EWC 50 Spotlight: International Graduate Student Conference Addresses Global Challenges

Conference co-coordinator Vandana Krishnamurthy welcomes the audience to the International Graduate Student Conference. Seated in the front row ( L to R) are Beryl Yang, the other co-coordinator, EWC President Charles E. Morrison, keynote speaker C.H. Tung, EWC Board of Governors Chairman Puongpun Sananikone, Mr. and Mrs. John K. Tsui, and Jean Ariyoshi.


Former Hong Kong Chief Executive C.H. Tung delivers the keynote address. He currently serves as vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Now in its ninth year, the East-West Center’s International Graduate Student Conference (IGSC) is steadily increasing in international scope and prestige, attracting university students from more countries than ever before. Over 120 graduate students representing 43 countries from 40 universities gathered at the EWC’s Hawai‘i Imin International Conference Center in mid-February to present their research. The annual gathering is the largest student-run conference on Asia Pacific issues.

The three-day conference included some 28 panel sessions in a number of areas focusing on the Asia Pacific region and its interactions with the U.S. Panel topics ranged from “Health Security in the 21st Century,” “Post-Conflict Reconciliation & Healing,” and “Fresh Perspectives from Disaster Recovery Areas,” to “Leadership and Development in the Asia-Pacific,” “Identifying & Addressing Emerging Threats in the Asia-Pacific,” “Sustaining Culture & Conserving Tradition in the Era of Globalization” – and much more.

As part of the Center’s ongoing commemoration of its 50th anniversary year, former Hong Kong Chief Executive C.H. Tung delivered the conference’s keynote address as a First Hawaiian Bank Lecture on "Sino-US Relations: Building Mutual Trust." He spoke of the dynamic economic growth in the region that has fueled the “important role Asia plays today on the world stage. It is remarkable the East-West Center was able to see this development half a century ago,” he said, “by wisely setting up here and working to strengthen the exchanges between the United States and the Asia Pacific region.”
If the 20th century was shaped by the conflict of great powers, Tung suggested, “The 21st century will be shaped by how we as a human race successfully take on challenges of energy security, climate change, food sufficiency and scarcity of natural resources — all of which are issues crucial for sustainable development and economic growth.”

“To successfully overcome these challenges, multilateral cooperation particularly by the major powers is crucial,” C.H. Tung noted, adding that “a good and productive relationship between the United States and China is absolutely essential.” Click here to watch the keynote address.

The co-chairs for this year’s conference were EWC Degree Fellows Beryl Yang and Vandana Krishnamurthy.


Posted on Feb. 24, 2010