|Joint Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies
Former Senior Soviet Naval Officer Joins Experts from China & Mongolia at first Canadian Conference on Russian Policy in Asia
TORONTO, November 27, 2000 --Former senior intelligence officer in the Russian Pacific Fleet, Sergey Sevastyanov, will join scholars from northeast China, Mongolia, Canada and the United States for the first international conference in Canada on Russias relations with its Asian neighbours November 30 to December 1 at the University Club of Toronto.
The conference on Regional Security in North East Asia is sponsored by the Joint Centre for Asia Pacific Studies (JCAPS) at York University and the University of Toronto, and is a meeting of the North East Asia Cooperation Program (NEACP). The NEACP was established by the academic community last year to support and promote Canadian diplomatic and non-governmental (NGO) activity in the region. The conference will focus on trans-border issues between China, Mongolia, Russia and North Korea as recent developments on the Korean Peninsula raise the possibility that the Cold War in northeast Asia may be coming to an end.
"There is consensus that relations between North and South Korea are in the midst of a historical transformation," said JCAPS Director Dr. Michael B. Frolic, political science professor at York University, noting Canadas recent moves to open diplomatic channels with the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK). "Diplomatic contact between the DPRK and many foreign countries and international organizations will expand dramatically in the next few months."
The conference will address several key questions, including:
"Many of the most pressing challenges for human security are located in this part of the continent," said Dr. Paul Evans, director of NEACP, based at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. "Poverty, malnutrition, uncontrolled migration, infectious disease and transnational and local crime are the most immediate concerns. We will be looking at the role of NGOs in the region as well as transnational NGOs that are based on ethnic or religious affiliation."
Sergey Sevastyanov will discuss Russias traditional security agenda in the region and Russian President Vladimir Putins new Asia policy. Sevastyanov is Chair of the Department of International Economics at the Vladivostok State University of Economics (VSUE), where he specializes in Asia-Pacific relations, international organizations, and Russian Far East economics. He joined the university in 1998 after retiring as a captain in the Russian navy and serving as Foreign Policy Assistant to the commander of the Russian Pacific Fleet in Vladivostok. Among his most recent publications are: Russian Reform and its Economic and Security Implications for the Russian Far East (USA, Monterey Institute of International Studies, 1999); Naval Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (RF, Moscow, 1999). Also presenting from Russia are: Nordari Simoniya, director of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Moscow; Anna Shkuropat, director of the Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies at VSUE; Sergey Leonov of the Economics Research Institute in Khabarovsk, and Tamara Troyakova from the Vladivostok Academy of Sciences.
Presenters from China will discuss multilateral relations in the region as well as Chinas relations with North Korea. They are: Zhang Baoren, Li Yutan and Weng Shengjin from the School of North East Asian Studies, Jilin University; and Guo Li from the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences. Migeddorjiin Batchimeg from The Institute for Strategic Studies in Mongolia will present on the issue of human security in Mongolia.
The conference will begin on Thursday, November 30 at 9:30 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m. Friday at the University Club of Toronto, 380 University Avenue.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Michael B. Frolic
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