the 12th East Asian Seminar on UN Studies was Held in Beijing

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The 12th East Asian Seminar on UN Studies was held in Beijing on 20-21 December 2012, chaired by Amb. Chen Jian, President of CANUNS. It was attended by 46 participants from CANUNS, JAUNS and KACUNS and ACUNS. Centering on the theme of Global Governance and East Asia Cooperation in the UN, participants had candid and in-depth discussions on several issues: the development trend of global governance mechanism and the role of the UN, the Escort Mission against Piracy in the Gulf of Aden, Follow-up of Rio+20, The UN Dialogue on Civilizations, Regional Conflicts in the Middle East and the Role of the UN, follow-up to Rio+20 and trilateral cooperation and cooperation among China/Japan/Korea.

It was fully recognized the international relations and development were undergoing a profound transition and transformation, with rising tides of multi-polarity, globalization, cultural diversity and ICTs. The multiple crises of food, fuel, flu and finance were compounded by greater challenges arising from inequality, insecurity, intolerance and imbalance.

The seminar shared the view that the weakness of the UN derived principally from the following overriding constraints: 1) the fundamental design where it is hard to strike a right balance between national interests and common global good, between democracy and efficiency, 2) the persistent gaps between UN mandates and the operational activities due to limitations in resources and authorizations, 3) the rising of non-state actors against the state-centric concept, 4) the UN collective security system versus US unilateralism, 5) lack of coordination and coherence in and outside the UN system. As the central mechanism of global governance, UN cannot face problems and challenges effectively.

The seminar emphasized the primary and central role of the UN in finding common solutions to building a more peaceful, prosperous and democratic world, and stressed the need to promote synergy and coherence among the UN agencies, G20 and other global and regional institutions, and also called for an inclusive, transparent and effective multilateral system on the basis of broad participation of all states, international organizations as well as NGOs. Moreover, participants deemed insecurity arising from the regional conflicts in the Middle East a major threat. They underlined the necessity of a comprehensive approach by the international community, comprising political, economic, diplomatic, military and legal means, in accordance with international laws, including the principles of national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Participants commended the tremendous achievements made by East Asia countries in a wide range of areas, which served peace, stability and prosperity in the region, and pointed out that cooperation is the mainstream, despite geographical tension, historical feud and present bitterness over the region. Deepening cooperation in East Asia is of significant importance in the broad context of international relations and politics. China, Japan and ROK should approach trilateral cooperation from strategic point of view, on the basis of mutual respect, equality, openness and transparency. The Seminar suggested that the three countries should cooperate on anti-piracy in the Gulf of Aden, and establish a mechanism for trilateral security cooperation on the basis of that; strengthen cooperation on sustainable development engaging wide participation from NGOs; deepen dialogue on civilization and foster mutual Asian value system; cooperate in the forms of South-South cooperation, North-South cooperation, and provide more global public goods to realize responsible image.

Divergence remains in the issues of R2P and Regional Conflicts in the Middle East, yet participants shared the view that further dialogue is needed.

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