I.P.O. Information Service

The "Clash of Civilizations" and the Problem of Terrorism

Preparatory meeting for Asia-Europe (ASEM) Summit in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, 23 September 2002/P/RE/17938c-is

At an international youth meeting on globalization that was held in conjunction with this week's ASEM Summit in Copenhagen /Denmark, the President of the International Progress Organization, Professor Hans Koechler, said that the stability of the global political system in the 21st century will finally depend on whether the United Nations member states will adopt an "integrated approach" towards international relations which combines dialogue among civilizations with a comprehensive strategy towards balanced and sustained development in all regions of the globe.

In his plenary address with the title The "Clash of Civilizations," the Problem of Terrorism and Peaceful Co-existence among Nations Professor Koechler explained that the global "war on terror" cannot be won unless the root causes of social inequality, economic injustice and large-scale poverty are being addressed in a comprehensive manner. A strategy that merely deals with the symptoms of the problem of terrorism, will inevitably fail. What is needed are not "preventive wars" waged outside the Charter of the United Nations, but preventive social and economic policies directed towards establishing a just and equitable international order, the President of the I.P.O. explained.

He further said that the paradigm of the "clash of civilizations" must not be allowed to become a self-fulfilling prophecy and that the political unipolarity of the present international order must be adapted to the requirements of cultural, religious or civilizational multipolarity which characterize our global society today.

Prof. Koechler presented the lecture at the conference entitled "A World without Borders? -- Asia-Europe Youth Responses to Globalization" which was jointly organized by the Singapore-based Asia-Europe Foundation and the Danish Youth Council. The meeting -- which preceded this week's Asia-Europe (ASEM) Summit -- adopted the "ASEM Youth Statement on Globalization" which is being forwarded to the Summit delegates currently meeting in the Danish capital.

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