Ing. Salih CAVKIC
Paris nor Brussels!
We want to live in peace with all
regardless of their religion, color and origin.
Therefore, we condemn any
kind of terrorism!
Ne više Pariz ni Brisel!
Mi želimo živjeti u miru sa svim našim
bez obzira koje su vjere, boje kože i porijekla.
Zato mi osuđujemo svaku vrstu terorizma!
Prof. dr. Murray Hunter
University Malaysia Perlis
Years to Trade Economic Independence for Political Sovereignty -
Rattana Lao holds a doctorate in Comparative and International
Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and is currently teaching in Bangkok.
Director of Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Rakesh Krishnan Simha
Géométrie variable of a love triangle – India, Russia and the US
Amna Whiston is a London-based writer specialising in moral philosophy. As a
PhD candidate at Reading University, UK, her main research interests are in ethics, rationality, and moral psychology.
Eirini Patsea is a Guest Editor in Modern Diplomacy, and
specialist in Cultural Diplomacy and Faith-based Mediation.
Can we trust the government to do the right thing, are they really
care about essential things such as environmental conditions and
education in our life?
Postgraduate researcher in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Geneva-based UMEF University
professor of IT law and EU law at Banja Luka College,
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Studied in Belgrade (Political Science) and in Moscow (Plekhanov’s IBS). Currently, a post-doctoral researcher at the Kent University in Brussels (Intl. Relations). Specialist for the
MENA-Balkans frozen and controlled conflicts.
Dr. Swaleha Sindhi is
Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Administration, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of
Baroda, India. Decorated educational practitioner Dr. Sindhi is a frequent columnist on related topics, too. She is the Vice President
of Indian Ocean Comparative Education Society (IOCES). Contact:
It is an Ankara-based
journalist and notable author.
She is engaged with the leading Turkish dailies and weeklies for
nearly three decades as a columnist, intervieweer and editor.
Her words are prolifically published and quoted in Turkish,
French an English.
By İLNUR ÇEVIK
Modified from the original: They killed 1 Saddam and created 1,000 others (Daily Sabah)
Aine O'Mahony has a bachelor in Law and Political Science at
the Catholic Institute of Paris and is currently a master's student
of Leiden University in the International Studies programme.Contact:
Elodie Pichon has a
bachelor in Law and Political Science at the Catholic Institute of
Paris and is currently doing a MA in Geopolitics, territory and
Security at King's College London. Contact :
a MA candidate of the George
Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs. Her
research focus is on cross-Pacific security and Asian studies,
particularly on the Sino-U.S. relations and on the foreign policy
and politics of these two.
Dutch - Nederlands
French - Français
German - Deutsch
The World without Colonies –
Dakhla without Potemkin Village
Editor-in-Chief, dear colleagues,
Along with our warm greetings from
Vienna/central Europe, let us send you an
interesting take on the future of disputed
territory of Africa that is still ahead of
As it is often labeled as a last colony of
Africa and a living legacy of Dictator
Franco, it certainly deserves attention of
all those fighting discrimination
colonialism in all its forms. Advocates of
South-South dialogue (global dialogue of/on
South) will find it particularly important
as an issue to defend fundamental principles
(self-determination right, right to respect,
dignity and equality among nations and
It comes from a senior analyst and long-time
(the text is slightly over 1k words –
meaning, very eligible as an Op-ed)
Many thanks for your kind and close
Executive Assistant to HoM,
IFIMES Permanent Representation to Austria
and Vienna-based IOs
Executive Assistant to HoM
Anis H. Bajrektarevic, Head of Mission and
IFIMES Department for Strategic Studies on
Asia, Department Head
Cell: +43 (0) 676 739 71 75
Email: vienna(at)@ifmes.org firstname.lastname@example.org
November marked forty two years since 350,000 Moroccans crossed into
the Western Sahara as part of the staged manipulation called “Green
March.” November 6 is a dark day for the Saharawi people, because it
epitomises Morocco’s illegal military invasion and partial
occupation of Western Sahara.
In October of 1975, the International Court of Justice had
Morocco’s claim of sovereignty over Western Sahara, and having
failed to win the legal argument, Moroccan King Hassan II responded
with force. He ordered the Green March, a manufactured “civilian”
invasion, which was (rein)forced with an deployment of 20,000
Moroccan heavily armed troops.
Legacy of Dictator Franco still alive
With Francisco Franco on his deathbed, the Spanish colonial forces
that had controlled the territory since 1884 did nothing to resist
the annexation. In fact, that time Spanish dictatorship struck a
deal to cede control of the territory to Morocco and Mauritania. The
“Madrid Accords” between Spain, Morocco and Mauritania deliberately
excluded any representatives of the indigenous Saharawi people of
Western Sahara – in the best fashion of neo-colonialism. Mauritania
later relinquished its claim – applauded by all progressive word.
