ASIAN DIALOGUE SOCIETY (ADS)
Due to its expanding and multiple activities IRC formed The Asian Dialogue Society – ADS – in 2002 as an autonomous platform for dialogue among an informal fellowship of concerned citizens and friends of Asia to address issues that have affected the course of political, economic and social developments particularly in Asia. The “fellows” come from diverse backgrounds and they share a common belief in the right of individuals and societies to live a life free from want and fear. The ADS also believes in the indispensability of dialogue and debate for the resolution of conflicts and in the maintenance of peace.
The ADS actively cooperates with, and mobilize the resources of, universities, non-governmental organizations, political parties, governments and business corporations in Asia and elsewhere. The ADS established several different initiatives both at the broader level of a pan-Asia landscape and the selection of issues.
IRC’s “Greater Asia Initiative”
In 2005 ADS sent two missions to China and India to have an exchange of issues on ASEAN, Myanmar and Asia. The study missions issued two unpublished reports:
“Building a Better Asia: Dialogues on Culture and Human Security, A Report,” Bangalore/Goa, India, February 2005; and
“Building a Better Asia: Dialogues on China-Southeast Relations, A Report”, Kunming, China, April 2005. (attachments)
In November 2005 the ADS set up the Greater Asia Initiative to examine the evolving process of integration across Asia. A study group that visited Northeast India produced a report entitled “Shared Integration: Promoting a Greater Asia, Report of the Asian Dialogue Society’s Greater Asia Initiative, Study Visit to Northeast India”, 2006 (link)
Central Asia: The ISSY-KUL Forum
The ISSYK-KUL Forum encouraged policy-oriented research and capacity building in Central Asia and the South Caucasus. This series of meetings began with the Central Asian republics in 1994, but expanded its coverage in 2000 to include the Southern Caucasus. The project comprised four major activities: (i) policy research, (ii) study tour mission to East Asian countries, (iii) international workshops/conferences to encourage exchange of experiences, and (iv) publications. The ultimate goal of the project was to facilitate a re-thinking of practical alternatives for the Central Asian and South Caucasus republics vis-à-vis external powers that could bring about peace and stability, better economic restructuring in enhancing growth in a sustained basis in the post-transition era. The Forum annually brought eminent experts from these republics to meet their counterparts from East Asia, Russia and the United States. In 2007 the IRC began hosting the Forum in Goa, India.
To keep the momentum of networks and information-sharing the IRC also set up a website in English and Russian. The key objective of the website centralasia-southcaucasus.com is to promote interest in the affairs of the 8 countries of the 2 regions of Central Asia and the South Caucasus. It was a hub of information and knowledge about the political, economic and social and cultural developments in the region. It was also a platform for scholars, policy makers, economists, businessmen, students and others to share their experiences, opinions and knowledge and to interact at several levels. www.central-asia-southcaucasus.com. Photos/Videos of Tajikistan training programs in Goa.
Human Security: A New Paradigm for Human Development in Asia
Human security is a new paradigm for security, development and justice. Since it was first proposed in the 1990s, there has been an endless debate between its proponents and critics, and even among its advocates, over the meaning and utility of the concept. The IRC initiated a project to promote better understanding of this idea and to translate from being an abstract ideal to a practical tool for policy-makers. These ideas were further developed from case studies in Northeast India initially and during the second year they were further tested and refined in Odisha )Eastern India). What is important now is to move the concept beyond the realm of theory and explore its practical applications, considering possible policy perspectives and implications. The book proposes new practical applications of the human security concept, such as human security mapping, the human security governance index and human security impact assessment. By designating the individual rather than the state as the referent object of security, human security is emerging as a framework that can serve as a means to evaluate threats, foresee crises, analyze causes of discord and propose solutions entailing a redistribution of responsibilities. (attachments/photos)