Prof. Taga Hidetoshi(Waseda University)
Prof. Amako Satoshi:
I am the coordinator of this project. I am not a specialist of Human Security, I studies Contemporary China and China’s foreign relations indeed. So I am really an outsider of so-called human security studies. Recently, there are initiatives in Japan to create a regional human community. I participated in a lot of such discussions in different places and many talk about functionalism in term of economics. Many of them argue that once economy develops, everything will be solved. However, I think we should not only reach this topic through functionalism. Issues like security like US-Japan alliance, US-Korean alliance or ASEAN forum, cannot easily solved by functionalism. But more importantly, we should dig this problem deeper, and beyond functionalism. This is a bottom-up approach by exploring issue like human rights issue, poverty issues, and environmental issue.
To consider the security issue in Asia, I propose a complementary approach and I call it Asian Human Security (AHC). I hope intellectuals in Asia to contribute their efforts on this issue. This is the backdrop of this conference. The purpose of this community can be concluded into four things:
To construct an intellectual network through the participation of active intellectuals in Asian counties.
To develop a forum for opinion exchange among Asian intellectuals on this issue.
To become a driver for free opinion exchange and discussion of Asian intellectuals on the response and measures towards specific issue.
AHC network aims at being a comprehensive network connecting existing ASIA-NET works and make specific proposals to government and international community in Asia.
Heading for Asian Human Security by Mr. Taniyama(Japan)
Threat faced by Asian is not only terrorism surfaced since 911 but also resources war, a so-called silent war. The refugees of Cambodia and Lao caused by civil war are examples.
-Experience in Afghanistan:
We thought the war was over, but terrorism war started.
I have gone to Afghanistan. We cannot see the future of war in this country. This is the same in Iraq, Somalia, and other places. We have seen many injustices and contradiction of this war.
The reality in Asia
There are many forests in this country, but since the government wants to build dam, local residents are relocated and forests and the quality of water in this area is polluted. Another dam project built in 1998 caused water pollution and environmental disaster. This process involves both Japan and China direct investment and other economic activities. Chemical plants caused more pollution to local community.
The land problem is serious. The rise of price of land initiated by the government caused the farmland problem among local farmers. People in the farmland only own 40-50 percent of land.
In fundamental, we should look at security issue by moving our eyes from traditional security to human security perspective on individual base. In this process, the NGO plays an important role and funding NGO is important for government policy. For example, Japan has done very well in preserving forest and recycling those wastes produced by cities to preserve forest through an innovated way. Another example is that a good example in Thailand. A recycling process is formed in the area which is positive for local resources protection and also local business.
Q: What are the details in Japan NGO activities and the way of use of resource?
A: I have to say we cannot say we Japan did perfect in all aspect, but we transport our garbage and useful organic to farmer for their farm work and improve agriculture production. Area resources are also rediscovered in the local level and reused in various regions. Global investments also come.
Q: What/Who does the NGO you mentioned represent? Who are person in which the NGO is responsive?
A: For my perspective. In other words, Japan needs to change. For example, in Thailand, we have program that Japanese teenagers were sent to Thailand. For almost one year, from the beginning to the end, to know the life of farmer in Thailand. When they come back, they want to be farmer. They changed to help people by joining NGO. Also, they understand war through this process and will easily know the importance of peace.
Prof. Wen Tiejun (Renmin University, China)
There is no exact globalization since the establishment of WTO. We have seen the emergence of two regional commercial zones like EU, North American Trade Zone. Asian plus Three is the next possibility
The emergence of Dollar system and EU system is a challenge. The world faces the possible conflicts of two main dollar systems, which threats human security in Asia. Both China and Japan should worry about our economic in this conflict and should aware EU-USA oriented financial capitalization.
Why did financial crisis happen frequently after the establishment of WTO since 1994? The 1998 financial crisis did not hit down China, Japan and South Korean. The reason is that all of their economy does not only rely on hot money, but also agriculture and industrial sector.
We should not look at this problem through ideology perspective: Cold War / post Cold War perspective.
My argument is the conflict between Eastern state capitalism and Western market capitalism matters.
The experience of China and India in terms of state capitalism.
I would like to draw attention of the concept of neo-liberalism. It argues that to take the state out of economy and promote markets and free the market. Institution like WTO and IMF started to promote the market free and it increase the power of capital. NGO is important to fight back neo-liberalism through the alternative.
The concept of human security by Prof. Puji Pujiono(Indonesia)
Review the concept of human security
Define the focus of the discussion about what the mean of human security in Asia is.
Disaster of human security in Asia
We should pay attention the emerging disaster
To explain the meaning of Asia, or ASEAN+3, it is true that the Asian countries, whatever south Asia, central Asia, may have different view towards the concept of Asia, but if we can solve those common issues within Asia beyond geographic location, we can at least build a first stage in this Asia community building.
Q1: The post-conflict peace is an interesting topic. How about the after-war/disaster reconstruction? Why did Sri Lanka cannot solve conflict problem and bring peace?
Q2: In Norway, we usually talk about the Human rights side in the concept of human security or human development. How should we intellectuals bring the idea of human rights into the concept of human security?
A: For first question, why disaster did not bring peace? I have seen many cases with good intention and wrong method. I saw the conflict between communities and make them leave. The reason can also be concluded as no conscious planning to deal with reconstruction and no cross learning from other area. We have not enough political momentum to improve and change. I think we cannot reach success without a core social system change.
For the second question, the concept of human security is to enlarge the conventional concept of security. In Japan, it means the soft side of security. But in the countries such as Denmark, Norway, it more refers to humanitarian law type of bases. This shows how different governments view the concept. Some emphasize on security, but some look at the human rights. It is true that we should clarify this concept more clearly.
Problem of sex service across border is getting serious
the advance of technology, such as, internet, causes the teenage sex service
Trafficking of persons, especially women and children, is a serous problem in South East Asia. (Data offered by the Johns Hopkins University)Thailand is a transport spot.
Japan as an importing country (Japan is perceived as a target nation for such activities by US state department).Indonesia is an exporting country.
Various treaties to protect women and children
Various policies move in Asia in protecting women and children.
Various policies taken in Japan (1999-2005). Victims were arrested as illegal immigrant. It should be improved and those people should be protected.
I got a book published in Thailand in which the book is edited by a woman editor. The book is banned by the government. It showed that true story of human trafficking. Intellectual in local universities protests and eventually allow it to publish. Maybe we should take more are concern about the politics and the role of intellectuals.
The topic is very much related to the power structure and politics of the specific country. On the ground level, there are so many political interests and networks on this issue. We are asking a deep question about the structure.
AIDS issue is a shocking problem in China.
Policies adopt by government:
Q1: The infect rate in South Africa is also very high .I think the AIDS cases in South Africa are also similar. What is the structural reason of the increase of HIV infection in China? What is the role of Government towards this issue? Is there any obstacle rooted inside the government?
Q2: In Thailand, there are very strong organizations consist of infected people. They pressure government and protest for improvement. There are also reasons of economic dependence, which let people cannot escapes from this trop. How about the situation in China? I think you should explain more details in this aspect.
A: There are two basic reason: economic and social. The reason in China is much economic. People cannot make living in the market-oriented Chinese society; they have to make living through those dangerous works which let them expose to AIDS. They have to sell their blood and body to make living. The reason is also social, as it is due to the breaking down of the traditional community and the lost of control at the bottom level. The function offered by old social structure is not successfully replaced by new structure.