However, Morocco has continued legacy of Dictator Franco and its
occupation in defiance of international law and the world community
calls ever since.
The Saharawi people refused to stand idly by and watch while their
land was stolen. For fifteen years, the Frente POLISARIO resisted
the invasion and fought a war with Morocco. In 1991 the Organization
of African Unity (the precursor to the African Union) and UN –
backed by the NAM/G-77, jointly brokered a ceasefire between the
Frente POLISARIO, the legitimate political representatives of the
Saharawi people, and Morocco with the agreement that the Saharawi
people would be allowed to exercise its right to self-determination
through a referendum. The Western Sahara nation is still waiting -
its people divided between a brutal and oppressive Moroccan
occupation in the west and the harsh desert refugee camps of
Western Sahara is divided by a 2,700 kilometers of sand
that is littered with landmines and manned by tens of thousands of
Moroccan troops. The landmines, in direct contravention of the
Ottawa Treaty on anti-personnel mines, pose daily risks and dangers
to the lives of the Saharawi population and their livestock in the
liberated area of the territory. Those under occupation are denied
basic human rights and freedoms; they are discriminated against and
are frequently subject to arbitrary arrest, intimidation, detainment
and torture. These areas are – by many independent accounts – some
of the worst on planet earth. Those living in the refugee camps are
exiled from their homeland – all that for decades, with new
generations born under the refugee tends. The precariousness of this
situation was highlighted recently when severe flooding destroyed
the camps and created a
major humanitarian disaster.
Morocco – Neocolonial Master-blaster
For decades, the legitimate representatives of the Saharawi people
have followed a peaceful path towards liberation, patiently making
their case to the world that they too deserve to exercise their
fundamental right to self-determination – elementary liberty granted
to any world nation. Saharawi do this knowing that they have the
full weight of
on their side and that no single country in the world recognizes
Morocco’s claim of sovereignty over Western Sahara.
Some of the strongest support for Saharawi right to
self-determination comes from the African continent and the
Non-Aliened Movement, where many countries have fought their own
battles for freedom in recent history. Western Sahara is the last
colony in Africa, classified by the UN as a Non-Self-Governing
Territory, still awaiting a process of decolonization.
The AU (African Union) has
been clear in its support, stating that “Western Sahara remains
an issue in the completion of the decolonization process of Africa”
that must be resolved. Many countries in Africa and around the world
formally recognize the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, which is a
full and founding member of the African Union. Morocco, on the other
hand, is the only country in Africa that is not a member of the
African Union due to its illegal occupation of Western Sahara. And
still, the UN Security Council has chosen to ignore the calls of
Africans, its African Union as well as the NAM to rid the continent
of colonialism, oppression, flagrant brutality and economic plunder.
For over 25 years the UN Security Council has had the responsibility
to facilitate a referendum on self-determination in accordance with
the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara,
tellingly called the United Nations Mission on the Referendum in
Western Sahara (MINURSO). But France and few otherr P-5 (permanent
members) of the Security Council have failed to live up to this
obligation by acquiescing to, or in some cases assisting with,
Moroccan obstruction of the negotiating process. In the context of
this stalemate, it is incumbent upon the UN Secretary-General to
point the finger at Morocco and acknowledge that it is the reason
why the UN’s efforts to resolve the conflict have ground to a halt.
As a first step the UN Secretary-General must follow through on his
promise to visit Western Sahara. This would at least send a signal
to the Saharawi people that the UN is serious about resolving the
A new “Green March” every year in March
Unfortunately, what we are witnessing this mid March is again a
bogus Dakhla Forum. This new form of “Green March” brings stashes of
naďve officials and manipulated spectators – all free of charge.
This ‘summit’ in the centar of Concentration Camp has no
deliberations, directional agenda or substantive brainstorming. It
is rather a showoff, pathetic one. This lavish pampering of (mostly
purely informed and misused) visitors in Potemkin Village of
brutally enslaved and tortured Dakhla has only one aim – to
desperately try to legitimize this unjust occupation. Regrettably,
some of the delegates are either European National (MP) or EU
parliamentarians (MEP) who are taking perDiams (rather incorrectly)
from their taxpayers – besides being fully covered by Morocco with a
business class travel and the first class accommodation for
themselves and for their spouses. Finally, nobody in the EU approved
MPs or MEPs to participate at dubious political whitewashing events
contrary to their constituencies’ official line – even charging
their taxpayers for the non-existing costs.
