The following is a reworked article by the author which first appeared on KCTV English News. — Ed.

The Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity is holding its 9th event this year. It runs from May 28 to 30 at the Haevichi Hotel and Resort in Seogwipo.

The main theme is “Designing New Asia.”

It is hosted by Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, the International Peace Foundation, the East Asia Foundation, and the JoongAng Daily. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and the JDC, among other organizations.

The Forum, which first launched in 2001 as a biannual regional meeting on peaceful cooperation and common prosperity seeks international cooperation based on the sharing creative ideas. The premise is that Jeju is an excellent place to be a regular venue for just such a dialogue.

This year organizers expect 3,500 people from 50 countries to discuss practical measures for peace, mutual cooperation and growth in the region.

The connection between peace and Jeju is an interesting one. On January 27, 2005, the central government declared that the island would be officially known as an “Island of World Peace.”

The declaration was made by Seoul based on the tragic history of the April 3rd Incident and the need for reconciliation. Jeju was essentially chosen based on its historical background.

After the declaration, institutions were set up to carry out this plan. One is the Jeju International Peace Center, which is headquartered just across from the International Convention Center in Jungmun. It opened in 2006.

Another was the establishment in 2010 of a branch of UNITAR, the UN Institute for Training and Research called CIFAL Jeju.

And there is the Jeju Peace Institute, which opened in 2006 and is tasked with organizing and promoting regional peace initiatives, including organizing the Jeju Forum.

The original peace-oriented mandate of the forum has now expanded to include not only issues related to peace and security, but also to the regional economy, political issues like North Korea, climate change, and more.

Some of the highlights of this year’s program, of which there are 63 sessions, include a Special Session on economic cooperation between Korea and China. This is followed by discussions on South Korea’s education and its place in the world and global education and Jeju.

Day 2’s morning sessions include a discussion of a new security architecture in Northeast Asia and opportunities and threats of East Asia in the 21st century.

And following the opening ceremony and keynote on May 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the main event, the World Leaders’ Session runs until lunch.

Other sessions on the day include corporate sustainability and Asia’s future, e-government, globalization, North Korea, and much more.

On the final day, a second Special Session in the morning concentrates on entrepreneurship and women’s leadership,  and in the afternoon there’s is a talk on geopolitics in East Asia, which focuses on the history of power conflicts and whether they’ll be repeated.

This year’s keynote speaker is Julia Gillard, the former Prime Minister of Australia. She’ll make an address regarding this year’s theme of “designing new Asia” during the opening ceremony, as well as participating as a main speaker in the “World Leaders” session.

For more information, the Forum’s Web site is www.jejuforum.or.kr. There you can find all the previous forums and their final reports, which are in English and freely available for download.

A list of previous Forums and their themes and participant numbers:

The 8th Forum 2013.5.29-5.31 New Waves in Asia 3,672 participants from 49 countries
The 7th Forum 2012.5.31-6.2 New Trends and the Future of Asia 3,100 participants from 36 countries
The 6th Forum 2011.5.27-5.29 New Asia: for Peace and Prosperity 1880 participants from 23 countries
The 5th Forum 2009.8.11-8.13 Shaping New Regional Governance in East Asia: A Common Vision for Mutual Benefit and Common Prosperity 650 participants from 13 countries
The 4th Forum 2007.6.21-6.23 Peace & Prosperity in Northeast Asia: Exploring the European Experience 500 participants from 13 countries
The 3rd Forum 2005.6.9-6.11 Building a Northeast Asian Community: Towards Peace and Prosperity 500 participants from 10 countries
The 2nd Forum 2003.10.30-11.1 Building a Northeast Asian Community: Challenges and New Visions 450 participants from 8 countries
The 1st Forum 2001.6.15-6.17 Building Common Peace & Prosperity in Northeast Asia 350 participants from 9 countries

 

 

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