The issue is related to the state the NGO as well. There are different conscious in local government and central government. Local government needs information which NGO can provide. AIDS is an opportunities for NGO as well. If NGO gets success on this issue, we can contribute more to the society. I agree with the second question that it is also true that AIDS patients need to build a network, or even an organization. Infect people have to be organized and society needs to be rebuilt. We need reeducate people, and government and infect people should build trust relationship each other. In China, it is still weak in these aspects.
The decrease of AIDS case in Thailand is due to the confirmation and prevention system and the presence of network. The confidentiality is also important. This is maybe a good lesson for China’s anti-AIDS campaign.
A: I totally agree with you. It is what we called AIDS ethics. We need AIDS ethics.
Since I only have 20 mins I will keep it short
1. Idea of Asian Human Community
Introduced by Prof. amako. A good idea and nicely fit with idea of Asian regionalism. Last year I co-authored a book on this. Idea I advanced there is different to idea of regionalism post-cold war. Post cold war this was mianly regionalism based on trade liberlaisation, but post 1997 this is more to do with governance]
Functionalism is the key. As in book.
Consensus building dialogue is the centre of this process. Post 1997 currency crisis ASEAN+1 or 3 provide new impetus for community building, not just from Govt level, but facilitate market driven cooperation.
Asian Human community idea add new layer to this process.
See post 2005 Bali declaration build not just cultural community, but security and economic in ASEAN
In East Asia, this not top down approach is needed
In E asia, not large sense of civil society developed. Need to do homework
Last year at roundtable, we discussed the idea of an “Asian Council” like Atlantic council. Under the umbrella of this Asian Council, if we add a new layer so that it involves not just government, business and think-tanks but also NGO and individuals. Not just track 1,2 and 3 dialogue, but maybe track 4, 5 or X as well.
This is a visionary idea that puts people first, a bottom up plan to which the academic community can contribute a lot.
Looking around international society, some Western governments are taking the lead on this, doing a lot. This morning someone mentioned Norway and Canada. These two countries already make Human Security one the most important elements of their diplomacy. Because they are second-rate, middle powers, this is their advantage to make a difference in international politics. Norway and Canada signed a bilateral agreement called the Sony Partnership to advance Human Security in international politics. This is the type of community or coalition formed among like-minded countries and advance on a similar course human-centered security concerns. The initiative should be copied in E Asia.
Looking at different governments and countries in this region, human centered policy is also becoming very popular. For example in China under the leadership of Hu Juntao and Wen Jiaobao, jenweiben is becoming a key concept for the government policies. So this people-centered policy is becoming the major theme for their government and this will be a major issue at the forthcoming People’s Congress. So I think the idea discussed at this workshop is timely and will make a due contribution to regional community building.
2. Human Security in China and the debate on this topic in China amongst the intellectual community
No doubt awareness of Human Security is increasing in recent years and thus government began to turn more to people centered policy. Several events that were catalysts for this: The 1997-98 financial currency crisis.
1. This creates a crisis situation that made the Chinese government focus on future financial and economic security. For the first time at the national policy level economic and financial security are discussed. Jingnuan anquan he Jingji anquan. Later on the government began to float the “new security concept” similar to Japan’s “comprehensive security concept” (総合安全保障).
2. Another is the SARS epidemic in 2003, which really brings public health as an emergent, burning issue on the government agenda. And then there other serious issues like environmental issues, the sandstorms in Beijing and North Asia, NE China and also a series of food safety issues. These draw not only government attention, but also the attention of the public to Human Security.
But strangely the term “human security” is not used, not in the government’s vocabulary. Why is that?
1. The term translated into Chinese (renda anquan) means nothing. In Chinese, this term means general safety (crossing the street safely, home security etc) so the term Human Security is not used. In the scholarly community, the term “non-traditional security” is most frequently used and this is becoming very popular, with increasing discourse on this topic. China enter into agreement with ASEAN on non-traditional security co-operation.
2. 2nd reason why the term Human Security is not used in China has a lot to do with the mindset in China, especially that of Chinese officials. The majority thinks that the provider of security should be government, not the people themselves. Thus, the state is still the referent for security, in the sense of national security, state security and all the functional issues of security (food, economic, environmental, finance).
Obviously on the receiver end is the people, is the individual.
The 2nd issue on the mindset, on how to perceive security has a lot to do with who will define security? Who will set the criteria, the yardstick? Obviously from this (China’s) cultural tradition, a tradition that is very embedded, this becomes the state and government. Thus, security is more discussed from public policy and governance issues.
When Chinese scholars debate about non-traditional security, we struggle with how to define the scope of security. In the academic community, there are two ways to define Human Security, the narrow and broad approaches.
Narrow approach: freedom from fear (how to prevent people from becoming victims od violence and threats to security)
Broad: freedom from want (freedom from wanting essentials and fundamental necessities like food, energy). In this view governments should provide these essentials.
Canada belongs to the first approach, Japan to the second
For the Chinese government, the question is how to securitize the Human Rights eats to people.
Many topics for discussion, but need to prioritize some issues. And these should be matched with the available resources. There is a lot of debate about which issue should have priority, implementation, and regional (provincial) differences. There is a lot of debate and this is healthy. Each country faces different sets of human security issues.
In conclusion, Human community in Asia is good idea as bottom up approach to deal with common problems. Problem for the next step is that we need common vision about approach, and also have to look at national difference, national debates about Human Security.
How to find common ground and thus forge regional co-operation and a common approach?
My interests lie less in profound discussion, but more in China, Human Security is not used officially, and you have explained why that is the case and if the Chinese participants could help us understand better. What are the reasons for the limited use of this term? Are people free to use it, do officials see this as a problematic term?
This relates somewhat to the institutional system in China. Human Rights might be a similar case. People, government and the media have come to embrace the term human rights. But there needs to be a translation of the concept Human Security so perhaps the education community and the media need to embrace this fully as a concept. Under traditional institutions in China, this is an issue that rather emphasizes under the collective security rather than individual security. Collective security is bound to collapse as we see modernization advance.
Is Human security more of a problematic concept?
Yes we need more sensitive language, and still lacking institutions in place to adopt the idea pf human security.
Concerning China, it is a historical process and if we take that perspective, the ways of thinking or the angle of the view should be shifted. In the case of human rights issue, there are human security issues that need to be looked at, like freedom of speech of the public. These days this is not considered and used without risk and danger, but as far as the institution systems and the ideology, these words (ie. The words and users may be checked) but these can be sued in another form. Sometimes these words can be used as they are. There are a lot of words that are questioned today, but this may change tomorrow. That is the reality of the political flow in China. In the morning session, Professor Wen Tiejun mentioned that it may be worthwhile to turn from ideology and take a more practical looks at China. There is the common language of human security, and in China this may not be a dangerous or risky term but there may be some collision. Can this term be used in China? Is this a central issue? We should shift our way of thinking.
…There is the point of how we should look at China. Next Dr Yang Kiwong
Dr Yan is a professor from Korea.
Thank you. It is a great honor and I wish to thank Professor Amako. I have a cold, so I will only speak a little to save my voice.
As for the issue of Human Security, I am not a professional, but am very interested in the security, economic and political aspects and so am here today to learn about the national security and human security subjects. I’d say that there is an overlap between these two and from the perspective of understanding this, I would like to report on the Human Security issue.
In 2004 in America the North Korean Human Rights Act was passed. There were also other laws passed in 2005 to advance democracy in North Korea. These laws do not just target North Korea. In this report, the human rights issue is being considered. During the Bush administration, there has been an annual report to congress on this human rights issue. If we look at this, it has a very stringent and strict point.
I will elaborate on how the US Congress and NGO’s how they recognize N. Korean human rights.
To date the human rights issue is getting a certain context whilst human security is another aspect that is taken up. We must take up the discrepancy between these two to help us understand this. I will take up what is being discussed in this Human Security issue. Tomorrow I will be taking up these points.