It is hypocritical for the major Western powers, particularly some
with the UN Security Council, to claim that they are the bastions of
democracy and human rights while failing to stand up to Morocco when
it denies the Saharawi people the basic right of self-determination.
All Saharawi ask for is what their are owed under international law:
the right to decide their own future.
Too often, the world has ignored the situation in Western Sahara
because the ceasefire has held and Western Sahara nation has not
returned to war. But the status quo is not sustainable. An
increasingly restless generation of Saharawi youth will not accept
that it is their fate to live and die without ever knowing freedom
from occupation. The international community should take heed and
live up to its responsibilities before it is too late.
About the author:
MINURSO Coordinator, Frente POLISARIO; Advisor, President of the
Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)
MARCH 10, 2018
Future of the Banking Industry – Not without
By Oliver Aziator
you are reading this article it means you are directly involved in
the world of internet, this wonderful innovation has made it
possible to connect everyone around the world directly. Through this
innovation, the most promising new disrupt technologies have emerged
for the future; Thus, the world of the blockchain. It is right to
ask if the blockchain technology is a disruptive innovation? why is
this novelle technology pacing slowly? This because the technology
has only reached the required level of maturity wide mainstream use.
What is a disrupting technology? It is the one that displays
established technology and revolutionizes industry or ground shaking
product that creates a completely new industry.
change and competition dictate the new paradigm for the banking
industry, the financial institutions are no exception to the
dynamics of industrial advancement which is driven by a fast-growing
cost and great pressure. The implementation of the blockchain
influences a lot of stakeholders in the financial services which
include customers, employees, shareholders, investors, suppliers,
industry associates, education institutions, government and
non-governmental organizations. The banking world is involved in
quick changes of digitalization, a potential cost and labor-saving
instrument, the prospects for the global finance market are so
appealing that many major financial institutions are investing
millions of dollars to research on what will be the best way to
The high-priced and opaque involvement of a third party in a
transaction is the main problem that has been solved by the creation
of the Blockchain due to one centralized shared database. In the
past, it was impossible because every transaction requires
communications between two single databases and thence another
authorized controlling layer was needed. A simplified example of
remittance can be used in espousing the concept lucidly, your
relative who wants to Transfer money from another country to you,
but before you receive the money it might take hours perhaps days
for you to be able to receive the said money.
This is because transferring money involved some other parties who
must authorize and control the transactions. That kind of
frustrating and arduous processes get vaporized under Blockchain.
The blockchain is a conceptually stored and synchronized distributed
ledger that enables safe and transparent transaction across its
networks. Every party involved has an identical copy of the shared
ledger that is used to record and store information of the asset
such as monies and properties.
Every change to the ledger will be synchronized and copied almost
directly and transparently to the network where it will be seen as a
block. The blocks are linked by cryptographically. An example to
illustrate how this works is a situation where A wants to send money
to B. The transaction is represented online in a block without a
middleman. After the block is sent to every party on the network,
approval is given by nodes to validate every transaction. If the
transaction is approved the block will be added to the chain which
revises the permanent and transparent records of the transactions
Finally, the money will move from A to B and this is done in few
The blockchain network relies on the decentralized systems making it
attainable for one person or group of persons to get in control of
it. This safe and transparent transaction is facilitated through a
decentralized system of the payment system which is allowed by the
blockchain technology. Hereby staring in the era that extends beyond
financial capital market, global payment, Corporate Governance
social institutions and democratic participation Before
Digitalization every action in the traditional banking industry had
to be done manually. The industry has homogeneously surfaced
centralized data stored and many intermediaries linked, this result
to poor customer service through complex clearing processes, large
amount manual inspections, leaking personal information and high
The practice of keeping ledgers dates back in centuries, the
blockchain story started in 2008 when an anonymous person or group
of persons with pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper
which proposes an Electronic peer to peer cash system called Bitcoin
The blockchain was originally developed to support bitcoin but now
it is used for more than thousand cryptocurrencies which resulted in
a long trail effect.
The said technology can be used in so many sectors such as
cybersecurity, supply chain, forecasting, networking, insurance,
private transport, online storage, charity, voting, government,
energy, online music, retails, health care, real estate,
crowdfunding and identification As explained earlier the blockchain
technology eliminates the involvement of a third party in
transactions, or as prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic coined: “Hegemony
a debtor empire/s’ fiat-papers”.
This chain is disrupting the banking industry as secured, cut cost,
reduce delay and it is hugely efficient. Because it is decentralized
and permissionless, it can lead to more disruptions in the financial
sector, especially in payment clearing. Recently international
organizations as well as developed countries and other countries
have been paying close attention to the blockchain technology and
are exploring their application in various fields.
