EWC Conference Underway in Bali

Among the conference speakers was Governor Linda Lingle of Hawaii.

HONOLULU (Nov. 13) – The EWC/EWCA 2008 International Conference got underway yesterday in Bali, Indonesia, with welcoming remarks by the Governor of Bali, the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia and the Indonesian Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare, followed by the conference’s keynote address by East-West Center President Charles E. Morrison.

The Honorable Aburizal Bakrie, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare, told the more that 500 assembled scholars, officials and business professionals – most of whom are Center alumni – that the current global economic crisis serves as a powerful reminder “of the need to improve our cooperative efforts, of our bonds together, of the common mechanisms that we can use to solve our problems.”


(Click hereto read a transcript of Minister Bakrie’s remarks.)


“We have to make the 21st century a century of progress and peace,” Bakrie said. “Let us avoid the fate of the previous century, with its world wars and bloody conflicts. The opportunities are plenty to make our world a much better place.”


Puongpun Sananikone, Chair, EWC Board of Governors, Charles E. Morrison, EWC President, Cameron R. Hume, U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, and Aburizal Bakrie, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare.

U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Cameron R. Hume told the group that "over many years, our Embassy has greatly valued the work of the East-West Center and its alumni in promoting international education and fostering mutual understanding. We know that Center programs build invaluable professional and personal relationships, enhance awareness and promote informed dialog.”

“We also know you serve the broader community,” Ambassador Hume added. “We were impressed when the East-West Center Tsunami Relief Fund several years ago generated more than $500,000 to assist with tsunami relief efforts and provide long-term support through education and research programs."


(Click here to read a transcript of Ambassador Hume's remarks.)

In his keynote address to the gathering, East-West Center President Charles E. Morrison observed that the conference’s theme of “Unity in Diversity” was inspired by Indonesia’s national motto, which in turn comes from an ancient Javanese poem proclaiming that “there is no duality in truth.”

“It is a beautiful thought – to respect and treasure diversity, while being united by fundamental values and principles,” Morrison said, adding that the concept of unity in diversity was also embodied in the creation of the East-West Center.

“‘East’ and ‘West’ represent our diversity; and ‘Center’ our willingness to come together,” he said. “For us, East and West are not geographical directions, but metaphors and symbols for different perspectives that can be brought together, shared and enjoyed, sometimes blended, and always enriching each other.”

(Click hereto read a transcript of President Morrison’s address.)


One of the most important measures of the Center’s success, Morrison told the alumni gathering, has been the achievements of its graduates. “The intellectual and policy contributions of the East-West Center are not simply those of its own staff, important as these are,” he said. “They are also your accomplishments in your own societies and professions and those of the other 55,000 alumni... Your continuing engagement in our activities confirms the relevance of our institution and its expanding network.”