There are concepts of human development, human needs and Human rights. The core of the discourse and the idea that bridges between these three aspects is Human Security.
In relation to the Human Rights Act for N Korea; the Act takes up the issue of Human Rights in N. Korea and this is related to the discussion we are having now. N. Korean citizens are defecting from the DPRK and coming into China. The Human Rights Act of 2004 refers to the needed removal of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). If these are removed, then it is thought that the Human Rights issue in North Korea maybe solved. The North Korean Human Rights Act will be put aside in order to look at the issue of Human Rights in North Korea. The response of North Korea is that there is a disagreement.
The Chinese response to the Human Rights issue of North Korea has been to maintain a conservative, friendly attitude. Seeing the attitude of international society to Human Rights, what will China do? Possibilities:
1. Status quo.
2. Maybe dual policy. Accepting refugees as under international law.
3. Allow refugees to stay.
Lastly, on South Korea. Korea has to date on this issue, has had a disparity with the U.S. policy on Human Rights in the North. The ROK administration has not taken up the issue per se, but provided economic and humanitarian support to help better the Human Rights in the North. Conservatives in the US and Japan have felt this it too weak, and that this support is used for military means, and thus the solution of Human Rights issues recedes. South Korea has a policy similar to China vis-?-vis North Korea. In the UN, votes took place on Human Rights issues and Korea pointed out NK Human Rights issues.
From the South Korean point of view, these issues are both National Security and Human Security issues that overlap. This also applies to China. Conventionally, South Korea and China has provided a sense of security to North Korea in the area of National Security so that Human Security will be improved as well.
This have been the conventional approach in China and South Korea, but now in South Korea this is changing, with a more direct approach to Human Security and avoidance of other aid which does not directly aid Human Security. South Korea has to decide what course to take.
Regarding Human rights in North Korea. China, US, South Korea and Japan all have different approaches. You pointed out that they are complexly intertwined.
Since you’re from South Korea Prof. Yi, do any points to make or add? What are your own views of the Human Rights issue with North Korea?
I think Professor Yang said that within South Korea, Human Rights and Human Security are closely intertwined. When governments talk, they discuss North Korean issues, but when people discuss this issue, they talk Human Security, about how people in the north can have a decent life.
As Prof. Yang said, in US, there is politically motivated approach that blames the human rights situation on the government and calls for change in regime. But in South Korea, there are 2 points of views. Calls for a broader Human Security. Here not talking about security that will require enemies, but security that will not require enemies. Hard security needs alliances as there are enemies, but alliances also create enemies. This policy makes North Korea an enemy. In South Korea, the more recent approach is how to create peaceful security? The state has to change. The state is National Security. In order to approach Human Security, the state has to change. In South Korea, the term “alternative security” is used to discuss this possibility.
38th parallel is difficult to understand reality for those who don’t live on the Korean peninsula. Prof. Yi says that we have to change the concept of the state or change the state, which is very radical proposition. Does the state have to be tackled and changed, or is it central player in security?
To the two Korean colleagues I would like to ask, how long have you been in North Korea? You have been in North Korea?
I have not.
I have only been to the Kumgang Mountains. It is open to South Korean tourists and more than 1 million have visited. But it is very different to the rest of the country.
Is there any else here who has been to North Korea? No-one? Then I am the only one. I was invited to North Korea by the UNDP as an agricultural consultant. I met not only government officials, institutes and also NGO’s. I did my research, not only in agriculture, but also in so-called Human Security. I am Chinese but I have been to both the North and South Korea. Would you like to hear the picture I have of this situation? Why does international society only talk about human disaster after the end of the Cold War. People blame human disaster on the Kim regime but this is really linked with a modernization problem.
In 1989, N. Korea had higher GDP than China, having achieved a per capita GDP over $2000. It was much more urbanized (70%). They were much more modernized than China, sponsored by USSR. This is a mountainous area and needed intensive labor investment for farming, but they change, modernizing and mechanizing agriculture, which then requires lots of oil. Then post 1992 they can’t get oil, tractor parts etc. and thus the agricultural system collapses, so in 1993, there is no harvest. Then a human disaster takes place. Is this a modernization problem or other problem?
All people are mobilized to go to the countryside to work. Many of the NGO’s from Europe have the same idea as me. They don’t blame the political regime. This problem is not due to the regime, but other reasons. This is my opinion, and may not be welcomed by all.
Next, Dr. Chantara
I have more assumptions than answers when talk,ing about Human Security. I will start by picking up from the last graduate summer seminar in Waseda. People are asking about establishing an Asian Community and there is a tendency for us to discuss about another type of community.
The term “Human community” keeps re-appearing and I think that to move in that direction, we have to transform the security agenda by transcending traditional security.
I am saying this with the inference of what happened in Thailand. Thailand has established a new ministry 3-4 years ago called the Ministry of Development and Human Security. But they have no idea what they are doing. Then soon after there was a coup. Is the democratic process reversing? Many in Thailand say that it was a good coup, a coup for Human Security, to avoid political violence.
There are limits in the arguments of traditional security in understanding the lives of our peoples today.
I am also disturbed by the argument for “National Interest” that is used in discussions of Human Security. Protests against dams, coal-fired power-plants, illegal immigration, demands to reveal the truth of Avian flu are all stopped due to National Interest.
I believe that what people in Thailand are tying to argue is that their security is not the same as National Security and that their security is an important part of National Security. If we are going to proceed, we can’t assume that term Human Security is well understand and well-adopted. In Thailand there is a structure in the ministry but you can’t…
First and foremost we must transcend the concept of traditional security. The International Relation Scholars at Chulangkorn Uni don’t recognize the term Human Security.
The role of the think-tank: To transcend traditional security we have to unblock thinking on National Security. Often cannot respond to the people’s aspirations, but obstructs them. Maybe Asia is not integrated due to traditional security itself? Problems are more and more common ones (avian flu, climate change, migrant workers) but can’t transcend national boundaries.
This we-they dichotomy prevents solutions.
We must emphasize that talking about Human Security is not threat to National security, that they are the same. Who defines security? We must have a broader platform so everyone takes responsibility for helping.
Thankyou. These views were rather general, but as from Thailand, are there any questions regarding Human Security in Thailand?
Q1 Regarding the security, there are people asserting their rights who have been assassinated or arrested. Protests against globalization, the FTA and others have been staged. In bringing MNC’s into local communities, small peasants and small-property owners, activists who speak on their behalf, is there much political killing of these activities, as in the Philippines.
Q2 Also, there are many FTA’s in these areas. Wwhat groups are most active in this area to protect the interests of farmers regarding the FTA.
Q3 Also within the Japan-Thai FTA, this agreement includes for the exporting of industrial waste to Thailand. Are you aware of this?
Among the recent social movements and civic organizations, the FTA Watch is one of the most active, receiving a lot of support from the general public. Not organizing mass protest, but froming a kind of provisional NGO, focused on knowledge. The FTA Watch, is an umbrella NGO. This interim government agreed to deal with Japan, In the previous Thaksin government, the FTA deal was done in Cabinet, but now the new government seeks some legitimacy by having the issue debated in the legislative council, a debate but no real influence on the decision of the cabinet. The public are concerned with the waste issue and this is one of the causes of the strong opposition, but with the limited political space, there is not much that can be done. We can’t hope for success.
Regarding political killing, during the Thaksin period, under the anti-drug policy there was a lot of extra-judicial killings. This policy is meant to protect people, but resulted in 2,500 extra-judicial killings. During this period, a lot of activists disappeared. In the South of Thailand, the problem of justice is still problematic as there is no rule of law. The state is meant to protect law but instead they abuse it. These actions have agitated many.