For the financial sector, a number of the international financial
institution have begun to formally plan for the blockchain
technology since 2015, Goldman Sachs and other banking Giants have
established their own blockchain laboratories working in close
collaboration with the blockchain platforms.
Major Financial Institutions have a relatively positive attitude
towards studying and improving the beck and processing efficiency of
the blockchain technology and place a significant emphasis on its
potential to reduce operational cost. In fact, IBM predicted that in
four years sixty-six percent of the banking industry will have
commercialized the blockchain at a scale. What are our indigenous
Africa banks or Ghanaian own banks doing about this? Will they be
part of the sixty-six percent as stated in the prediction above, it
is high time we start giving opportunities to the IT department in
the banking Industry to study this new technology so that we rise to
be counted. Other opportunities with this new technology are a point
to point payment, sharing credit data, smart contract all this using
the blockchain technology.
This technology can drastically reduce the manual intervention of
supply chain in finance and employ smart contract or digitized
procedures that rely heavily on paperwork, numerous intermediaries,
high risk of illegal transactions, high cost and low efficiency. As
transaction occurs simultaneously each transaction will need to be
verified by all the nodes in the entire network which is harmful to
speed this impact will become especially needy when the nodes in the
Despite the permission-less and self-govern nature of the blockchain
the regulation and the actual implementation of a decentralized
system are problems that remain to be resolved, however, it is
important to note that any beneficiary technology is accompanied by
risks, therefore, the blockchain regulation is necessary and should
be considered earnestly. The Financial industry is highly sensitive
to technological changes.
keep up with these changes, banks must invest more into research on
the blockchain not forgetting the development and empowerment of its
staff in knowing more about this new technology. Although the
blockchain technology is still unregulated and it could have its
limitations, banks would have to improve their position in the
The banks will try to improve their payment systems and overcome
information communication resulting in a better customer experience
hence the blockchain will become the core underline technology of
the financial sector in the future.
Oliver k. M. Aziator,
Senior banking analyst and the Blockchain Advocate
MARCH 10, 2018
Climate Change: Unfit for the residual heat
By Élie Bellevrat and Kira West
Industrial heat makes up two-thirds of industrial energy demand and
almost one-fifth of global energy consumption. It also constitutes
most of the direct industrial CO2
emitted each year, as the vast majority of industrial heat
originates from fossil-fuel combustion. Yet despite these impressive
figures, industrial heat is often missing from energy analyses. That
is why this year’s
World Energy Outlook
takes a deep dive in this important segment of our energy system.
While industrial heat demand – at all temperature levels – grows in
the central scenario of the
World Energy Outlook 2017,
the underlying drivers are different depending on temperature
requirements. Low- and medium-temperature heat (below 400 degrees
Celsius) accounts for three-quarters of the total growth in heat
demand in industry by 2040, driven by less energy-intensive
This is a reversal of historical trends: in the last 25 years,
high-temperature heat represented two-thirds of overall heat demand
growth, driven by China’s rapid development of heavy industries such
as steel and cement. That said, developing Asia continues to drive
industrial heat demand growth in our outlook: the growth in low- to
medium-temperature needs in this region alone represents about half
of the global industrial heat demand increase in use to 2040.
Low-temperature heat use grows in most regions through 2040, except
in the European Union and Japan. The outlook for high-temperature
heat varies even more across regions, including among developing
countries. It decreases in China with the country’s shift to a less
energy-intensive development pathway, while it increases in India as
the country becomes, by large distance, the main global driver.
As industrial heat demand continues to grow so does its share in
emissions, accounting for a quarter of global emissions by 2040.
Any efforts taken to reduce this global trend face unique challenges.
First, industrial heat is often generated on-site, making it more
difficult to regulate than a more centralized sector such as large
thermal power generation. There is also limited policy focus in this
area compared with other sectors.
Second, while heating needs for residential and commercial buildings
are fairly standard, industrial heat encompasses a wide variety of
temperature levels for diverse processes and end-uses. For instance,
cement kilns require high-temperature, while drying or washing
applications in the food industry operate at lower temperatures.
Different technology and fuel options are available depending on the
required temperature level, but these are often not interchangeable.
For example, low-temperature heat from a heat pump cannot be
substituted for high-temperature heat from a gas boiler.
Today’s industrial heat demand relies mainly on fossil fuels,
biomass and electricity, and only very small shares of renewable
resources in certain sectors. Therefore decarbonisation would
require a dramatic shift in how industrial heat is generated. Yet
this goal is instrumental to following a low-carbon development
pathway as defined in the
a new global scenario providing an integrated way to achieve three
critical policy goals simultaneously: climate stabilisation, cleaner
air and universal access to modern energy. The best option for
reducing energy use of industrial heat will depend on the specific
use and required temperature.
