I.P.O. ANNUAL REPORT 1998
Vienna, 30 December 1998
INTERNATIONAL ROUNDTABLE ON CIVILIZATIONAL DIALOGUE
On 8 June 1998, the international roundtable on "Civilizations Conflict or Dialogue?" was held at the University of Innsbruck/Austria. The roundtable was organized by the I.P.O. in co-operation with the Departments of Philosophy and of American Studies at the University of Innsbruck. Experts from four continents presented research papers on philosophical, ethical and sociological aspects of civilizational dialogue. The paradigm of the "clash of civilizations" was critically analyzed. The Lord Mayor of Innsbruck gave a reception for the participants. The President of the University of Innsbruck participated in the debates.
INTERNATIONAL ROUNDTABLE ON GLOBALIZATION
The I.P.O. will organize an International Roundtable on the Challenges of Globalization from 18 to 19 March 1999 at the University of Munich (Germany). The meeting will be co-sponsored by the Jamahir Society for Culture and Philosophy and by the Green Auditorium. Experts in international relations, philosophy, economy and the social sciences from Austria, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Libya, Mexico, Peru, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and from the United Nations (UNIDO) are expected to participate. The meeting will be hosted by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Munich. The updated program of the roundtable can be found at the homepage of the I.P.O. The proceedings of the roundtable will be published during the year 2000.
"U.S.-European Relations After the End of the East-West Conflict: Implications for Euro-Mediterranean Co-operation": International Progress Organization, Occasional Papers Series, No. 1, 1997.
Number 24 of the series "Studies in International Relations" will be
published in May 1999 under the title "Civilizations Conflict or
Dialogue?" (ISBN 3-900704-18-X). The book contains the papers presented at the
international roundtable organized by the I.P.O. at the University of Innsbruck/Austria (8
June 1998). Among the contributors are Prof. Türkkaya Ataöv (Turkey), Prof. Pervaiz
Iqbal Cheema (Pakistan), Prof. K. P. Misra (India), and Prof. Donald C. Freeman (USA).
At its meeting in Tripoli on 16 April 1998, the Executive Board admitted new members from Pakistan, Turkey and Austria.
ISLAM AND THE WEST
In continuation of its activities in the field of the dialogue between Islam and the West, the I.P.O. participated in the international seminar on "Europe and the Islamic World" which was jointly organized by the European Union and the Institute for Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) in Kuala Lumpur (24-25 March 1998). The President of the I.P.O. presented a report on the political aspects of European-Muslim relations and participated in a public debate with Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
The I.P.O. participated in the international meeting of experts on "Islam and the Global Economy" organized by the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (25-27 September 1998).
Within the framework of the I.P.O.'s co-operation with the Centre for Civilizational Studies at the University of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur), the President of the I.P.O. gave public lectures at the University on "The Philosophical Foundations of Civilizational Dialogue" and on "The Clash of Civilizations Revisited" (4 and 6 August 1998).
The President held meetings with the University of Malaya's Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Prof. Osman Bakar, and with senior officials of the International Islamic University in Gombak/Kuala Lumpur.
RESEARCH ACTIVITIES IN THE FIELD OF GLOBALIZATION
On 25 July 1998, the President of the I.P.O. gave a lecture on "Globalization and International Democracy" at the annual youth meeting of the Georgia Greens (Velevi, Republic of Georgia).
On 9 August 1998, the President of the I.P.O. gave a public lecture in Kuala Lumpur on "The Global Economy." The lecture was organized by the International Movement for a Just World (JUST).
In connection with I.P.O.'s research project on the concept of globalization, the organization participated in an international NGO-Seminar on globalization organized by North-South XXI (Tripoli/Libya, 29 August 1998).
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVITIES
The International Progress Organization participated in the United Nations Conference in Support of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People which was held in Brussels (Belgium) from 24 to 25 February 1998. The conference was opened by the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, H.E. Yasser Arafat.