I would like to bring up one concept we have not discussed so far, which is democracy.
I don’t support the coup, but at the same time, there is a lot of discussion of the nature of democracy in Thailand. Specifically, the growing monetization of politics under Thaksin, which clearly did not create a representational system which is just. When we talk about Human Security, human rights and peopl’s rights, I’d like to press you on that point, you’ve been talking about this. We looked to Thailand as a model for creating a more democratic system and for a while it was impressive, but at the same time there was increasing worries about Thaksin’s system which abused democracy. In the context of Thailand, how would you discuss a truly democratic system which supports people’s rights?
This is the crux of the debate. The thinking on this by scholars and democratic activist is divided. Should military come in and make democracy good if there is a problem? Thaksin and the military coup are both equally bad. But I think that the coup is not the answer is that now the people do not learn. As the end drew nigh for the Thaksin regime, he lost legitimacy. People need to be more patient. They needed to learn what was wrong with Thaksin and we cannot demonize the ordinary people who supported Thaksin. They need to see what was wrong for themselves. He was only in government for 6 years. At the end of the Thaksin regime, there was momentum building to show to the ordinary people how bad the regime was but now that has been interrupted. I don’t trust that elections are always fair and free, but that doesn’t mean that we should take opposite path.
Thankyou. The debate is very important. Please.
I have often been to Thailand, traveling all over the country. At the time of the coup, the ordinary people were very welcoming to this political accident. The ordinary people were welcoming. So whatever we want, we can’t oppose the will of the people. If we just rely on our democratic law system, it is good for us middle-class, but for the ordinary people, what is their lives, represented by whom? By us? This time, the Thai case is very important for all of us. Please give us more information about the NGO’s and intellectuals.
Naturally after a coup, most people are not going to oppose it. The coup is not accepted worldwide, so the military have to walk a thin line, they cannot be so repressive, they had to be soft unlike before. If they had killed anyone, there would have been an uprising. A lot of rural people did not appreciate the interruption of Thaksin’s populist policy, but this has not been shown as the government dominates the media.
Let us have 10 minutes break, but first I would like to introduce Mr Saburo Takizawa from the UNHCR. Actually we were in school together at Grad school.
May we resume the session? So we still have 5 presenters. And we only have 1 hour left, so 5 minutes each. I would say that is unfair. Or maybe we continue until 6 o’clock, ok? Dr. Kimbeng Phar, I gave you 5 to 10 minutes, would that be ok?
Sure. I think 5 minutes is more than enough. Basically my paper is a historical rendition of the kind of networking and intellectual activities that have been going on in the region for the last 100 years. So I hope I could use 5 minutes to talk about what we have done in the last century. All in all, networking has been the cardinal feature in Asian International Relations since the early part of the 20th century. In and around 1924, for instance, there was this Institute of Public Relations. And this institute or what is known as IPR functioned as a key entity in New York, to try to facilitate all sorts of exchanges and dialogs between policy makers, leaders in Asia and across the Pacific. Most parts of Asia were controlled by different empires, but nonetheless the IPR served as the platform where dialogs and exchanges were held, and this was clearly articulated or recorded in the works of Professor Laurence Wood, a Canadian. Now if we were to look at events over the last 10 years for instance, we will come to the conclusion that, again, intellectuals and academics have played a very prominent and significant role in concretizing the concept of East Asia, or trying to bring about the East Asia Community. In 1994 for instance, ASEAN track II network or the Council for Security and Cooperation in Asia-Pacific and also ASEAN ISIS, which is a combination of more than 10 think tanks throughout the region, created the idea for ASEAN Regional Forum. And in 2005, there was an East Asian Submit in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, which again was one of the ideas articulated and adopted from one of the provisions and recommendations of the East Asian Vision group. So by and large, intellectuals and academics have had a tremendous impact and presence on the creation of East Asian Community or East Asian Submit, whichever way you prefer to look at it. So the point that I wish to make is that something as innocent as what we are doing right now, can actually crystallize or become more important in the future, if we were to look at the intellectual tradition that has evolved before us. Now if we were to look at East Asian Economic Cooperation specifically, we also can refer to the efforts of Dr. Saburo Okita, for instance in forming Pacific Trade and Development Conference (PAFTAD), which is a economic organization that tries to ensure open regionalism in the region in the 1960s. Or later on, we have PBEC, the Pacific Basin Economic Council, which has its headquarters in Japan Institute of International Affairs. And because of the efforts of PBEC, eventually APEC was formed in 1989. So if you look at all these activities, all these think tanking and so on and so forth, you could come to a conclusion that whenever a network or think tank, or an eminent council has been formed, it will eventually evolve into something concrete, something that can be endorsed by the government. The reason for this kind of concretization and institutionalization to some extent is because most of the intellectuals and academics work within the intellectual orbit of the government. In other words, they usually speak or articulate positions or policy that are in line or in compliance with what the government has in mind. Now there is also a kind of weakness of the kind of think tanking or the kind of networking in the region for the last 30 or 40 years. We are so addicted to networking, especially networking among semi-governmental think tanks, that we have overlooked the importance of having formal functioning legal institutions. So Asian integration has proceeded along the factal lines because most of the networks and think tanks have not seen the benefit of trying to create something that are larger than themselves. The weakness is very prominent if we were to consider what Europe has achieved. That doesn’t mean that Asian integration is far inferior than what has occurred in Europe. For instance if we were to look at track II processes in Europe we will see that whereas they have gone ahead to institutionalize the different processes, Asian countries haven’t really done that. The track II process in Europe for instance began with the Helsinki dialog in 1975, which paved the way for the creation of the Council for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). And after the end of the cold war, CSCE was transformed into OSCE. Nothing of the sort has occurred in Asia. So we have to be mindful that even though our networks are very strong, with ASEAN Regional Forum, East Asian Submit, but by and large these are still organizations or entities that are very reliant on the networks provided by intellectuals. So we have to make a choice whether we want to make the process more institutionalized in future or not. Now in the case of Japan for instance, Japan has played a tremendously important role in fostering regional integration. The Japanese Institute of International Affairs, for instance is closely associated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The institute of Economic Development in Chiba for instance is also very close to one of the ministries, Ministry of Industry and Trade. And we also have the Research Institute for Economy Trade and Investment so on and so forth. All three institutes have played very importance roles in fostering economic cooperation, which Professor Amako referred to as functionalism. Now in security and defense issue on the other hand, aside from GIA, you also have the National Institute of Defense Studies (NIDS). Japan has allowed all these think tanks to articulate and echo the ideas of Japanese foreign policy so that other countries can understand Japan in a more intimate light. Now in spite of all these networking that has been going on in the last 30 to 40 years, there are still certain basic structural problems that have not been resolved, by virtue of the security structure that has been laid on the whole region. By and large, the security of the region is still very much reliant on the US-Japan security relationship. And as a result of that security relationship, it creates a permanent sense of insecurity to China, because China is never completely certain whether US and Japan might gang up on her or not. So as a result of the military alliances that are still in the region, regardless of what the networks are trying to achieve, there is still a limit to what they can advance. Hence, even when we are speaking about human security, other concepts of security are still very prominent in the security discourse. National security is still important, therefore, traditional security has to be discussed together with non-traditional security. So basically that is all I wish to see in the light of the fact that we don’t have much time. Thank you.
Anyone who cares to comment? And Professor Nagamura, as to the institutionalization and the comparison with Europe, is there any comment if you can? Could you share with us your ideas?
