The 6th ASEAN event series “Bridges – Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace” takes place in some countries in Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The ASEAN “Bridges” programs have been initiated and facilitated by the Vienna-based International Peace Foundation (IPF) under the joint patronage of 20 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. The aim of “Bridges” is to facilitate dialogue and communication between societies in Southeast Asia with multiple cultures and faith as well as with people in other parts of the world to promote understanding and trust. The events aim at building bridges through Nobel Laureates with local universities and the institutions in Southeast Asia to establish long-term relationships which result in common research program and other forms of collaboration. “By enhancing science, technology, and education as a basis for peace and development the events may lead to a better cooperation for the advancement of peace, freedom and security in the region with the active involvement of the young generation, ASEAN’s key to the future”, said Mr. Uwe Morawetz as the Chairman of the IPF.

eric-1-780x345The first Bridges event in Indonesia was held by Universitas Surabaya (Ubaya) on Sunday, 15 January 2017 at Multifunction Hall, Faculty of Psychology, Ubaya Campus. The keynote speaker was Prof. Eric Stark Maskin, an American economist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2007 and Adam University Professor at Harvard’s Department of Economics in Cambridge. Prof. Maskin talked about his topic “Why Global Markets Have Failed to Reduce Inequlity” in front of  over 350 audiences.

The event started at around 2 pm and finished at 4 pm. Some important guests were attending this event, such as Ministry of Trade representatives, regional governors, United States and Republic of China Ambassadors, Lisa Wahid (Wahid Institute), local business leaders, religious leaders, and local university students. Ministry of Trade representatives mentioned in his opening speech that Indonesia is facing economic and social inequalities, so this topic has a relevance with current regional governance situation. Besides the Ministry of Trade representative, Rector of Ubaya Prof. Ir. Joniarto Parung, MMBAT, Ph.D, and Mr. Uwe Morawetz were also there to deliver their opening remarks.

Inequality has been one the biggest challenges for creating global peace. Some economics argue that free market and growth is the answer for reducing inequality. However, inequality is a multi-dimensional problem that requires multi-dimensional solutions. Better access for education for people in developing countries, institutional reforms, and inclusive collaborations among governments, corporations, educational institutions, donors, and the people themselves are imperative for reducing inequality. Prof. Maskin emphasizes that while nations income has been rising a result of more trade and global production, so has inequality within countries.

C20ZMqQUsAA5WF2.jpg largeBesides Surabaya, Bridges event will be held in other cities in Indonesia, such as Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Denpasar, and Bandung. The next Bridges event in Indonesia will be held by Universitas Prasetiya Mulya on 25 January 2017 in BSD Campus, Edutown – BSD City, Tangerang. HE Jose Manuel Barroso, as the 11th President of the European Commision who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 on behalf of the Europeam Union, will be presented as a keynote speaker with his topic “From National to Regional and Global Governance”. This event is a golden opportunity to advance understanding of governance from contrasting perspectives, and to help us to disseminate the intellectual encounter between HE Jose Manuel Barroso with his deep involvement in national, regional and global governance and Indonesians that also shoulder responsibilities for global peace.

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