The XII ECPD International Conference examined pathways between Regionalization and Globalization as determinants for the future of the world. The asked what stands in the way of integration, whether we can simultaneously think globally and think regionally and what are the strengths and weakness in the inherent processes and present outcomes over the many domains of society (which approaches to the challenges involved could be most effective for all parts of society) and in all parts of the world. In continuation, the Balkan world received a check up and (and the pressures affecting the region were assessed and global pulse was measured. Tensions between the Russian Federation and the United States of America, migration resulting from armed conflict and poverty in the Middle East, tensions within the European Union after the UK Brexit vote, and the new strategic paradigm of macro-regionalization were high on the agenda. The role of China was agreed to be of key importance in the global system. A number of presentations / additional discussion covered the ongoing global socio-economic crisis and a description of potentially accelerating global catastrophe; the survival of humanity and man’s future together with its rough edges and the paradoxes of life; our responsibility as a precondition for peace, the new Cold War and allocation of guilt; migration as an exceedingly complex problem, peace in the Middle East and the lack of Global Governance. A Concert by the Ensemble Renaissance took us back to gentler moments calming to the nerves.

The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet, of the United Nations Secretary-General synthesizes a challenging action-oriented agenda whose implementation demands more determined efforts than those already used. It is a call for which the necessary response is well beyond what governments now can or will be able to undertake. It is a road in the elaboration of plausible undertakings to support future socio-economic trajectories, within a framework of dignity for all and within a global sentiment.

The ECPD views this report as setting forth an inspirational approach for any and all countries, with the engagement of all their relevant institutions. Consequently, ECPD’s XII International Conference is a designed initiative prepared in the spirit of this challenge.

The Conference was opened by three distinguished individuals, namely the new President of the ECPD Council, Professor Federico Mayor, Former Director General, UNESCO and President of the Foundation for Culture of Peace, Professor Erhard Busek, Vice-Chancellor of Austria, Chairman, Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, and Sir Richard Jolly, Professor, University of Sussex, Former Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF. This event takes place at a time when recovery from the onslaught of the global financial crisis is in general exceedingly slow, in places does not exist and for millions of people there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It takes place at a time when many think that the war in the Middle East is a proxy third world war. The geopolitical crisis, as well as policy sanctions imposed by the major powers, creates additional obstacles to economic recovery. Approaching it with non commensurate tools is a major issue. It needs socio-economic-policy thinking at a level higher than the one that produced it with tools whose complexity matches the complexity of the problem space.

Additional and prestigious participants include Professor John Maresca, Former Rector of the UN University for Peace, Costa Rica; Professor Steven Meyer, Daniel Morgan Academy, Washington DC, USA; Professor Boris Shmelev, Academy for Sciences and Arts, Russian Federation; Professor Horst Mahr, Chairman, Foreign Affairs Association, Munich, Germany; Academicians Branislav Šoškić and Ljubiša Rakić, Serbia, Professor Paskal Milo, Albania; Professor Igor Kondrashin, President and CEO, World Philosophical Forum. The press was well represented and by Mr. Antonio Vergara Meersohn, General Manager, Wall Street International and the world of diplomacy by H.E. Mr. Luis Fernando Ayala Gonzalez, Ambassador of Chile to Italy, H.E. Mr. Mohammed K.M. Nabhan, Ambassador, State of Palestine to the Republic of Serbia, Doyen Diplomatic Corps and Professor Pasquale Baldocci, Faculty of Diplomacy, Gorizia, Italy.

Internationally, prominent female participants include Professor Melita Richter, University of Trieste, Italy; Professor Marina Martynova, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, RAS, RF; Dr. Myrianne Coen, CSSII, Florence University, Italy; Professor Jelena Lopičić - Jančić, ECPD Professor and Professor Antonietta Piacquadio, University of Trieste, Italy.

Lead up documentation to the final Programme included a Concept Note [CN] prepared by Professor Jeffrey Levett, Greece, and many interesting presentations. The CN discusses conflict situations of various natures and magnitudes and a variety of world models and concentrated on two, evolving in two different spheres, on two different time scales and with two different time constants. One is entrenched in immediate self interest and unfolds over the short term, the other relating to socio-economic responsibility unfolding over the longer term. They straddle a dichotomy of politics and profit versus sustainability of humanity on planet earth. For survival, for sustainability, the dynamics of the slower process model must surpass the faster one. The role of the ECPD is to help speed up this take-over, enrich the culture of peace and stimulate development within the framework of its mission with wisdom, reason, morality and justice.

Pre-sent papers gave a description of the distinctive experience of Kazakhstan with its 130 different ethnic groups and demographic profile. Its objective as a nation is “toleraptia”, tolerance. In the Balkans, Academician Vlado Kambovski tells us that regional integration faces many obstacles which are a burden to the reconciliation process adding weight to the troubling and historically inherited relations between nations. This he says weighs heavily on the consciousness of the new generations. Avoidance of new instabilities says Professor Marjan Gjurovski from the Faculty of Security-Skopje, requires a redesign of the access practice of the European Union and NATO towards the Balkans with full and complete incorporation into Euro-Atlantic structures. Johan Galtung, Founder and First President of the Peace Research Institute, Norway, makes a simple but profound statement with only one globe to globalize and provides interesting thoughts on what he describes as a historical transition from a world state system to a world region system with 7 regions in all.

Many he says believe that the logical step from a system of regions to a global system, globalization, is just around the corner, which causes him to pose two major problems. The first resides in the diversity of humanity in a background of a state system based on the cultures of their dominant groups. He asks whether globalization will accommodate diversity, or impose uniformity. The second is a consideration as to whether the USA will use globalization to impose a global market with no state and regional borders. His answer to the enormity of this complexity is a United Regions, UR that juxtaposes global reality with diversity and suggests that UR stands a better chance to succeed than the UN.

Two books printed by ECPD publishing house were presented namely “Remembering Jimmy Grant. Champion for Children” and “Japan and Asia” by Professor Shinichi Ichimura.

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