Globalisation has effectively integrated trade and technology exchanges but failed to facilitate and encourage human exchanges, according to a prominent South Korean think-tank official.
“Globalisation has been successful, maybe in economic and technological spheres, but not in terms of human exchange,” Intaek Han, Chairman of Jeju Peace Institute in South Korea, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
Many societies, even in the advanced countries, are still not “globalised” as they are not willing to accept coexistence, especially with foreigners, Han said in an exclusive interview with WAM on the sidelines of Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, recently held in South Korea.
From coexistence to increased nationalism
There are countries that have decided on coexistence as a prerequisite of their national identity, which helps full-scale globalisation and the accepting of each other, Han pointed out. Some Arab-Muslim societies that coexist with their Christian population and Sunni, Shia sects are an example. However, such good examples have been shaken now [due to extremist ideologies propagating intolerance], the official noted.
“That was the case [good examples of coexistence] in the past. But these days we may be becoming more nationalistic. We should go back to the past or back to the future [to revive good examples],” he suggested.
The chairman of the peace institute said Jeju Forum was part of the institute’s efforts for global peace, which may yield results in the future.
The annual event was launched in 2001 as a platform for dialogue to share visions for peace in the Korean Peninsula, East Asia, and the world, and seek creative solutions through international cooperation.
Sanctions do not help peace
The organisers invited a select group of journalists from prominent foreign media outlets, including Emirates News Agency (WAM), to cover the Forum. Speaking to the invited foreign journalists in a luncheon, Han said the experience of Korean peninsula has proved that economic sanctions and military force were not helpful in achieving peace.
“Military force and sanctions have been the main tools to maintain peace and stability in this region. But I don’t think these military forces and sanctions are the best desirable means to achieve peace. They are very dangerous, too. They are costly and eventually not that useful,” he pointed out.
The chairman further explained, “I mean, we had all the military power, and we applied all those things, including economic sanctions, on North Korea but they didn’t change, and it is now a nuclear power.”
Therefore, he suggested that in addition to conventional ways of maintaining peace and stability, “we need to try or develop alternative ways. When traditional ways to keep peace fail, then, maybe, we can rely on dialogue and cooperation.”
Past example of Europe, Southeast Asia
He pointed out that such means were successful in Europe and Southeast Asia. “Not right now, but before, European and in Southeast Asian countries were able to work towards peace through dialogue and cooperation.”
He cited the end of cold war between the U.S. and former Soviet Union and unification of two Germanys as examples. “That did not happen through military means or sanctions. Those changes took place through dialogue and consultation and cooperation,” he emphasised while talking about the importance of Jeju Forum.
Hosted by Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, International Peace Foundation, and the East Asia Foundation, and sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and the Jeju Free International City Development Centre, Jeju Forum has served as an international public forum for the past two decades.