The I.P.O. further participated in the conference jointly organized by the Human Rights Commission under the President of Kazakhstan and by the United Nations Development Programme on "Human Rights and Freedoms in the Reforming Process of Kazakhstani Society" (Astana, Kazakhstan, 18-19 June 1998). Eminent scholars and leading politicians from the Republic of Kazakhstan discussed the legal and political measures of human rights protection with a group of international experts.
The I.P.O. participated in the Vienna Public Assembly on Human Rights which was inaugurated by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan (27 June 1998) and in the International Conference to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights which was organized by the International Institute for Non-aligned Studies in New Delhi (India) (5-6 March 1998).
A delegation of the I.P.O. participated in the 51st Annual DPI/NGO Conference on "The 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: From Words to Deeds" at UN Headquarters in New York (14-16 September 1998).
UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
An observer delegation of the I.P.O. participated in the fifty-fourth session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva (16 March 24 April 1998).
UNITED NATIONS SANCTIONS POLICY
The I.P.O. submitted several legal memoranda to the Security Council and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations highlighting the legal and humanitarian problems of the sanctions policy of the Security Council vis-à-vis Iraq, Libya and Sudan.
RESEARCH PROJECT ON TRANSNATIONAL DEMOCRACY
Within the framework of an international research project on "European Studies for Democratic Citizenship," the President of the I.P.O. presented a research paper on "How Can Democratic Citizenship be Exercised on the Transnational Level? Decision-making Procedures of the European Institutions and Democratic Legitimacy." The project which is sponsored by the Council of Europe and the European Research Foundation is aimed at working out a more precise concept of democratic citizenship in the context of European integration. The first research meeting was organized by the University Center Luxembourg (4-5 December 1998).
NGO COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT
On 19 May 1998, the NGO Committee on Development organized a meeting at the United Nations Office at Vienna on "Human Rights and Development in Latin America." Experts and activists from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Brazil participated together with the Permanent Representatives of several Latin American countries. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Romesh Chandra, President of Honour of the World Peace Council and Chairperson of the NGO Committee.
SPECIAL MEETINGS OF THE PRESIDENT
On 6 March 1998 Dr. Hans Koechler had a meeting with the Foreign Secretary of India, H.E. Shri K. Raghunath, in New Delhi.
On 7 March 1998 the President of the I.P.O. met with Mr. I. A. Rehman, Director of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
On 6 April 1998 the President of the I.P.O. arranged a meeting for the students of the Central College at the University of Iowa (USA) with H.E. Dr. Kurt Waldheim, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, at the latter's office at the United Nations Association of Austria in Vienna.
From 14 to 18 September 1998 the President held consultations with Dr. Robert Thabit,
Permanent Representative of the I.P.O., and with heads of Permanent Missions at United
Nations Headquarters in New York.
On 26 September 1998 Dr. Hans Köchler met with the Foreign Minister of Thailand, H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan.
On 27 September 1998 a consultation meeting was held in London with the Secretary-General of the British Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organization (AAPSO), Prof. Mohamed Arif.
On 27 November 1998 the President met in Istanbul with the Head of the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture, Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.
SPECIAL LECTURES BY THE PRESIDENT
On 18 April 1998 the President of the I.P.O. gave a lecture on "The Lockerbie Dispute and International Law" at El-Fateh University, Tripoli.
On 10 August 1998 he delivered a public talk at the University of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur) on "The Relations between the West and Non-Western Communities in the Contemporary World."
On 27 November 1998 he delivered the key speech on "The Evolution and Philosophical Background of Western Democracies" at the international conference on "Islam and Democracy" in Istanbul (Turkey).
CO-OPERATION WITH OTHER NGOs
The President of the I.P.O. was appointed as Member of the Advisory Board of the World Federalist Movement (WFM) Germany. The I.P.O. and the WFM will co-operate in the fields of transnational democracy and United Nations reform.
During the year 1998, Ms. Heather Belmosto (University of Iowa), Mr. Benjamin Griffith (University of Notre Dame), and Mr. Adam Mason (University of Iowa) served as interns at the head office of the I.P.O. in Vienna.