In his seminal classic, Geopolitics of
Technology, prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic states: “…, the main
problem with Green/Renewable (de-carbonized) energy is not the
complexity, expense, or the lengthy time-line for fundamental
technological breakthrough; the central issue is that it calls for a
major geopolitical breakthrough. .. Ergo, oil (and gas) represents
far more than energy. Petroleum (be it a finite biogenic mineral or
not) is a socio-economic, psychological, cultural, financial,
security and politico-military construct, a phenomenon of
civilization … In a broader historical, more vertical or
philosophical sense, the hydrocarbons and its scarcity
phychologization, its monetization (and related weaponization) is
serving rather a coercive and restrictive status quo than a
developmental incentive. That essentially calls not for an
engagement but compliance…”
Fuel switching can provide some benefit, for instance substituting
gas for coal, but for more ambitious climate targets more
transformative solutions are needed. For example, under certain
conditions, electrification can be a low-cost and sustainable option
– heat pumps can be economical solutions for low- and
medium-temperature needs. Electrification may also be possible for
specific high-temperature industrial processes, such as
electricity-based steel production. However the sustainability of
electrification depends on broad decarbonisation of the power sector
to actually reduce emissions at the system level.
Direct renewable heat sources such as solar and geothermal can also
be economical for applications below 400 degrees Celsius, but they
are not easy to integrate in all industrial facilities. Bioenergy
can be used for high-temperature heat demand, but is
resource-constrained and only economical and sustainable under
certain operating conditions and in certain regions.
Industrial heat can be decarbonised through the deployment of carbon
capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). This can include, for
instance, technologies to remove CO2
emissions from flue gas before recycling the CO2
in industrial processes, such as for methanol production, or storing
Finally, end-use efficiency, through the use of modern equipment,
improved insulation or heat recovery, can reduce final demand before
the heat is even generated – often, limiting overall heat
requirements is the first strategy adopted, before taking actions to
decarbonise remaining heat use.
Ultimately, widespread deployment of energy efficiency and a least
cost mix of these options can point to a more sustainable future for
industrial heat. Putting the appropriate regulatory framework in
place will be key to ensuring that investments are targeted in a way
that makes this future possible.
Bellevrat and Kira West are the WEO Energy Analysts
Early version of the text
Clean and efficient heat for industry was published by
FEBRUARY 23, 2018
The European Commission's Strategy for the Western
By Zlatko Hadžidedić
The European Commission set a target date of 2025 for
some of the Balkan countries to join. However, Brussels sees only
Serbia and Montenegro as actual candidates. The door formally
remains open to Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia,
but these countries have been put into a grey zone with no time
frames and road maps. They have been put on hold with no tangible
prospects for membership, left without any explanation of what makes
them less valid candidates than Serbia and Montenegro, with these
two being as poor, illiberal and undemocratic as the remaining four.
With a dose of instant cynicism, one might conclude
that Serbia and Montenegro have been rewarded for their military
aggressions on Bosnia and Kosovo, and Serbia's permanent pressures
on Macedonia, whereas the latter ones have been punished for being
the former's victims. However, a more careful look at the population
structure of the four non-rewarded countries reveals that these,
unlike Serbia and Montenegro, have a relative excess of Muslim
population. So far, there have been dilemmas whether the European
Union is to be regarded as an exclusive Christian club, bearing in
mind the prolonged discriminatory treatment of Turkey as an unwanted
candidate. After the European Commission's new strategy for the
Balkans, there can be no such dilemmas: the countries perceived by
Brussels bureaucrats as Muslim ones – regardless of the actual
percentage of their Muslim population – are not to be treated as
The resurrection of this logic, now embodied in the
actual strategy, takes Europe back to its pre-Westphalian roots, to
the faraway times of the Crusades or the times of the Siege of
Vienna. It also signals the ultimate triumph of the most reactionary
populist ideologies in the contemporary Europe, based on exclusion
of all who are perceived as „others“. It signals the ultimate
triumph of the European ineradicable xenophobia. Or – to put it in
terms more familiar to the likely author of the strategy, the
European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and
Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn – the triumph of
Now, what options are left to the practically
excluded Balkan countries, after so many efforts to present
themselves as valid candidates for EU membership? There is a point
in claims that some of their oligarchies, particularly the
tripartite one in Bosnia-Herzegovina, have never actually wanted to
join the EU, because their arbitrary rule would be significantly
undermined by the EU's rule of law. It is logical, then, that the
tripartite oligarchy welcomes the strategy that keeps the country
away from the EU membership, while at the same time deceiving the
population that the strategy is a certain path to the EU. Yet, what
about these people, separated into three ethnic quarantines, who
believe that joining the EU would simply solve all their political
and economic problems, and who refuse to accept the idea that the EU
might be an exclusive club, not open to them? What are the remaining
options for them?
