KNDA hosts the 2014 NAPCI Forum, “Charting the Course to a Peace and Cooperative Northeast Asia”
The Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA), with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hosted the 2014 Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative Forum themed, “Charting the Course to a Peaceful and Cooperative Northeast Asia” from October 28 through 30 at KNDA and Gonjiam Resort.
The Forum was organized as part of the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperative Initiative (NAPCI) being pursued as a core diplomatic policy by the government, and also doubled as the IFANS Conference on Global Affairs, the signature conference of the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS) under KNDA.
Day 1 - Opening Session
In the Opening Session, KNDA Chancellor YUN Duk-min delivered the opening remarks, followed by President PARK Geun-hye’s congratulatory message shown via video and welcoming keynote speech by Minister of Foreign Affairs YUN Byung-se.
Opening Remarks - Chancellor YUN Duk-min
In his opening remarks, Chancellor YUN noted the significance of the Forum as an opportunity to explore ways for governments and the private sector to cooperate in more specific areas, including nuclear energy safety, energy security, cyberspace, environment and disaster relief. He stated that Forum will not become a one-off event, but a sustainable project through which intellectual networks among participants will continue to be formed and expanded.
Congratulatory Message - President PARK Geun-hye
President PARK Geun-hye sent a congratulatory message to the opening ceremony via video. In her message, President PARK explained that the NAPCI aims to realize each country’s vision all together through voluntary participation and cooperation of countries in the region first in areas where there is a sense of urgency and consensus can be easily reached. President PARK urged countries concerned in the region, representatives of international organizations and experts to gather wisdom at the Forum and chart a new course to a peaceful and cooperation Northeast Asia.
Welcoming Keynote Speech - Foreign Minister YUN Byung-se
In the welcoming keynote speech delivered by Minister YUN, he stated that the key to translating the NAPCI into reality is turn the trust deficit into a trust surplus by promoting the habit or culture of multilateral dialogue. He shared the Korean government’s perspective on six useful checklists that could be applied to NAPCI: (i) an open, collaborative approach, (ii) a search for common denominators in the regional policies of participating states, (iii) building complementary relations with existing regional or sub-regional mechanisms, (iv) process of gradual evolution, (v) practicing dialogue and cooperation in non-traditional soft security areas, and (vi) creation of new opportunities by connecting Eurasia with the Pacific. Minister YUN stated that NAPCI seeks to find common factors for cooperation in the superfluous policies of the regional members, and that identifying their commonalities and finding the leeway for cooperation would benefit all participants. Once the Initiative is successfully implemented, it will bridge the Pacific region and the Eurasian continent, and will potentially bring forth earlier a new Pacific era and a new Eurasian age, he explained.
In the ensuing keynote session, keynote speeches were delivered by former UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar BRAHIMI (former Algerian Foreign Minister), NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander VERSHBOW (former US Ambassador to the ROK), Senior Advisor Michael REITERER of the Asia and Pacific Department of the European External Action Service (EEAS) (former EU Ambassador to Switzerland), and Assistant Foreign Minister QIAN Hongshan of China.
The speakers in the keynote session dealt with topics as follows, in the order of presentation: “Opening a new age of peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia’ by Assistant Foreign Minister QIAN; “NAPCI: from the perspective of Middle Eastern disputes” by Special Representative BRAHIMI; “NAPCI: measures to overcome the Asian Paradox by Deputy Secretary-General VERSHBOW; and “European experience of multilateral cooperation and NAPCI” by Senior Advisor REITERER.
The opening ceremony and keynote session of the Forum brought together over 200 people, including government delegations from countries concerned with the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative - the U.S., China, Japan, Russia and Mongolia; about 20 representatives of international organizations, such as the UN, NATO and the EU; some 50 members of the diplomatic corps in the ROK; and around 60 experts in issues for cooperation under the Initiative from domestic and foreign academic sectors and international organizations. This demonstrated the keen interest that countries concerned and the international community have in the ROK government’s Initiative.
Session I - Nuclear Safety and Other Nuclear Issues
In Session I titled "nuclear safety and other nuclear issues" held in the afternoon on October 28, IFANS President SHIN Bongkil moderated the discussion between panelists, who included SHEN Dingli, Professor of Fudan University, ZHU Xuhui, Professor of China National Nuclear Corporation, Tatsujiro SUZUKI, Professor of Nagasaki University, Ganbat DAMBA, Director of the Institute for Strategic Studies of Mongolia, Anton KHLOPKOV, Director of the Center for Energy and Security Studies, Mark T. FITZPATRICK, Director of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme, International Institute for Strategic Studies, Jean Francois LAFORTUNE, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator of the International Atomic Energy Agency, KNDA Professor JUN Bong-Geun, and Professor of Nuclear Engineering at Seoul National University HWANG Il-Soon.
