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Global Conflict and Cooperation in a New Era
2009-05-05
By Sarmad Qazi
Resolving global conflicts in a new era of co-operation entails all countries to jointly develop concepts and act collectively, says a group of panellists.
The panel, comprising diplomats and strategic studies experts, was chaired by South Africa-based Concepts head Sean Cleary during a session of Doha Forum that concluded yesterday.
Framing the topic, London-based Institute for National Strategic Studies director Patrick Cronin said: “We have rising powers; including non-state powers and the power of individuals that supersedes the blocs, amidst shifting of political power from West to East and other parts of the world.”
“Dialogue, diplomacy, use of smart power, as well as reaching out to young people might just be the best trade-off diminishing superpowers will have to make,” Cronin added.
Former Pakistani ambassador to the UK and the US, Maleeha Lodhi, said, “We live in an age of paradoxes. It’s a world that is more connected yet also very fragmented; a globalised world that has also sharpened the divisions between civilizations.”
Commenting on ties between India and Pakistan, the former diplomat suggested exploring the nuclear dimension; the need for both countries to clarify the role of nuclear weapons, conventional balance of forces, and the unresolved issue of Kashmir, as a way of making progress in relations as well as in providing economic opportunities to the people.
The director of India’s Forum of Strategic and Security Studies, Raman Puri, said that South and Southwest Asia being an unstable region, ways to induce stability must be examined.
He suggested that the region needed to strengthen and find the strategic space, that the UN, Western and Nato forces continue in Afghanistan and that Iranian-American relations improve.
US’s National Defence University professor James Clad remarked that the US (under President Obama) would inevitably revert to its traditional maritime role while speaking in the context of strategic security and stability.
“The global maritime space will increasingly be crowded – on the back of growing prowess of rising economies,” the academician noted.
Former Thai foreign minister Kantathi Suphamongkhon, who now teaches diplomacy and law at the UCLA, gave the example of ASEAN as a model of successfully using regional diplomacy “creatively”.
“Rules must not be imposed on others. It is also important to use international laws,” Suphamongkhon said.

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