They cannot launch a comprehensive revolution and
completely replace the tripartite oligarchy by their democratic
representatives. Still, they can press it to adopt and conduct a
multi-optional foreign policy, oriented towards several geopolitical
centers: one of them may remain Brussels, but Washington, Moscow,
Beijing, Ankara, Tehran, and others, should also be taken into
account. For, a no-alternative policy, as the one which only repeats
its devotion to the EU integrations without any other geopolitical
options, is no policy at all. In this sense, the presented EU
strategy has clearly demonstrated the futility of such a
no-alternative approach: regardless of how many times you repeat
your devotion to the EU values, principles and integrations, the EU
bureaucrats can simply tell you that you will never play in the same
team with them. However, such an arbitrary but definite rejection
logically pushes the country to look for geopolitical alternatives.
And it is high time for Bosnia-Herzegovina's people and intellectual
and political elites to understand that Brussels is not the only
option on the table, and that there are other geopolitical centers
whose interests might be identified as convergent with the interests
of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Still, all of them should first demonstrate
the ability to identify the interests of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which
means that they should first recognize it as a sovereign state with
its own interests, rather than someone else's proxy.
FEBRUARY 14, 2018
ASEAN Shared - the EU twin from Asia: New memories, old wounds
Photograph by Zanyasan
Bangkok – Imagining peace is a noble concept but what does it take
to achieve it?
Where does peace begin?
In modern day Southeast Asia, this can trace back to the 8th
of August, 1967 where five foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia,
the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand joined hands to create the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations or what became known as
Diverse in nature and disperse in geography, ASEAN has achieved much
within the course of fifty years. The Association has grown in size
of its membership and expanded to reach ambitious mandates. In 2015,
ASEAN Economic Community was created to promote free movement of
people, goods and ideas.
Economic integration was just the beginning.
Coated in a long and wordy text and signed on 17th
November 2011, the Declaration on ASEAN Unity in Cultural Diversity
strived toward achieving “people centred and socially responsible
integration,” a socio-cultural integration in short.
Inspired by the European Union, creating one market was not enough
for ASEAN. The Association is driven to “forging a common identity”.
It is hoped that through such effort, peace, mutual understanding
and harmony will be fostered in Southeast Asia.
A common identity for more than 600 million people?
A little lofty.
To achieve this aspiration, the Shared History Project in Southeast
Asia was launched by UNESCO-Bangkok Office with funding from the
Republic of Korea in 2013 to create a new history curricular to be
taught and learned across ASEAN by 2018.
The project brought together historians, educators and researchers
across the region to search for common grounds of what aspect of
history to teach and how to teach it.
It is all for a higher purpose and a better future.
As the late Secretary General of ASEAN, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan,
persuasively said: “it is a better history education that will
produce and provide a strong foundation for understanding where we
have come from and to guide us into the future where we are going,
as individuals, as local communities, as nation states, as a greater
Ideally speaking, a Shared History should be welcomed with an open
arm. A project so inspiring that it aims to mitigate nationalism and
bridge differences across the nations.
In an interview with Dr. William Brehm of Waseda
University, he offered insight into this new architecture to build
peace in ASEAN.
There are many challenges to translate a Shared
Firstly, who will write these new memories? How can a consensus be
built amongst people with diverse cultural heritage, background and
If history is written by the winners – who are the winners in ASEAN?
In ASEAN, disputes and conflicts amongst nations
are not memories of things past, rather they are confounding issues
aggravating daily hatred across countries within the region. Border
dispute amongst nations is the case in point. As professor Anis H.
Bajrektarevic already warned in his luminary policy paper ‘No Asian
absolute or relative shift in economic and demographic strength of
one subject of international relations will inevitably put
additional stress on the existing power equilibriums and
constellations that support this balance in the particular theater
of implicit or explicit structure.”
Therefore, funded by the Thailand Research Fund,
Akkaraphong Khamkhun of Thammasat University counted as many as 20
ongoing territorial disputes in ASEAN. These conflicts are between
Malaysia and Brunei, Laos and Cambodia, Indonesia and the
This is not to mention the infamous
dispute that cuts deep wounds between Thailand
While the wounds are still fresh, how would these stories be told?
Whose stories, precisely?
Secondly, how can a Shared ASEAN formed when countries are deeply
founded with nationalistic sentiment, where overt nationalism is
propagated in and outside of classrooms, where the sense of hatred
to “the other” is instilled for students.
