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Jeju Forum to discuss path to Asian trust

A three-day international conference on a wide range of regional and global issues including security, education and environment will begin on Jejudo Island on Wednesday, its organizers said.

Under the main theme of “Towards a New Asia of Trust and Harmony,” the 10th Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity is expected to bring together some 4,000 experts, government officials and politicians from some 50 countries.

Among the participants are former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, former Indonesian leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

Li Xiaolin, chair of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark and Seoul’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se will also join the forum.

The annual forum consists of nearly 60 sessions to be held under five major categories: peace, prosperity, sustainability, diversity and competitiveness.

The sessions will cover an array of issues including Korea’s reunification, women’s rights, nuclear security cooperation, cybercrimes, territorial disputes in the South China Sea and historical reconciliation in Northeast Asia.

In one of the special sessions, former German leader Schroeder is to deliver a lecture on Thursday regarding structural reforms that followed his country’s unification as well as conditions for a successful Korean reunification.

Another noteworthy session is a forum on how to create a prosperous East Asia through nontraditional security cooperation. Hosted by the East Asia Forum, the session is a “1.5-track” conference involving government officials, entrepreneurs and scholars.

The forum was launched in 2001 with the aim of reaching the status of the Davos Forum, an annual gathering of global political and business elites to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world. It had been held biennially until 2011.

By Song Sang-ho (