ECPD Conference on Globalization and Regionalization
The European Center for Peace and Development of the University for Peace established by the United Nations, held its 12th ECPD International Conference at the City Hall in Belgrade, Serbia, 28-29 October 2016. IEF President Arthur Dahl has collaborated with ECPD for nine years., contributing to their annual conferences in the Western Balkans.
The theme of this year's conference was "Future of the World Between Globalization and Regionalization". The first opening address was given by Federico Mayor, former Director General of UNESCO and President of the ECPD Council. He reviewed the global challenges the world is facing and called for a re-foundation of the United Nations System. This should start with a reconsideration of concepts and principles, and an ethical framework for action. We need timely measures, as tomorrow may be too late.
He was followed by Erhard Busek, former Vice-Chancellor of Austria, who warned about the break up of countriies, the use of anxiety and fear for political success, and the danger of war. He said we should look to human rights and create a climate for political responsibility.
Johan Galtung, Founder and first President of the Peace Research Institute, Norway, sent his presentation on "From Regionalization to Globalization: What Stands in the Way?" We have overcome geographical distance but not cultural distance, and are witnessing an historical transition from a world state system to a world region system. He noted that Western globalization is centralized, while Islamic globalization is localized. He called for a "soft globalization" of regional groupings of states.
Forty-four distinguished speakers from academia and government contributed to topics such as the impact of globalization on world peace and development, re-arranging the world North-West vis-à-vis South-East, regionalization versus globalization, migration threats and opportunities, and Balkans between dramatic global and regional changes. Arthur Dahl moderated one session and presented a paper in another on "Implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the Balkans".
Last updated 3 November 2016