The villain of one country, is the hero of the other. Myanmar – Thai
historical text books are the prime examples on this. Thai kings are
always the heroes for Thailand, while Myanmar kings are presented
often and always as the villains.
This is what a well-known Thai historian
Thongchai Winichakul called “negative
For centuries, each country in ASEAN, is guilty for inflicting
negative identification for others to elevate a sense of pride for
themselves. It is easier to teach who is “us”, when you know who is
ASEAN is not alone in striving to form a new memory of themselves.
In the case of Africa, Dr. Brehm argued that the Shared History
project took as long as 35 years to be successful.
back to UNESCO’s 1964 General History of Africa project. That
project created a set of eight volumes articulating a shared history
of Africa. Huge disagreements among the various national historians
prolonged the project; it took 35 years before all eight volumes
If a country is an imagined community, said Bennedict Anderson in
his polemic book the Imagined Community, by schools, common language
and mass media, is it possible, Dr. Brehm asked, for the UNESCO and
ASEAN enthusiastic idealists to dream of a new common identity for
600 million people who speak more than hundreds of languages and
Is it possible that a common understanding can be reached and
harmony can be fostered through a new kind of text book, new
knowledge and new understanding to promote something as elusive as a
Dr. Brehm is a little sceptical: “So
long as education is organized by nation-states, history and
historical memory will always promote nationalism and national
identity. Everything else will be secondary or retro-fitted for the
Difficult but does that mean impossible?
Surely a Shared textbook is useful and much
needed intervention to cement a mutual understanding amongst ASEAN
students. For political, historical and educational reasons,
however, this project requires careful consideration, time and
resources to ensure that a new generation of ASEAN will be peace
loving rather than nationalistic hawkish.
Having a multilateral organization like UNESCO to
promote history lesson offers a humble step toward regional peace.
Where does peace begin?
It begins with mutual understanding.
More importantly, it has to begin now.
FEBRUARY 1, 2018
Foreign Policy Advisor to former Croatian
President Stjepan Mesić
Ms. Elodie Pichon, Research Fellow of the IFIMES Institute, DeSSA Department. This native Parisian is a Master in Geopolitics,
Territory and Security from the King’s College, London, UK.
Graduate of the London School of Economics,
prof. Zlatko Hadžidedić is a prominent thinker,
prolific author of numerous books, and indispensable political figure of the
former Yugoslav socio-political space in 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.
is the outspoken Indonesian thinker,
social-cause fighter and trendsetter. She is the author of Julia’s Jihad.
Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus are investigative journalists attached to the Swiss-based Das Magazin
University of Bihac, Faculty of Education,
Department of English Language and Literature - undergraduate
University of Banja Luka, Faculty of Philology, Department of English Language
and Literature - graduate study
Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus are investigative
journalists attached to the Swiss-based Das Magazin specialized
Born in Chile and raised in Rome, Alessandro
Cipri has just finished his postgraduate studies at the department
of War Studies of King's College London, graduating with distinction
from the Master's Degree in "Intelligence and International
Security". Having served in the Italian Army's "Alpini" mountain
troops, he has a keen interest in national security, military
strategy, insurgency theory, and terrorism studies. His Master's
dissertation was on the impact of drug trafficking on the evolution
of the Colombian FARC.
Mr. Nicola Bilotta
Nicola Bilotta has a BA and a MA
in History from Universitŕ degli Studi di Milano and a MSc in Economic History
from the London School of Economics. He works as a Global Finance Research
Assistant at The Banker (Financial Times) and collaborates as an external
researcher at ISAG (Istituto di Alti Studi di Geopolitica e Scienze Ausiliari)
Attached to the US-based Berkeley University,
Sooyoung Hu is a scholar at its Political Science and Peace and Conflict
Studies Department. Miss Hu focuses on international relations, international
organizations and its instruments.
Date and Place of Birth: April 22, 1943 – Amurang,
North Sulawesi, IndonesiaEducation: Bachelor in Public
Writer was a member of the House of Representatives
of Indonesia (DPR/MPR-RI) period of 1987-1999, and Chairman of
Committee X, cover Science and Technology, Environment and National
Development Planning (1988-1997).
Currently as Obsever of Nuclear for peace.
Ms. Lingbo ZHAO
is a candidate of the Hong Kong Baptist
University, Department of Government and International Studies. Her
research interest includes Sino-world, Asia and cross-Pacific.
