I.P.O. Information Service


International Progress Organization organizes special plenary session at Rhodes Forum 2014

Rhodes (Greece) / Vienna, 2 October 2014

In the framework of the annual Rhodes meeting of the World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations," the International Progress Organization (I.P.O.) on 26 September 2014 organized a special plenary session on "World Order and the Politics of Régime Change."

In his opening statement as Moderator of the session, the President of the I.P.O., Dr. Hans Köchler, said that, in the unilateral power constellation that emerged after the end of the Cold War, the United Nations’ system of collective security has increasingly become dysfunctional. The effective absence of checks and balances has encouraged the dominant global player to pursue its national interests also by use of armed force. In this context, “régime change” has become an ideological buzzword for a geostrategic approach which resembles the arrogance of former colonial powers and is in outright contradiction to the principle of sovereign equality of states. As events in the Middle East in particular have demonstrated, the politics of régime change risks to create a power vacuum with “failed states” and regional destabilization, if not anarchy, as result. Power politics in humanitarian disguise has indeed become a major threat to a stable global order.

Among the keynote speakers at the session were Prof. Richard Falk (Princeton University, USA), Prof. Türkkaya Ataöv (University of Ankara, Turkey), Prof. Lyal S. Sunga (Raoul Wallenberg Institute for International Humanitarian Law, Sweden), Prof. Jane Kelsey (University of Auckland, New Zealand), Prof. Alexander Meziyaev (Head of the Dept. of International Law, University of Management, Kazan, Russia), Christopher Black (Canadian Defense Lawyer at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda), Prof. John Laughland (Director of Studies, Institute of Democracy and Cooperation, Paris), and Dr. David Hoile (Professor at Sudan National University, Khartoum).

The session dealt with the multi-faceted aspects of the politics of "régime change," in particular with the socio-economic, ideological, legal and geo-strategic implications. In his speech at the Concluding Plenary Session of the Forum, Prof. Hans Köchler highlighted the dramatic and tragic consequences of military interventions in the Middle East (such as in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya). Those actions have created domestic and regional instability, he said, that was quickly exploited by ethnic and sectarian tendencies, and unleashed a wave of ideological fanatism along religious and tribal lines. The escalation around the emergence of the "Islamic State" on the territory of Iraq and Syria - with ramifications far beyond the region - is a drastic illustration of the "unintended consequences" of great power interventions under humanitarian pretext.

In commemoration of the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, this year's Rhodes Forum was held under the motto: "Preventing World War through Global Solidarity: 100 Years on." The World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations" is a Moscow-based international NGO in consultative status with the United Nations and with an international office in Vienna, Austria. The International Progress Organization is member of the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) of the World Public Forum.


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International Progress Organization 
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