I will be very brief in my comments. In the case of Europe, EU law is my specialty. So in the case of EU, there are the laws for security. And Council of Europe is related to the security issue, and also NATO and OCSC. So there is the kind of multiplex system. As far as Asia is concerned in solving issue in a multiplex manner, I think it will be conducive and provide more information to us. Another thing is that, there is the common rule, common value, and the actual institutionalization in Europe. In the case of Asia, making of the institution is done first and the concept is brought in later on, and vise versa off course. So in the institutionalization, I don’t think we should copy all in Europe. And lastly, in the case of Europe, the court has an important part to play. What is not delivered in the treaty or agreement needs to be interpreted. Having a court provides additional function as we can see from what is going on in Europe.
Thank you very much for sharing with us very important insight. Yes, Professor Yamada.
Again I will be very brief. I think one keyword is Islam. In the case of EU, basically all countries were based on Christianity. In the case of Asia however, in the area of religion or values, there are Islamic countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. If we succeed in this endeavor, this could become a model for peace, so this is a very ambitious endeavor in creating the community. And I wonder, Dr. Phar, do you see any possibility or do you see any problems with respect to this religious aspect.
Do you wish to respond to that?
That is a very difficulty question. But overall I do not see problem because by and large the kind of integration that is happening in the region is driven by functionalism. To the extent that even though Islam may be in the region, it will not come into the picture. But once East Asian Submit becomes East Asian Community, or when the legal and political weight of that region becomes more concrete, then East Asian as a Community may be required to speak in international forum like UN Security Council, and as we all know, Islam will be a very key issue of conflict. So at that stage, East Asia may come into conflict with Western powers, because then they have to reconcile the views and values of the Muslim membership in East Asia. Until we reach the stage, I don’t see that conflict yet.
Thank you. Let us move on. Professor Ako, time is very tight and 5 minutes is your target. And the following speaker would be Professor Sun Ge.
Thank you. I am from Himeji Tokyo University. My name is Ago. My major is Contemporary China Studies. And I think I am lest experienced and most probably the youngest among all of us here, as least appearance-wise. China is my area of expertise, so I don’t know much about South East Asia as a whole. And Human Security itself is not an expertise of myself either. But for the last several years, for quite some time, I have been involved in rural development and also projects in reducing poverty and women issues. And I will be speaking in more details tomorrow, but one thing I am keenly interested recently is poverty reduction, human security and what you can establish in terms of hard infrastructure. And off course it is important that we protect people from the physical aspect of threat. So my interest recently is more about this intangible area, this morning we talked about Aids, forest reduction, and child exploitation, pornography, prostitution. Going to looking at rural areas in China, the problem is not funding. The problem is whether people there are willing to be involved and engaged in changing the situation. Especially in China, funding and labor are all concentrated in urban areas. So women, the elderly and children are left in rural areas, and you see families become dysfunctional. Families are disintegrating and social infrastructure, social capital in rural areas are becoming dysfunctional. The traditional value system of helping each other is disappearing. Nuclearization is a term my colleagues in China use. That is that people are becoming more monetized in pursuing monetary values, but there is less interest in working together to address bigger social issues. For example, the water system would not be very effective if each family tries to address that individually. Indeed, if each family tries to drill a well, it would be more costly and inefficient. And yet one village I’m working with is not trying to work together. Until yesterday I was in Anhui Province, and I found in a village, the elderly are committing suicides. This is my first visit to Anhui for the past 10 years. It is a bit different from Hunan province. I was surprised to hear that in both provinces, there were high suicide rates amongst the elderly. It is not the case of poverty. In China, generational change is very rapid, so there is a big generational gap in terms of their thinking. For example, the elderly today believes that their eldest son should take care of them. One elderly women I know committed suicide by cutting herself, and she had 4 sons. The 4 sons were taking care of her but the eldest son was not very cooperative. For example within 31 days in a month, there was an argument among the sons as to who will take care of her on particular days. And this was a humiliating experience for this woman who had traditional values. It was believed that she committed suicide because she could not live with that. I was also told of similar stories in Hunan Province. I was told that some people will commit suicide because they did not want to be a burden to their children. In other words, the traditional values are hollowing out. What has been accumulated over the years are now disappering. Yet new values and new systems are not taking place, as what is mentioned this morning. I was studying very microscopic areas, and when it comes to community building in Asia, I am talking about small communities here. By accumulating these cases, maybe we could come up with a more common concept of community building in Asia.
Thank you very much for being very brief and I think your message was very clear. Most probably in China, rural areas are changing very drastically and there are some instability taking place. Human security being threatened there. I wonder anyone care to comment or question. Professor Wen?
I think there is a very clear picture that shows differences among different provinces. In most of the coastal provinces there is no problem because anybody who has problem can be subsidized immediately by local governments since they have enough government revenue. But mid-China and west-China are very different.
Again, that was very convincing because it was really based on reality.
2 weeks ago, I was in one province and all together I visited 9 provinces. Again there were some social issues there. But once the community is built, their issues could be resolved. This is about the 9 villages I visited in Shanxi province. I will share with you some of the specific examples. Thank you.
Moving on. Professor Sun Ge. Also, 5 minutes.
I will be very straight forward and just point to the issues. First, could human security become a common terminology amongst us? I think it can. And I think we were very clear in choosing this word, but there are some conditions I would like to make. One is that we should not make this a keyword, rather, it should be a perspective we use to look at issues. It should not become a buzzword or keyword. I say this because I think Professor Wu pointed to a very important point, that in China, not only the government, but even among the private sector human security is not a keyword. And I think Professor Wang agreed to this. Sometimes it could be risky as it was said. And from the way I see it, it has not yet being established as a keyword in China. There are various reasons for that. Number 1 is the human rights issue, which is a very sensitive issue. And so the question is how we are to address this taboo. In response to provocation from the US, China always has to respond. And as a result the human rights issues, including human security issues have being dwarfed. Many intellectuals in China are not avoiding this because they fear but because they have seen that this would really dwarf the real issue, and that is the reason why they choose to ignore this phase. Another reason is that the security issue in the light of reality in China does not sound too relevant. Let’s say in a peace discussion, not to engage in war can be considered a security issue, and therefore it will not be considered a priority concern in China. Then how can we use this term to link this to the target audience? So my proposition is not to use this as a keyword, but first look at the unstable factors in China and also address where the shortfalls are? For example, this morning, we looked at this case of Aids, and this is a issue that is close to our heart, and yet there are more risky issues that are invisible, and that is the modernization in China. For example, Professor Wen and Professor Wu, are both intellectuals and activists from the way I see it. And maybe they are not starting but they are in fact advocating social movements. And they are sending out the message that should the modernization in China continues as is, it would be dangerous. Not only that, what Professor Wen said in the morning contains something very important. He used the word capitalism, but I think we can replace that word with modernism. If modernism continues at this current rate, it could destroy peace. And you cannot present that as an imminent issue in China, plus this modernism system is so incomplete and vulnerable. I would like to answer the question raised by Professor Gomez to Professor Wen myself. The ideology that counters neo-liberalism is the ideology that will clarify the ills of modernism. For example, last year I was in the US. At that time it was so happened that the US government was criticizing Iran, and the general public did not support that initially. Then the oil prices soared and the majority of the people in the US changed their mind and began to support war against Iran. And now in China, lots of cars are being sold and lots of oil is being consumed. Most people don’t think about the way oil is being consumed and its relevance to peace. Whereas, the Americans are thinking about that in relation to the Iraqi war and the possible Iranian war. And the American modernism is a model in all Asian countries. People aspire to be the next America. And in the mean time, poverty, environment is being discussed. But we are faced with the same dilemma. So how can we elucidate that through our discourse. I think that is the real significance of human security. If I may add to conclude, the current situation in China is in the way that I see it, while setting aside the keywords currently, it would be a good gateway if we consider what the people’s concerns are and what they are sensitive or insensitive about when we view China.
