2014 Asia-Pacific Workshops

Costs, Dangers and Alternatives: Military and Economic Competition in Asia and the Pacific

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014, 11:00 am

This workshop will address the following themes: The Pivot and China’s Rise, The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Its Impacts and Strategic Dimensions, Northeast Asian Dangers and Opportunities, and Southeast Asian Dangers and Opportunities. As we approach the centenary of World War I, figures as diverse as Joseph Nye, Henry Kissinger and Japan’s Prime Minister Abe warn that the tensions in East Asia are reminiscent of 1914 Europe. Rising and declining powers—China and the U.S.—are locked in military and economic competition. Territorial disputes from Northeast to Southeast Asia are becoming dangerously militarized. Nationalism is growing force across a region caught up in multiple arms races. Interlocking alliance systems could transform a minor incident in the East or South China Seas into a catastrophic global war. At the same time, growing international trade results simultaneously in economic interdependence and intense competition. Globalization is on the march with new communications technologies. While many argue that war is unthinkable, others warn that a general war could end civilization as we know it.


  • Joseph Gerson, American Friends Service Committee
  • Chloe Schwabe, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

And Jesus Weeps: The Philippines in the Vortex of Complex Environmental Catastrophes, Human Rights Violations and Long Term Conflicts

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014, 2:45 pm

Organized by Asia Pacific Forum (APF) with Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines (EANP), National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and National Ecumenical Forum for Filipino Concerns (NEFFCON)

This workshop will address how catastrophes like Typhoon Haiyan (called in the Philippines Typhoon Yolanda) are considered complex emergencies, where humanitarian intervention is militarized, contributing to and reflective of the aggravating human rights situation in the Philippines. Like other catastrophes such as the tsunami of 2004, Typhoon Haiyan (named Yolanda in the Philippines) has revealed government incompetency and may exacerbate (as in Sri Lanka) or mitigate (as in Aceh), entrenched conflicts. As such, the typhoon offers opportunities for either the worsening of the long-time civil war or advancing imaginative solutions to the conflict in the Philippines. This workshop will look into why climate justice is a crucial component of social justice in a country like the Philippines. The panel will also address the necessity and crucial role of civil society and non-governmental groups in pressuring the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to return to the negotiating table to address the roots of the ongoing conflict, including the worsening human rights situation in the country. U.S. and Philippine policies will be examined to find ways for a just and durable peace as well as for climate justice and sustainable development in the country.


  • Prof. Kathryn Poethig, California State University, Monterey Bay
  • Brian Campbell, International Labor Rights Forum
  • Zara Vinola, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns

Ending the Korean War: Prospects for a Just, Durable and Lasting Peace

Sunday, Mar 23, 2014, 1:30 pm

Organized by Asia Pacific Forum with the Reunification Committee, National Association of Korean United Methodists, United Methodist Women and the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church

It has been over 60 years since the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement. This armistice agreement 1953 only temporarily halted the war that claimed 4 million lives and divided 10 million families. “This lingering state of war on the Korean peninsula is a major contributor to tension and instability, both regionally and globally, and contravenes the spirit of the United Nations Resolution 39/11 which recognizes a people’s right to peace.” The agreement’s main aim was to “insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved”. That final peaceful settlement has not been achieved. To the contrary, the tension and conflict in the Korean Peninsula continues today. Consequently, the people of the divided peninsula, and of Koreans around the world, continues today to pay the devastating human cost for this unended war. This workshop will look at the history of this unjust and unnecessary tension and identify effective ways to promote what makes for a just, lasting and durable peace in the peninsula, especially in US and Korea policies. The workshop will prepare participants for advocacy on Capitol Hill during EAD, and also around the time of the anniversary of the armistice agreement on July 27.


  • Prof. Suh Jae Jung, Korea Studies Program, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

Contributing Sponsors & Partner Organizations