Online International conference on “Working Together towards a Community with Shared Future” jointly organized by Pakistan Research Center for Community with Shared Future, Communication University of China, Beijing, China and Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad
ISLAMABAD ( STAFF REPORT )
Pakistan Research Center for Community with a Shared Future, Communication University China (CUC), Beijing, and Center for Global and Strategic Studies Islamabad jointly organized an Online International conference on “Working together towards a community with shared future”.
The conference aimed to analyze international academic networks and bringing nations together through regional integration, the concept of creating harmony resulting in a strong social foundation to counter challenges faced by the global community.
Prof. Hualing Li, Dean, Institute for a Community with a Shared Future, Communication University of China, Beijing, China discussed prospects of the International academic network for a community with a shared future. He stated that in 2020 the world has witnessed two major events, one of them is the ASEAN agreement, which embodies the agreement of ASEAN countries and it tells us that the countries of Asia wish to live independently, they do not wish to choose between China and America. Another big event of 2020 is Brexit that has weakened the American influence on Europe. Keeping in view the recent developments we can devise that our world is now multilateral. The concept of a community with a shared future envisions multilateralism in politics, security, development, civilization, environment and solidarity in all kinds of problems being faced by the mankind such as the pandemic, terrorist, climate change and drugs. He further suggested that in the current wake of the pandemic it is important that all countries join hands to form a human bond. According to Professor Li, international think tanks play an important role and they should focus on enhancing academic dialogue to erase existing prejudices, promote dialogue between communities and work towards achieving mutual understanding. Think tanks in western countries accuse the Belt and Road initiative of being a death trap, which is wrong. The BRI advocates joint contributions and shared benefits for all its member countries. He emphasized that through the concept of a shared future we aim to plan exchange programs for scholars across the world and to connect them on common goals and objectives.
Prof. Dr. Muhmmad Saleem Mazhar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of the Punjab, Lahore,briefly discussed the waysof enhancing regional connectivity through the global concept of a community with a shared future. He shed light on the establishment of the Regional Integration Center in collaboration with CGSS and how it will contribute towards the regional cooperation and the idea of a community of a shared future.
He further commented, that this initiative of sharing resources and ideas will be beneficial for all partners and will create a win-win situation for all those who are working together. Mentioning the effective role played by China in helping the communities,Dr. Mazhar highlighted that China’s policy of non-interference and its aim to respect other cultures, norms and civilizations has played an important role in bringing the regional countries together. China has always promoted that our future is together. He also mentioned that Punjab University, Lahore welcomes this initiative and is ready to have a shared bright future under this concept introduced by China and accepted by Pakistan.
Mr. Tan Sri Ong Tee Keat, Chairman of ASEAN Research Center for a Community with a Shared Future, Malaysia highlighted working towards an inclusive world and the global concept of a community with a shared future.
He stated that In the American perspective the rise of China and its increasing role and weightage in global geopolitics has been labeled as a potential threat. In the present context of escalating polarization, the concept of forging a community with a shared future, as was espoused by China, is no doubt a timely wake-up call for the international community. More so, in the wake of increasing existential cataclysms that no single nation-state could ever handle singlehandedly. He further commented that in this regard, universities or research-based institutions of BRI participating countries can play meaningful roles in shaping an inclusive world.
Prof. Dr. Iram Khalid, Chairperson, Political Science Department, University of the Punjab, Lahore, presented a comprehensive presentation on the concept of Dialogue of Civilization. She stated that the changing patterns in global politics and socio-cultural intermingling and interpenetration are opening new vistas in international relations among nations for the time to come. She stated that the time is approaching when war and armed conflicts will be regarded as outdated methodologies of tackling conflicts/disputes among nations, regions and communities. She also shared effective recommendations including, alliance of civilization, connectivity and self-reliance to deal with the challenges faced by civilizations in the modern world.
Prof. Deqiang Ji,Vice Dean, Institute for A Community with Shared Future, Communication University of China, Beijing shed light on how a community with a shared future can defeat common global challenges. In his comprehensive presentation, he shared some of the major problems being faced by the global community post-COVID-19. He stated that the global pandemic has caused a divide in the global governance and multi lateralism, from global to regional to national it has also escalated geopolitical conflicts. Furthermore, the declinen the global economy and trade constraints also pose a major threat to the world. He shared that the concept of a community with a shared future has introduced a new concept of globalization that gives an alternative, reflective and hybrid norm in driving globalization. It is based on connectivity, diversity, and a concept of mutual understanding and respect. He emphasized that, global challenges require global resistance and to defeat these global challenges we must rebuild the channel for dialogue and trust in collaboration.
Mr. Jean Christophe, CEO of The Global Compass, Paris, France and Head of The European Network of The Center for A Community with Shared Future emphasized the social foundation of the new world under the concept of a community with a shared future. He congratulated the research centers established across the globe and highlighted that we are the pioneers of change in today’s world. The world today is connected because we are facing the same problems, to solve them we must work towards a collective approach. There are two major components of this vision, one is of the community and the second is of a shared future. Our collective responsibility is to work on both pillars and convince other countries as well to come at one platform to build a sense of a community with a shared future. He mentioned that it is our responsibility to rebuild the mechanism of multiculturalism that has been destroyed by the previous American administration.
There is no one system or one superior culture, it is our duty to research that what brings us together as a community, in the 21st century.
Dr. André Dominic Negussie, The East African Research Center for a Community of a shared future of Mankind discussed a community with a shared future and Africa’s vision of China-Africa Relations. He gave an extensive presentation on the topic and enlightened the audience by sharing interesting facts. He stated that China and Africa relations date back as far as the sixteenth century but in the last decade it has grown to such an extent that today China is the continent’s largest trading partner. He also highlighted that China’s development cooperation with Africa is based on a complete set of projects, commodity aid, technical cooperation, help from Chinese medical teams, and humanitarian aid. He concluded by sharing that China and Africa believe in the philosophy of”I am because we are, We are because I am”
Ms. Minahil Shawal Afridi, Deputy Director, Pakistan Research Center for a Community with Shared Future highlighted the aim of 7 Research Centers across the world. They vow to collaborate, cooperate, and work collectively towards making a progressive and prosperous community. She further highlighted that Research Center for a Community with Shared Future envisions the promotion of a community with a shared future through collaborative efforts to put aside differences and establish harmony and peaceful co-existence.
Ms. Palwasha Nawaz, Deputy Director, Pakistan Research Center for a Community with Shared Future discussed the initiatives taken by Pakistan Research Center for a community with a shared future. She also highlighted that more joint conferences, research projects, and academic exchange programs are planned to promote common goals and to bring together the academia of other countries for finding solutions to common problems.
Dr. Muhmmad Saleem Mazhar, Pro-VC University of the Punjab, Lahore in his concluding remarks mentioned that we can see a positive change in our region because of the Belt and Road Initiative. It has contributed towards portraying a positive image of regional integration.
The conference was moderated by Mr. Khalid Taimur Akram, Director, Pakistan Research Center for a Community with Shared Future, and was participated by 60 participants including students and members of academia from Pakistan, China,Tanzania, Malaysia and France. It was also viewed live by 150 people on social media channels.