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Asia-Pacific ILC 2021, July 8: Session VI: Emerging Indo Pacific Strategies after the G7 Summit – Implications for Korea

Asia Pacific—UPF-Asia Pacific and UPF-Japan co-hosted Session Six of the July 7-8 International Leadership Conference 2021 (ILC 2021)—Asia  Pacific program, which took place on July 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bangkok time, on the theme, “Emerging Indo Pacific Strategies after the G7 Summit – Implications for Korea.” A total of 1,622 people registered for the event and 396 joined it live via Zoom and hundreds more did so through YouTube and Facebook Live.

Introductory remarks were given by Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, former minister of the government of Nepal and chairman of UPF-Asia Pacific. He warmly welcomed the speakers and participants and gave a brief background and discussed the significance of the Group of Seven (G7), an intergovernmental political forum consisting of seven countries that are the world’s largest International Monetary Fund (IMF) advanced economies. These countries are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States  

Afterwards five speakers from Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan and the U.S. presented. Dr. Michael Jenkins, president of the Washington Times Foundation in the U.S., referred to a Washington Times article about a statement of support that was issued at the most recent 2021 G7 Summit in Cornwall, England from June 11 to 13. In it, the leaders of the G7 reiterate the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo Pacific and underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Dr. Jenkins stressed the need for dialogue and understanding and that leaders from government, religion, academia and business have a vital role to play in this.

Mr. Yoji Koda, vice admiral (retired) of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, gave an overview of the discussions that took place during the recent G7 Summit and highlighted three security issues: (i) China’s maneuvers; (ii) cyber-attacks that have been carried out from Russia; (3) and the denuclearization of North Korea. He added that he believes the key for future success is for South Korea and the U.S. to be the primary nations to take care of the North Korean issue.

Hon. Ram Madhav, governing board member of the India Foundation and former national general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India, evaluated the unfolding developments in the Indo Pacific and mentioned Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s four pillars for the region’s future. These are: (i) inclusiveness of arrangements and any activities in the Indo Pacific; (ii) the centrality of the 10 Asian nations; (iii) establishing a rule of law where all work together; and (iv) strategic cooperation between countries in the region

Dr. Jessica Widjaja, a constitutional law expert from and chair of the W20 (G20 Women Leaders Summit) in Indonesia, said that one potential partnership framework that has the flexibility to incorporate a range of perspectives, while being effective enough to shape a more secure future, is an Indo-Pacific Charter, which could be modelled after the Atlantic Charter of 1941.

Prof. Biman Chand Prasad, a member of parliament and an academician in Fiji, spoke about the different organizations and forums that operate in the Indo Pacific. Some of them are the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He also discussed the dynamic between autocratic and dictatorial forms of governance, and said: “If we are talking about the Indo Pacific strategy as the contest with autocracy, we need to ensure that as a region we are able to promote the fundamental principles of governance,” which include democracy and the values of human rights.

The session concluded with a Q&A and closing remarks, which were given by Mr. Masayoshi Kajikuri, chairman of UPF-Japan. At this turning point in history during which many rapid changes are occurring, UPF will fulfill its noble mission of building a new international peace order through its global network, he affirmed. Rev. Gregory Stone, secretary general of UPF-Oceania, moderated the event.

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