The European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD) of the University for Peace established by the United Nations, an international educational and research organization with Headquarters in Belgrade (Serbia) organized and held its Second International Conference on National reconciliation and Human security in the Balkans. The Conference was held in Belgrade on 27-28 October 2006.
This Conference was a part of the ECPD activities aimed to contribute to the national Reconciliation and improvement at the Human security in the Balkans, as a precondition for peace and prosperity in this part of the world. It was preceded by the First ECPD international conference (Symposium) on National and ethnic reconciliation and religious tolerance in the Western Balkans held in Belgrade on 28-29 October 2005 as well as by establishing the ECPD International Permanent Study Group on the same subject matters.
The Second Conference was attended by almost one hundred participants and observers (List of the attendants is attached), prominent scientist and public workers from all Balkan, most of other European and several non-European countries including the USA and Japan. Professor Takehiro Togo, a distinguished Japanese diplomat and President of ECPD Academic Council, chaired the Conference which was attended inter alia by His Excellency Yasushi Akashi, long-standing UN Under-Secretary General and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Former Yugoslavia; academicians Boris Shmelov, Russia; Vladimir Stipetic Croatia, Dragan Vukčević and Branislav Šoškić; Montenegro and Vladeta Jerotic, Serbia; Sir James Mancham, the founding and the first President of the Seychelles, Yong Cheol Song, Chairman of the Universal Peace Federation, the European Chapter; H.E. Tadeshi Nagai, Japan Ambassador to Serbia; Prof. Charles Ingrao, Purdue University, Indiana, USA; Prof. Vern Redekop, University of Saint Paul, Canada; Ambassador Wolfgang Wolte, Austrian Society for European Politics, Vienna; Peter Bas-Backer, Senior Deputy High Representative OHR, B&H and Prof. Dr. Valentin Yakushik, Director of the International Academy of Sciences and Arts Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine, many others. Representatives of three major religion in this area – Mufti, Hadge Hamdia Jusufspahic; Belgrade Archbishop Stanislav Hocevar and professor Radovan Bigovic, was especially observed.
Ambassador Wolfgang Wolte, Christine Samandari Hakim, Sir James Mancham, Professor Takehiro Togo, H.E. Yasushi Akashi
The Conference was held in accordance with developed and approved Agenda (enclosed). The Conference Chairman, H.E. Takehiro Togo, President of the ECPD Council addressed the participants and presented his Opening remarks (enclosed). In the cource of the Conference work more that thirty participants presented their statements and most of the others took parts in discussions. Speakers and discussants attacked a wide scope of issues indicated in the Conference Agenda. Presentations included, interalia: “Strategies for the Balkans” (Prof. Dr Samir Banoob); Roots of Modern Conflicts in the Western Balkans” (Prof. Dr. H. James Burgwin); “Solving of Status of Kosovo as a Precondition for the Normalization of the Serbian-Albanian Relation (Azem Vllasi); “Health within the Framework of Human Security” (Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Levett); “Experience in Reconciliation and Tolerance in Bosnia and Herzegovina” (Ambassador Peter Bas-Backer); Program in National Reconciliation in Macedonia” (Prof. Dr Islam Yusufi); “The Challenges of the EU Enlargement: New Frontiers – old Fears” (Prof. Dr. Melita Richter); “Immigration in the EU: Risks and opportunities” (Prof. Dr Matilda Carlon Ruitz); “Reprisal integration and reconciliation: the theory and practice” (Dr. Armand Clesse); “Religion and Politics in the Western Balkans” (Ambassador Darko Tanasković); “Women in Islam” (Prof. Dr Nilgun Sarp); “Orthodox Religion in the United Europe” (Prof. Dr. Radovan Bigović); “Macedonian experiences – NATO and reconciliation” (Ambassador Nano Ružin); “The Project for Self Reliance of Residents of Srebrenica and Human Security” (Masao Shikano), and others.
The submitted statements and some discussion will be published in a separate Proceedings, which will be widely distributed. Several scientist were invited but they where unable to attend the Conference (Prof. S. Livada, Prof. A. Mitić) but they sent they papers which will be included into upcoming Proceedings”.
Judging by the great numbers of participants, the Conference in general, was very successful and it contributed to the all over efforts made to promote and advance national reconciliation and religion tolerance. There were observed, also, some deficiencies, such as: Lack of timely and professional oriented communications between the organizer and the invited participants; too many participants at this kind of Conference; too much plenary sessions and Back of cohesion among them; some presentations too extensive and/or without direct connection with the aims and objectives of the Conference etc.
The governing and the executive bodies of the ECPD are analysing all aspects of the organization and conduct of the Conference, as well as the work of the ECPD International Permanent Study group and they will take into account all relevant aspects in planning and programming the ECPD activities in the upcoming period.
As suggested by the Conference (see the Chairman’s Concluding Remarks) and decided by the ECPD Academic Council, the ECPD plans to organize two international meeting in 2007: the Third ECPD International Study Group session and the Third ECPD international Conference. The first will be held, possibly, in Prizren and the letter in a center of one of the Western Balkan countries.
Organization and conduct of the ECPD Study group session and the Second Conference were supported by the Tokyo Club (Japan), Government of Montenegro, Universal Peace Federation and the Belgrade Municipal Assembly. Support of the ECPD activities in 2007 aimed to promotion of the national reconciliation and improvement of the Human Security in the Balkans by national and international organizations and individuals interested in peace and prosperity in this part of the world will be highly appreciated.