Panelists affirmed the need for a cooperative mechanism on nuclear safety and security in Northeast Asia and proposed the following be undertaken as top priority tasks in the area of nuclear safety -- setting common standards, complying with global safety standards, and safely disposing of high-level wastes. In terms of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, they raised the need to establish a “joint nuclear fuel bank” in Northeast Asia for cooperation on nuclear fuel cycle in the region. Some were of the opinion that the participation of North Korea, a non-member of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, in the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative, if realized, would ultimately help resolve the country’s nuclear issue.
Session II - Energy Security
Session II on “energy security” was moderated by Vice President of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies CHOI Kang. Panelists were XU Qinhua, Professor of the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China, Shoichi ITOH, Seinor Analyst & Manager of Japan’s Institute of Energy Economics, Dorjsuren NANJIN, Head of Center for China, East Asian Studies, Institute for Strategic Studies of Mongolia, Konstantin V. SIMONOV, General Director of the National Energy Security Fund, Kent CALDER, Professor of Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Professor LEE Jae-Seung of Korea University’s Division of International Studies, and PAK Yongduk, Managing Director of the International Energy Cooperation Group, Korea Energy Economics Institute.
In this session, with regard to energy cooperation in Northeast Asia, some pointed out that the biggest stumbling block is a lack of trust among countries in the region. The participants noted that despite the need for cooperation for energy security in the region, distrust lingers among countries due to geopolitical reasons. They stressed that in order to facilitate regional cooperation, the countries in the region should seek political momentum that would allow them to effectively build mutual trust with patience and a long-term perspective.
Session III - Cyberspace
In Session III on “cyberspace,” LEE Sang-Hyun, Director of the Department of the Security Strategy Program of the Sejong Institute served as the moderator, and panelists included ZOU Hanhua, Professor of the Institute of Law, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Hiroshi MIYASHITA, Associate Professor of Chuo University’s Faculty of Policy Studies, James A. LEWIS, Senior Fellow & Program Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, KIM Il-Hwan, Professor of School fo Law, Sungkyunkwan University, Director SEO Hyung-Jun, Director of Cyber Security Policy Division, National Security Research Institute, and KNDA Professor YOO Joonkoo.
In this session, some suggested that top priority should be given to developing a common definition of “cyberspace” and setting a relevant code of conduct, modeled after the “Bretton Woods” system calling for regular consultations and the protection of personal information. The participants, calling trust-building an essential factor in cyberspace, stressed that the two Koreas should gradually build trust by sharing information on cyber matters.
Day 2 & 3 – Working Group Sessions
In the working group sessions that followed at Gonjiam Resort on October 29 and 30, a total of 33 experts and 30 fellows from the ROK, the US, Japan, China, Russia, Mongolia and relevant international organizations engaged in thematic discussions on nuclear safety, energy security, cyberspace, and environment and disaster relief. The participants agreed at the end of the sessions that NAPCI provided the important common platform between the various areas of cooperation.
Working Group Session I - Nuclear Safety
In the Working Group Session I, titled “Nuclear Safety,” participants proposed the “Northeast Asia Nuclear Partnership for Peace, Prosperity, and Trust” as a way to promote safe and sustainable use of nuclear energy, and to create peaceful and prosperous regional security environment in Northeast Asia. The partnership will be aimed at (i) strengthening nuclear energy safety and security, (ii) increasing credibility and transparency, (iii) boosting capacity of workforce, and (iv) institutionalizing nuclear energy cooperation.
Working Group Session II - Energy Security
In Working Group Session II under the title “Energy Security,” participants proposed specific and practical policies, strategies and long-term vision at global and regional levels for energy cooperation. Participants stressed that since large-scale cooperative project would be difficult to be implemented due to the geological situation in Northeast Asia, trial/education projects and exchange of best practice policies would be feasible through gradual institutionalization. Particularly, they pointed out the “European Coal and Steel Community,” which had provided the foundation for European integration, offers a good example in that it represents a relationship of mutual interdependence based on further enhanced level of trust.
Working Group Session III - Cyberspace
In Working Group Session III on “Cyberspace,” participants emphasized the need to use NAPCI as an opportunity to create a regular and institutional cooperation mechanism where all regional members will participate, and to prepare a relevant code of conduct and joint fund for protection of personal information, cyber security and e-commerce. By doing so, they agreed that they could narrow the regulation gap and technical differences between regional members.
Working Group Session IV - Environment & Disaster Relief
In Working Session IV on “Environment & Disaster Relief,” four practical policy proposals were suggested, namely, (i) taking advantage of the institutional assets such as the already existing institutional assets including the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Green Climate Fund (GCF), and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), (ii) publicizing the benefits that would come about the regional cooperation at global climate change negotiations at MIKTA and Environmental Integrity Group (EIG), (iii) promoting sharing of information and knowledge in the areas of climate change and disaster management, and (iv) setting up a regional action plan through standardization of procedures for delivery of relief materials and services.
At the very final session of the Forum, journalists of media outlets were invited to share with all participants the summary, policy suggestions, and outcomes of the four working group sessions.
The details of the discussions at the Forum will be published in the forum of a policy report.
- Attached File