[JEJU FORUM] World leaders convene in Jeju to build peace
World leaders, Nobel laureates, diplomats, lawmakers, scholars, heads of international organizations, business professionals, students and media from across the globe will take part in the three-day Jeju Forum 2018, which kicks off on June 26, to share ideas about peace and prosperity in Asia at the International Convention Center Jeju in Seogwipo.
The scenic Jeju Island, a UNESCO heritage site located in the center of Northeast Asia, was also designated the “Island of World Peace” by the Korean government in 2005.
The forum was first launched in 2001 to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the historic first inter-Korean summit in June 2000, between South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, with the vision of searching for ways to achieve sustainable peace and common prosperity in the ever-dynamic region of Asia.
Former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun took part in the forum in 2007, a year after the second inter-Korean summit, launching an effort to adopt the “Jeju Process,” modeled after the Helsinki Process, for regional cooperation on peace.
The forum was held every two years until 2011 and has been held annually since 2012.
Now, in its 13th iteration, the Jeju Forum, which has been dubbed the “Korean Davos,” will have some 70 sessions covering areas that include foreign affairs and security; economy and finance; environment and climate change; gender issues, education and culture.
More broadly, the sessions are divided into five categories: peace, prosperity, sustainability, diversity and global Jeju.
This year’s summit comes at a timely moment following two inter-Korean summits in April and May and the first-ever summit between North Korea and the United States in Singapore on June 12.
Amid this movement toward forging a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, the forum will tackle the theme of how to reengineer peace for Asia and energize the process toward peace and prosperity in the region.
Global opinion leaders to speak at the forum include former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon; former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda; former President of East Timor José Ramos-Horta, recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize; Paul Krugman, 2008 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences; former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney; and Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay.
Other key participants include Jeffrey Feltman, former UN under-secretary general for political affairs; Moon Chung-in, South Korean presidential special adviser for unification, diplomacy and national security affairs; Joseph Yun, former U.S. special representative for North Korea policy; Philip Zelikow, former counselor of the U.S. Department of State; and Korean actor Jung Woo-sung, a national goodwill ambassador for the UNHCR.
Korean government participants include Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha.
The forum is co-hosted by the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, the International Peace Foundation, the East Asia Foundation and the JoongAng Ilbo.
It is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Jeju Free International City Development Center and organized by the Jeju Peace Institute.
Jeju Gov. Won Hee-ryong serves as the chairman of the Organizing Committee and Jeju Peace Institute President Suh Chung-ha serves as the chairman of the Executive Committee.
“The Jeju Forum is a public forum, which means anyone can take part,” said Suh. “This is really a forum that can be flexible and focus on various topics from year to year depending on what is a rising issue in the region.”
The opening ceremony of the forum is scheduled to begin 10:20 a.m. in Tamna A Hall at the ICC Jeju on June 27.
The World Leaders’ Session will take place in the same room immediately after from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as global opinion leaders tackle the theme of “Reengineering Peace for Asia” and discuss non-traditional security challenges of Asia.
This plenary session will be chaired by Hong Seok-hyun, the chairman of JoongAng Holdings and former Korean ambassador to the United States, and panelists include former UN Secretary General Ban, former Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda and former Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney.