The 3rd International Conference
The 3rd International Conference
Sustainable Development for Peace: New Dimensions of Friendly Cooperation in the Upper Greater Mekong Sub-region”
16-18 July 2007.
Venue: Ho Chi Minh City, Socialist Republic of Vietnam
This Conference has been consecutively a continuation of the successful implementation of the First International Conference on “Strengthening Partnership among Academic and Development Institutions: New Dimensions of Social, Culture, and Economic Cooperation in the Upper Greater Mekong Sub-region”, held at Chiangrai, Thailand, during 16-18 February, 2006. That was followed by the 2nd International Conference “Sustainable Development for Peace: New Dimensions of Friendly Cooperation in the Upper Greater Mekong Sub-region”, held in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia, during 25-28 September, 2006. The 3rd International Conference on “Partnership in Economic and Social Development through Science and Technology with Emphasis on Protecting Culture and Environment in Asia-Pacific”, was built on the strengths of these previous conferences and address some of the most important issues of the role and functioning of grassroots organizations, civil society and the public sectors in building a framework of sustainable development. It will promote exchange and dialogue that will lead to a network of grassroots organizations that can help cooperation at both micro and macro levels in countries and throughout the region.
There were 120 participants from Cambodia, Canada, People’s Republic of China, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sweden, United States of America, Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Thailand.
The project has been supported by Huntington University (70,000 Baht), the Office of Higher Education Commission (150,000 Baht), the participants’ registration fees (1,366,056 Baht), including air fares, food and lodging and study tour, and Chiangrai Rajabhat University (350,000 Baht), totally 1,936,056 Baht.
At the last session: Resolution and agenda for future action in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and Asia-Pacific countries, a panelist comprising: Dr. Makha Khittasangka, Ms Katja Pellini from UNICEF Hanoi and Mr. Gang Xiaofeng from Yunnan University, and simultaneously the floor was opened to the participants to propose the possible resolution in three areas of concern; (1) Joint Research Program (2) Human Resources Development (3) Socio-economic, Culture, Science, Technology and Environmental Development. In the meantime, the panelist had proposed the synthesis from the papers extracted presented during the two-day session of the Conference.
The meeting agreed that research by itself has no boundaries. People can learn and utilize the body of knowledge to benefit individual, community and society. The role of research in helping to find solution is very important. In particular, in the Greater Mekong Region and Asia-Pacific Region needed extremely to apply the body of knowledge for improvement of the policies. Because the countries in the regions are facing economic decline and rural people living under the threshold of the poverty line. However, the policy makers and other stakeholders often do not know which policies are most appropriate and how they can be best implemented in different contexts. Research is one way for policymakers and other stakeholders to enhance the process of policy formulation and implementation.
The meeting agreed that all had learned from the case studies and technical papers which have drawn from the experiences of the development practitioners and academic scholars. In particular, the exchange of situational analyses and which all evidences indicate that are happenings in the GMS and Asia-Pacific countries, in the areas of development and in the transitional stages. The analysis of the Conference for one important analysis is that all the presentations have demonstrated the various research methodologies which are relevant to the situational analyses. These initiatives undertaken by the researchers have in deed, shared their experiences which were useful information to facilitate in the design and formulation of development programs/projects. Many research papers have provided methodologies and techniques as well as useful tools in the analysis of policy issues. These initiatives of the researchers will be a bridge in building partnership between researchers, policymakers and communities.
The meeting agreed that the Conference had created a good opportunity and in the position to make good use of research to produce information that will be be effective in policy making endeavor. Policy makers often fail to commission appropriate research. On the contrary, researchers may pursue their own interests that do not always coincide with policy imperatives. In response to this situation, there is a need to link research and policy by identifying case studies where research has contributed effectively to the policy formulation process.
The meeting agreed that at the earlier stage to link research and policy, there will be a need to build mutual understanding to fulfill a bridging function as a way to achieve the Conference’s objectives in the following manners.
1. To understand the people’s ways of life, way of thinking and local wisdom within the Upper Greater Mekong Region and Asia Pacific countries.
2. To fill the gap of conflict or misunderstanding and offering the promise within the Upper Greater Mekong Region and Asia and Pacific countries.
3. To establish Knowledge Networks by collaboration of efforts among researchers through exchanging views for appropriate solution for International spreading of knowledge.
4. To manage the knowledge for effective use.