International Peace Foundation has launched the third Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) event series “Bridges-Dialogues: Towards a Culture of Peace” starting in Cambodia in November 2009. The launching ceremony was held at the Cambodiana Hotel in Phnom Penh on April 28, under the presidency of Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, Minister of Council of Ministers. The series events will be attended by 21 Nobel Prize Laureates, in cooperation with national and international partners.
His Serene Highness Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein — Chairman of the Advisory Board of the International Peace Foundation, said during opening remarks that Cambodia has opened a new chapter, adding that its people are hungry for education; that everyone wants to learn English and wants to study at universities, despite the painful past.
“I think that Cambodia provides a regional success story,” King Alfred said.
Uwe Morawetz, Founding Chairman of the International Peace Foundation, said that the forthcoming schedule contains up to 50 events, with participation by Nobel Laureates from all fields. Each Nobel Laureate who visits Cambodia will stay for at least 4 to 6 days.
He added that the Bridge would encourage Cambodian participation in Nobel Laureates for economics, physics, chemistry, history and medicine. He said the events would involve public lectures, seminars, workshops and dialogues to strengthen international understanding and to build relationships with Cambodian institutions. These understandings may lead to common research projects and other long-lasting forms of cooperation.
“This is why Bridge is not designed as a onetime event, but as a continuing process of synergies to make the events a sustainable success for Cambodia and the ASEAN region as a whole,” he said.
He added the aim of the Bridge is to facilitate and strengthen communication between societies in South East Asia with to promote understanding and trust.
To build further bridges towards peace and international understanding the foundation has been invited by the government of other ASEAN countries to expand “Bridge” programs in the region. In 2009 /2010, Cambodia will host the events- jointly chaired by His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk, and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. They will stimulate intellectual, scientific and cultural exchange in the ASEAN region and enhance its further development.
He thanked Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Advisor to the Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen; President and Founder, International Foundation for Arts and Culture in Tokyo, Japan; and the Chancellor
of The University of Cambodia for his generous support for the program.
The non-political, non-religious International Peace Foundation with headquarters in Vienna and its Asian office in Bangkok has previously organized more than 700 events with 600 keynote speakers in Europe.