Michael dr. Logies,
Amanda Janoo is an Alternative
Economic Policy Adviser to governments and development
organizations. Graduate from Cambridge University with
an MPhil in Development Studies,
is a Ottawa-based free-lance writer from Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Recently retired Senior lecturer on Development studies, he extensively
publishes in over 50 countries on 4 continents. He can be reached at
Robert Leonard Rope
He studied at the University of
He lives in: San Francisco, California: San Francisco, California, USA
Dr. Enis OMEROVIĆ
The writer, editor-in-chief of
The Jakarta Post, took part
in the Bali Civil Society and Media Forum, organized by the
Institute for Peace and Democracy and the Press Council, on Dec.5-6.
Max Hess is a senior political risk analyst
with the London-based AEK international, specializing in Europe and Eurasia.
Bellevrat is the WEO Energy Analysts
Kira West is the WEO Energy Analysts
Univ. prof. Dubravko Lovrenović is one of the leading European Medievalist specialized in the Balkans, pre-modern and modern political history.
Aleš Debeljak +
Defense of Cross-Fertilization: Europe and Its Identity
Contradictions - Aleš Debeljak
ALEŠ DEBELJAK - ABECEDA DJETINJSTVA
ALEŠ DEBEJAK - INTERVJU; PROSVJEDI, POEZIJA, DRŽAVA
without Colonies – Dakhla without Potemkin Village - Emhamed Khadad
of the Banking Industry – Not without Blockchain - By Oliver Aziator
Change: Unfit for the residual heat - By Élie Bellevrat and Kira
European Commission's Strategy for the Western Balkans - Bureaucrats
Crusade - By Zlatko Hadžidedić
Shared - the EU twin from Asia: New memories, old wounds - Rattana
prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic
Editor - Geopolitics, History, International Relations (GHIR) Addleton Academic
Publishers - New YorK
Senior Advisory board member, geopolitics of energy Canadian energy research
institute - ceri, Ottawa/Calgary
Advisory Board Chairman Modern Diplomacy & the md Tomorrow's people platform
Head of mission and department head - strategic studies on Asia
Professor and Chairperson Intl. law & global pol. studies
Critical Similarities and Differences in SS of Asia and Europe - Prof.
Anis H. Bajrektarevic
MENA Saga and Lady Gaga - (Same dilemma from the MENA) - Anis H. Bajrektarevic
HE ONGOING PUBLIC DEBT CRISIS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION: IMPACTS ON AND LESSONS
FOR VIETNAM - Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Assos. Prof. Nguyen Linh
Change and Re Insurance: The Human Security Issue SC-SEA Prof. Anis
Bajrektarevic & Carla Baumer
(Researcher and Lecturer at the Faculty of Social and Politics,
University of Jayabaya)
the ‘crisis of secularism’ in Western Europe the result of multiculturalism?
Dr. Emanuel L. Paparella
A Modest “Australian” Proposal to Resolve our Geo-Political Problems
Were the Crusades Justified? A Revisiting - Dr. Emanuel L. Paparella
Earned an MA in International Relations from the University of East
Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom in 2013. Her research interests include
foreign policy decision-making, realism and constructivism, and social
psychology and constructivism.
is an independent researcher specialized in International Politics and Peace
& Conflict Studies with a regional focus on the Balkans and the Middle East.
Founder of Internacionalista
Săo Paulo, Brazil
Brazil – New Age
political character of Social Media: How do Greek Internet users perceive and
use social networks?
SWISS UMEF UNIVERSITY
is a master`s degree student on the University for Criminal justice and Security
in Ljubljana. She obtained her bachelor`s degree in Political Science- Defense
George Mason University School of Policy, Government, and
Intl. Relations She focuses on Russia and Central Asia. Ms. Brletich is an
employee of the US Department of Defense.
Interview on HRT-Radio
Prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarević
Dr Filippo ROMEO,
Mads is an intern at PCRC. Mads Jacobsen is from Denmark and is currently
pursuing his Master's degree in 'Development and International Relations' at
Rakesh Krishnan Simha
New Zealand-based journalist and foreign affairs analyst. According to him, he
writes on stuff the media distorts, misses or ignores.
Rakesh started his career in 1995 with New Delhi-based Business World magazine,
and later worked in a string of positions at other leading media houses such as
India Today, Hindustan Times, Business Standard and the Financial Express, where
he was the news editor.
He is the Senior Advisory Board member of one of the fastest growing Europe’s
foreign policy platforms: Modern Diplomacy.
Daniele Scalea, geopolitical
analyst, is Director-general of IsAG (Rome Institute of Geopolitics) and Ph.D.
Candidate in Political studies at the Sapienza University, Rome. Author of three
books, is frequent contributor and columnist to various Tv-channels and
Research Associate at Institute of High
Studies in Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences (IsAG), Rome, Italy, and Ph.D.
researcher at University of Padova, is IMN Country Representative in Italy.