I think that was a profound intervention. So I am not sure where we should extrapolate on the discussions. Are there any volunteers perhaps to start off with? Dr. Kuroda is not being given a presentation intervention opportunity.
I would lose the opportunity of saying anything if I did not present my views here. For human security in a Japanese context, unfortunately what I have heard is mostly stated in terms of the ministry of foreign affairs jargons. And domestically ministries are bureaucracies which are the Ministry of International Affairs as well as Ministry of Finance, who have not discussed the concept of human security at all, which is to imply that there are 2 dimensions in the political domestic bureaucratic spheres. International migrant workers as well as prostitution do exist domestically in Japan. But I have become aware that we should also work towards human security within Japan or within the Japanese society. I think we should fully reflect how we could globalize the concept of human security. We have so far discussed it in Asian context and terms. United States has its concept or perception, which is more or less pressing or perhaps as to impose human security in other parts of the world. I think the protocol of rules in terms of addressing human security needs to be well established. China has increased its presence in Africa and Asia as a donor. Also, in Thailand and Myanmar, all the Indochina countries, China is a dominant donor, and those countries are also emerging as providers of assistance. So we need to set a firm base or platform for discussion. By sharing a common concept, we should discuss and define human security and how it should be adopted to the Asian context, which I believe is related to the profound ideas by Professor Sun. Off course I have much more to say, on how universities can take a more active role, but I would like to close here.
That was a good closing I suppose, to perhaps continue on the discussions whenever we have time. I think there were 2 key points that were addressed in his views. On this symposium in setting keywords we discussed a number of options and we believe that human security would be the major keyword on the watch that we should address. If human rights were the theme of this conference I think it may be met with huge resistance maybe not in terms of people around us but in terms of China the country as a whole, or at least to some extent. And human security has various implications as being convenient because it does carry a number of connotations, so we chose it as a keyword for the conference. And as far as my understanding, China is more receptive to human security, perhaps not as a keyword but as an angle or view point. It is not necessarily not accepted in China but it is regarded as not substantial in terms of the implications and significance the word carries, so we may need to add to the substance of human security or the definitions under which we are addressing it.
I will keep it short, thank you. Let me start by thanking Professor Amako for this invitation. On behalf of Malaysian academics, let me say this quite clearly, human security is not part of the language used by academics in Malaysia. It has not grained any ground on reasons we shall come to later. But at this point let me also say that the concept of human security is also not a concept that we see prevalent among NGOs, those who promote human rights. Nor is it at all prevalent in at discussions in the media. Now the reason for this is that the dominant discourse in the country on issues pertaining to rights is defined by the state and we live in an authoritarian state. Democracy has not come to Malaysia even though we have had Reformasi, which stopped in Indonesia unfortunately. And one outcome of the nature of the state being authoritarian is that it has significant control over the media. The other aspect about authoritarian state is that rather oppressive laws are in place, which can be open to abuse, including the Internal Security Act which allows for detention without trial. This inevitably has permitted down to academia. We do not, as Mr Phar pointed out earlier, have a free and open academic climate which allows for discourse of human rights in a open and free manner. I would like to draw my attention primarily to the agenda for this meeting. I have made it a point to attend this meeting because I like this idea of creating networks to bring together academics to really grapple with this concept of human security. Define it appropriately and then try to create research projects which are more comparative in dimension. The reason I am saying this is that most of the research we find today focuses on the state, on institutions that are easily researched, such as political parties, or social movements, or mechanisms of governments that have lateral patterns. Unfortunately there has been very little research on what is really transpiring within society. And the fact of the matter is significant and profound changes are occurring in Southeast Asian societies which are not being captured anywhere in the literatures I have seen so far. Let me give you some examples of some of these problems we face very concretely. First, the rise of religious fundamentalism. Now a lot of talk has been focused on Islam and unfortunately again this kind of talk is coming from the West. What we do not recognize is that there is a heterogeneity of beliefs among all Muslims. Similarly as much as there are fundamental Islam and reactionary groups among Muslims, there are also fundamentalism groups among Christians. And I would argue that we have fundamentalist groups in America which have captured control of the state and put a president there who is actually a fundamentalist in many ways. But let me also say this, we see fundamentalist in Hinduism also. Look at South Asia, the rise of BJP, and what has happened there. So the rising of religious groups and the impact it is having on society is extremely divisive. But there has been no research whatsoever on how society itself views the rise of these groups; why these groups have emerged, and why they do have some support within society. That is one major area of research. The second major area of research which I would like to draw attention to is this idea of race relations, and the declining race relation in Southeast Asia, especially in our Malaysia. The argument that is being propounded is that we need an authoritarian state because race relations is very bad among members of society. My argument is actually the opposite. The problems in society pertaining to declining race relations is coming from within the state. It is coming from patterns of political mobilization, patterns of political discourse, which are again dominated by the state. I would actually argue that profound changes have occurred in the society where there is growing inter-linkages between different ethnic communities. I would even argue that there is probably even a rise of what I would call national identity, a profound sense of national identity among all communities, regardless of the ethnic background. Again this would only remain at the level of perception unless we have serious research going on at that level. The third issue which I think is a serous problem is the youth problem as we call it. The UN report has indicated that half of the world population is below the age of 25. That is marker of the extent of the number of youth we have, and we have also seen problems rising among youth the world over. In Malaysia, problems among youth seem to be from the dominant majority ? the Malay Community. There are a lot of problems and protests emerging because of social problems that have emerged. Interesting enough, in the West, if you look at what happened in the UK, or recently in Australia or for that matter in France, problems among youth are emerging from the minorities. But the fact remains that we have not done any research on why there seems to be this emerging social problems among the youth. I would like to argue that this concept of generational change is something that we need to look at in greater depth to try to understand some of these changes that are occurring in society. So in brief these are some of the major problems I think not just in Malaysia or Southeast Asia, but the world over. And I would argue that what we would require from such a meeting is the intellectual leadership. As mentioned earlier, what we need to create is not only the networks but also the institutionalization of these networks, where we actually come together and start to define our research agenda and focus on these issue, where we grapple with these research concepts. And I would like to stress this point: promote comparative research. I find that much of our research are far too insular. We tend to think only in terms of East Asia or Southeast Asia and even neglect South Asia and the rest of the world. And yet the problems that seem to be emanating are rather similar. And we seem to think along very divided lines that these problems are only unique to one region when they are not. So my first recommendation is that I would argue that this kind of institutionalization of research networks should be promoted, in promoting a new research agenda, grooming a new generation of young scholars, who would take this research forward, and go down to the grassroots to create new data which will help us realize what are these changes that are going on in society. The second thing which I would like to suggest is also the need for greater dissemination of this research. We have a serious problem that as much as we produce in our research, we don’t seem to be able to articulate our ideas in terms of outreach to people and to governments. I am not making the argument of staying away from the state. In fact, I really like the argument that we should try to create links with the state and influence the state, to show them the outcome of these research and to point to the kind of changes that are happening, because I do believe there is a great problem between state and society. State seems to be totally detached from society and seems to be unaware of it. And therefore policy recommendations that are coming hardly reflect the need of what really is required of society. Let me end there on that note. I hope this discussion on institutionalizing this network will be taken forward.
Thank you very much. Professor Gomez, from a different perspective you have taken up the issue of making the community network and the importance of institutionalizing. If I may add, we are preparing this logo to be put on the Asia Human Community homepage. We are trying to prepare this homepage and this will be, in terms of institutionalization, one part of the effort.
