (2015) and recipient of the World Food Prize (2005). In his remarks, he emphasized that lasting peace can be achieved by addressing underlying issues that impede sustainable development, such as food insecurity, poverty and lack of human development. Also, he gave prominence to the role of the academe and educators in building sustainable peace.

Dr. Raymundo Arcega is the chancellor of the Lyceum of the Philippines University and chairman of the National Network of Quality Assurance Agencies (NNQAA), Philippines. He emphasized that academicians are entrusted with the task to promote goodness to all mankind by educating youth from the perspective of universal values. He reechoed the need to have an educational system that promotes mutual prosperity, interdependence and universal values.

Dr. Kriengsak Chareonwongsak is a senior fellow at Harvard University and president of the Institute of Future Studies for Development in Thailand. He reminded everyone that no human can live alone, thus, “human communities in this world have to live together as a global home.” Also, he encouraged everyone to work together as “peace requires effort” and carefully strategize the building of a global community towards peace.

Prof. Dr. M. Shamsher Ali is the president of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (2004-12) and founding vice chancellor of Bangladesh Open University. He highlighted how the coronavirus is improving issues that world leaders have not been able to solve or significantly improve for decades such as biodiversity, global warming and climate change. In conclusion, he said that the “wall” that man created between him and other members of the community will break down when “man lives not only for himself but for others as well.”

Dr. Thomas Selover, president of Sun Hak UP Graduate University and international co-coordinator of the IAAP, was the moderator of the session. He is the.

In summary, the speakers challenged and stimulated everyone to break down the “walls” of individualism, fields of profession and nationalities through interdependence in order to make the best contribution to the great work of building a world community of peace.

To go back to the executive summary for the Asia Pacific ILC, click here.

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