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Northeast Asia Peace Initiative

Think Tank 2022 Forum, Asia Pacific: IAAP Session


Asia Pacific—The International Association of Academicians for Peace (IAAP) hosted the seventh session of the virtual Think Tank 2022 Forum for UPF’s Asia Pacific region on February 3, 2022, in line with the theme “Perspectives from Academicians.”

A total of 2,658 people registered for the event. More than 200 participants watched it live on Zoom, while it was viewed thousands of times on YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms.

Seven distinguished speakers shared their insights on creating a unification roadmap for North and South Korea through education:

The session started with a special presentation delivered by Dr. Thomas Selover, IAAP international co-coordinator and president of the Professors World Peace Academy. His speech explored patterns of reconciliation and peace through interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.

The next speaker was Prof. M. Shamsher Ali, former president of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences and founding vice chancellor of Bangladesh Open University, who highlighted the pioneering work of academicians in the past. He further discussed how academicians could help shape the minds and opinions of people in order to replace segregation and achieve integration on the divided peninsula.

Ms. Reshika Kumar, a PhD scholar from Fiji, suggested that unification and peacebuilding be carried out in the most culturally appropriate and competent manner.

Dr. Geetha Govindasamy, a senior lecturer from the Department of East Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Malaya in Malaysia, shared her thoughts on the unification efforts in North and South Korea and concluded that now is the right time to restart negotiations. If all parties work together, efforts towards reunification will prove to be beneficial, she said.

Dr. Raymundo Arcega, president of both the University of Muntinlupa and IAAP-Philippines, spoke about the role academia can play in laying the foundation for cultural reunification through instruction.

Prof. Amal Vadysinghe, a member of the faculty of medicine at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, spoke about health and education in North and South Korea. He stated that unification may be one of the best options for fair distribution of services and resources to all Korean people.

Dr. Sombat Bejasirimongkol, chair of the Thai-Korean Friendship Association and international director of PSB University in Cambodia, discussed lessons learned from the unification of East and West Germany, and stressed that these lessons could be applied to inter-Korean relations and peace efforts.

A dynamic Q&A session followed.

Dr. Julius Malicdem, director of IAAP-Asia Pacific, served as the moderator.


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