Usually in a country where the atmosphere is extremely polarized, in other words when there is a lot of disharmony, confusion, incoherence, even instability in that country, they normally look to the UN for leadership. So since you mentioned the importance of the need for intellectual leadership and institutionalization of research network, why can’t we look to the United Nations Institute of Social Research which you are now heading for some kind of leadership.
I am very happy that suggestion has been made because I would like to offer the possibility. I am creating research projects which actually involve some of the issues that we have discussed here, for example on religion and the comparative study of religion and the impact it has on different societies. I am promoting in greater depth the study on the youth and the concept of generational change. And I take you point that the UN can be an institution and at least we are independent and UN is a voice that the states will listen to. But at the same time I also feel that do not abdicate responsibility all towards the UN. Let us cooperate and find out how when creating and institutionalizing institutions, we can create networks which reach out to NGOs, reach out to UN and make it more vibrant.
I have a question. Is it different as an intellectual to speak in the country and outside the country, which means that those things you don’t speak in the country can be done outside at a forum or community level?
I think there are a small group of intellectuals in Malaysia who have spoken openly whether in or out of the country. I think what the government has done is it has raised a big stick to create an element of fear and it is the fear that is stopping people. I have spoken at length and published at length in Malaysia and I have never been threatened by the state. So I want to make this point that what we need to create is this atmosphere where we can actually encourage intellectual discourse, bringing out people and creating avenues for dialog, overcoming this idea of fear of the authoritarian state. Off course I am only speaking in the context of Malaysia, not other countries.
To me I feel that scholars and intellectuals should also be social activists because where do your ideas come from? Come from issues and people at the grassroots. So that is why I think being social activists is vital to whatever we want to do. Then it means that you can speak in your own country and outside in the same language. This is one thing and another is that we have to guard against double standard. When we look at issues of other countries we do want to say, but when we look at our own, we don't; we keep silent. So that is why I think we have to avoid double standard. That is the second thing and another thing is that I think each person has his or her own attitude towards something. I think it is more important for us to talk about the concrete things, instead of very flowery things that we cannot pin down. Speak something very specific using the term human security. We have to come down to the actual issues that concern people that we serve. These are some of the things that I think are important. But this is not what I am going to say in the next 5 minutes.
Off course I find all the discussions very fascinating, but just as a precaution of what is being said here. Coming from the UN myself, plus here is almost like a family discussion of UN organizations, but largely, look at what human security concept came from; it was from human development. After 60 years age of UN, it has seen better days as an institution. And I feel that these counterpart initiative outside of the UN like this one could offer fresher perspectives. We could actually have a cross fertilization process for the UN. UN is full of bureaucrats as well and not all of them are activists. Not all those outside of UN are activities either. This realization brings me to support Asian Human Community. And maintaining that open dialog with UN would be a key in terms of influencing power if you like. Sometimes translating ideas into reality would require some sort of analysis that bring concept to realities. That being said, we also need to come up with and use arguments that are used by communities like the UN. Through that we hope we find harmony in our struggles. Thank you.
I would be short in my comment.
MS Ueki is an expert on security issues and ever since April, she has been a colleague at Waseda University.
Actually to myself these national security and human security issues are not separated. They are connected, I would say. I agree to Professor Wu Qing that we should not have double standard. And particularly in the case of state security or in the ministerial activities, a certain democratic process if found in a certain country, then individuals would think that there is dissipation between state security and individual security. They should be together but if there is no institutionalization, obviously there need to be processes being created. The thinking that national security is for state security and not for the individual human security is not so because human is the center of the issue. I have been dwelling on this issue in the past and today. Individual lives tend to be instantly devastated, and I think we should take this perspective. Actually this is my shortcoming but we need to take that into consideration as well.
Yes, I think Professor Yi Kiho would be linking these perspectives. I think it is a new perspective. So may we ask Professor Yi Kiho to give your presentation?
I am Yi Kiho from Korea. One point is that I have to be very quick. I have made preparations so I would like to briefly talk to you on this. From the Korean perspective, let me say this, 2007 is the year 20 years away from when the democratic movement in Korea started in 1987. This year we would be having a presidential election. The issue now is as Wen mentioned, China as far as ideology is concerned, is somewhat far away from that. But in Korea, the concept between progressive and conservative is very heated. When you look at it however, it does not have any context as well. There is not much to say. So from 1987, already 20 years history in which we have had democracy, how we have changed? When there is a talk of democracy in Korea, it is something that we have to catch. But after democratization in 1987, the energy was lost for activity. So there is a question of where does the energy for democratization came? There is the debate between the right and the left. The point is how to look at North Korea and how to look at US, those are the major two points. Other than that, when it comes to human security issues, and also the structuring constructing the state, and the hope to promote democracy, we need to have further discussion. In the 20 years time, when we look at democracy in Korea, one is that there is an intellectual issue. I am in agreement with Professor Wen, but what intellectuals did since 1987? There has been legitimacy issue, the democracy issue and public intellectuals were there. Recently we see client intellectuals. I think there is a transformation these days. When we say client, somewhat like a lawyer, the client pays. And when there is payment, there will be the acquirement of the intellectual intelligence. There is an increase in these clients these days. The role of intellectuals should be questioned. That is one thing. Secondly, I think we have heard from Professor Sun Ge that in the modern era, there are the tsunami, Aids issue, SARS issue. The question is where these crisis come from. Are they natural disasters or man made? So the disaster may have had a birth in the modern era, whereas there are disaster that is somewhat discrepant in the overall Asian perspective. So I think we look at this issue. Thirdly, we often hear of this East Asia, but I think it can be widened further. As far as intellectuals and politicians are concerned, Asian region may be a kind of difficult thing. But I would say that East Asian policy is being taken these days. How to take up this in our discourse and how to share it and how to clarify the words to go through that would be an important thing. I still have a lot to say, but in the interest of time, lastly I would add one more. I was thinking about modernization, and I realize that under the oriental thinking in Korea, China or Japan, people think that you are reborn at the ago of 60. In North Korea and South Korea, actually the 2 countries are celebrating their 60th anniversary next year. And I think similar things will happen in China as well. So when we talk about human security, including the actors, the citizens, and the NGOS, nation state should also be involved. So nation state needs to be changed. Unless you have that kind of philosophy or vision, you cannot change the state, as was the case in Korea 20 years ago in democratization movement. In that sense, when we talk about modern state or nation state, they are linked with national security or economic development to become even stronger as a state. But maybe we can think about softer state, softer nation, like peace state or green state, so that the state itself can change, due to the power on the part of the citizens and I think that can change Asia. My proposal is that not to remove the concept of state in our discourse, but rather think about intellectuals, about state, citizens, everything together. In the final analysis, I think there have been lots of wars in East Asia. For example, Japan and South Korea have been friendly but in 1998, when Mr. Obuchi and President Kim Dae Jung met, it stalled the cultural cooperation between the two. It is a very recent movement, which means we need to look back on our past history. But when we look at the history we find that there have been lots of conflicts. But I am hoping that we can come up with a common shared memory for the future. Our past memories have not been very favorable. I am talking about a more positive memory into the future. When we look at Asia, it has been pointed out earlier that we are seeing more Aids cases because of the collapse of the traditional communities, but maybe we can think of local communities, local governments, and local authorities. So I am hoping that we can look at the past and we can create the future together.
Thank you. You know when you ask speakers to be brief, their issues become crystallizing clear. So maybe I should have imposed this time constraint from the beginning. Thank you very much for sharing with us some new perspectives. I wonder if anyone has any comments or questions.
