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Shimpo forum studded with former world leaders

Date Posted: 2003-11-14

Five elderly statesmen and former world leaders took part in the Globalization Forum 2003 lecture and panel discussion in Naha Citizens’ Hall, Tuesday. The Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper sponsored the forum as a part of its 110th anniversary celebrations.

More than 1,000 people listened when Tadahiro Sekimoto, the chairman of the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and Akiya Miyazato, the president of the Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper welcomed the distinguished panelists and the public to the event.

The panelists included Mikhail Gorbachev, the former President of the Soviet Union, Dr. Mahathir bin Mohammad, the ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia, Kim Kyung-Won, former Ambassador to the U.S.A and U.N. of the Republic of Korea, Kenneth Quinones, the Korea Peninsula Program Director for the American Research Center for Asia and the Pacific, and Jiang Mingjun of China. Former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brezinski addressed the forum via satellite video link.

The theme of the forum was “Democracy and Security in the Globalization Era” but the recent U.S. attack on Iraq and its aftermath quickly became the leading topic of the discussion. Both Gorbachev and Mahathir condemned the war declaring that the attack lacked legitimacy as it has no U.N. backing.

However, all agreed that the world should support the recovery efforts in Iraq. All also agreed that the North Korean problem should be resolved with negotiations through U.N. Following the forum, the participants gathered at a party and reception at Fukushuen Park in Naha City. Some 400 invited guests attended.

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