Why human security as a concept has not progressed as fast as we wanted to be. I think it transpires in this discussion at least. One is that conventional security affirms the state, while human security challenges the state. It actually brings security down to the level of human. The establishment of human security discourse among us are running the risk of creating an undercurrent subversive discussion against the state. This feels like the human rights discourse in 60s in Southeast Asia, where intellectuals are talking behind the doors and talking about this idea and from the outside we are actually pretty scared. We wouldn't call it human right. We call it peasant movement, the rights for clean water or something, but we avoid the term human rights. Maybe we are at a junction now. There are states that adopt human rights and human security but that is at the level of the name like in Thailand which we witness today. So maybe the challenge for all of us is to break it down to, as Wu Qing said, what matters to people's lives. Now we call it differently, maybe in time it will be solely defined into some other concept. Thank you.
Well, thank you very much. So Professor Wu Qing, please.
Thank you and I know we don't have time at all. I would like to take this opportunity to thank people who have been helping you to organize this meeting as well as all the interpreters there. I think we need to give them an applause. That is one. Another thing is that I am a gender person. If you look at this logo, you don't see women there. Because I think it take both men and women to work together. And you need to have the voices of women. Like this time, we don't have enough women. I would like to address this problem like human security. I became a Canadian International Development Agency's gender specialist in 1989. And then when I went to the rural areas to look at the economic development, I found that there was great disparity between men and women, between rural and urban, between the coastal regions and the western part of China. And I found that citizen rights have been neglected and ignored. At that time, I used citizen rights, that is to say the rights of every single person. And then I see that a government can be human security provider as well as threat. It is a double edged sword, like our government before the fall of the Gang of Four. So that is why I said that I am a survivor of the system itself because we did not have the rule of law. Though we had the first constitution in 1954, but then between 1956 and 1976, it was not being implemented. People, even our president Liu Shaoqi held the constitution in his hand, saying that you cannot do it. People just ignored him. So I think the rule of law is fundamental. In 2004, China made improvement in words. We added 2 very important concepts and paragraphs. 1st is that the state respects and protects human rights, officially being added to article 33. And then in Article 11, it was added that the state protects private property. Though it does not have the word sacred in front of private property for individuals, yet there is a sacred for state property. So it means that there is still room for improvement. To me, I feel that terms are sometimes very abstract like I said just now. I want something very concrete. I mean the right to life, the right to education, the right to employment, the right to clean water and a lot of rights, but then I think most importantly you have to go down and look at some of the things that are very concrete and that can be associated with the people there. Because you need movements to change things. Like Professor Yi Kiho said, you need the momentum to push every single person, especially the government. Like for the Chinese government, I think it has become more responsive after the students' movement in 1989, because it got scared. People could do a lot of things. So they have been changing. But what I want to stress is that each one of us in this room should be a responsible global citizen. You have to go beyond your country, beyond the oceans and mountains. You have to think things in terms of the humanity as a whole. That is why I think love should be the center of everything, because when you have love you have everything. Then off course sharing, sharing information, sharing things not because you have enough. Even when you do not have enough, you share. That is why I think we all need to change our own mindsets. We are here not because we are scholars, intellectuals, and we use the terms when we discuss things. We are here because we want to make this world, or Asia a better place. I have been to so many women's conferences. The Latin American women will come together and sing together and talk about common issues. And then the African women would come together, but not us. Why? Because we have been colonies of different countries and we have been split up by those people. And yet, we are rich, in terms of religion. We have everything here. But if we could make a step further, to talk about common issues without any reserve and try to build trust. We have to trust each other. I think trust is important. Respect, on equal footing and that is why when I saw Hu Jingtao visited a country that has only about 50000 people, I thought that is very important, regardless of its size. They are human beings. They are like us. We should not look down on small countries. What do you mean by small? They are human beings. So I think we have to walk our talk. It is important to do what you say. So walking your talk is something I would like to end my presentation with.
Thank you so much. I made the right decision in asking Professor Wu to speak at last. I think it was a nice way to end this workshop, thank you so much. But after that very nice closing remark I would like to ask my colleague, my friend to say a few words. He has just been appointed as Japan’s representative of UNHCR. I believe that as we address this issue of human security, his role in Japan will become even greater. His name is Saburo Takizawa. He is a special guest today, so I would like to ask him to share with us his observations for just two three minutes, English or Japanese.
I will speak in Japanese. Everyone speaks fluent Japanese here. I was here for only the last one hour, but I cannot stop but to say a few words. I went through the papers, they are well written and there are so many things related to UNSCR. I was deeply impressed. Let me speak in relation to UNHCR or refugees to be more specific. The refugee issue in Asia is as bad as Africa, which may not be the common perception. Most people believe that refugees are in Africa, but in terms of number of refugees they are about the same both in Asia and Africa. Why? There are human rights issues in their home countries, and many people left their home countries because of this. In the case of Africa, it is mostly related to conflicts. But in the case of Asia, there are many refugees as a result of human rights violations, hundreds of thousands all together. And another issue which is little known is that we have the Refugees’ Convention of 1951, and there are many countries in Asia that have not yet rectified this convention, which is not the case in Africa, which is something that very few people are aware of. This is a unique Asian issue. Why is that? Authoritarian governments existing in Asia, prohibited the discourse of human rights publicly and therefore this has prevented the rectification of Human Rights Conventions. Compare to Europe, Africa and Latin America, Asia is lagging behind. So we do have serious issues here in Asia. In other words, for refugees, they had to leave their own countries because human security was not provided at their home country. And in the countries they fled into, again human security is not provided, so they are doubly jeopardized, which is a reflection to the fact that human security is not provided in Asia as a region. UNHCR is trying to address this issue and we believe that academia has a great role to play in this endeavor. Off course we are negotiating with each government in our operation. Intellectuals, scholars, professors should form a network to address the internally displaced persons as well as refugees. The number of internally displaced persons is larger than that of refugees. And off course these networks will really help our operations at UNHCR. Reading your papers I was truly encouraged to see that there are so many good friends and supporters of our activities at UNHCR. So I would like to ask for your continued support. I am afraid my Japanese was not very clear, but well thank you very much.
Thank you Mr. Takizawa. I think he asked us to be more supportive to UNHCR, but he also indicated that we could take advantage of UNHCR. He said that academia has a great role to play, but I don’t think he consider me a member of the academia, just for your information.
Well, friends, colleagues, thank you very much for your input. I think we have been able to have a very fruitful, informative and insightful discussion, and I need to recap. But I think I cannot do that right here. I think you all are exhausted after a full day of discussion. So I am going to go over what was discussed today tonight after I go home and prepare for tomorrow’s symposium.
I will say just 3 things very briefly. Number one, this morning, Professor Taga said that humanity should not be traded on the market. We really need to focus on that, and I think that was the issue on the back of our mind throughout the discussion. Secondly, the term human security is a very comprehensive and ambiguous concept, but I would like to argue that maybe because of this vagueness, we can use this in many ways. Now how can we make this concept clear in Asia, not as concept but as substance in relation to what Professor Wu Qing said. And thirdly, as Professor Gomez proposed about organizing activities, what can we do is a question we have to ask ourselves. All of us here are very active in many things in our respective countries. Some of you do have your own organizations, maybe your own network. Here we have a collection of people with connections and networks, not just a collection of scholars, so we need to organically link all these and translate that into a power or force. I think we are at that juncture. In other words, we are not starting from zero. We each have an asset and we are talking about how we can share those individual assets that we have.
I think we have been able to have very meaningful and fruitful discussions and I think we should celebrate that but at the same time we should remind ourselves of the responsibility that we all have and use that to motivate ourselves. Thank you.