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New Report - The Asia We Want - A Clean and Green Asia
New Report - The Asia We Want - A Clean and Green Asia
Keshav Jha - Cities Are Leading the Battle for Climate Change
Keshav Jha - Cities Are Leading the Battle for Climate Change
Surin Pitsuwan – Asia must develop a common sense of urgency toward environmental issues
Surin Pitsuwan – Asia must develop a common sense of urgency toward environmental issues
Niall O'Connor - We're Seeing a Bigger Impact on Natural Resources
Niall O'Connor - We're Seeing a Bigger Impact on Natural Resources
Salinee Hurley - We Work With the People and Put Them in Charge
Salinee Hurley - We Work With the People and Put Them in Charge
The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation I - A Clean and Green Asia

SESSION

591

The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation I - A Clean and Green Asia
Magdalena Seol - Business and Investment Can Drive a More Sustainable Asia
Magdalena Seol - Business and Investment Can Drive a More Sustainable Asia
The Asia We Want - Building Community Through Regional Cooperation - A Clean and Green Asia
The Asia We Want - Building Community Through Regional Cooperation - A Clean and Green Asia
Sandeep Choudhury – “The Asia we want should be one based on equitable growth and not the disparity we see today between the rich and the poor”
Sandeep Choudhury – “The Asia we want should be one based on equitable growth and not the disparity we see today between the rich and the poor”
Qingchan Yu – “A credible alternative to fossil fuels is critical”
Qingchan Yu – “A credible alternative to fossil fuels is critical”
Trinnawat Suwanprik – We must know the past, understand the present, and plan for the future
Trinnawat Suwanprik – We must know the past, understand the present, and plan for the future
Minh Nguyet Pham – “Air pollution is a spider web of overlapping responsibilities and policies that no single entity is willing to take up the task to solve it”
Minh Nguyet Pham – “Air pollution is a spider web of overlapping responsibilities and policies that no single entity is willing to take up the task to solve it”
Niall O’Connor – We need to take a “business as unusual” approach
Niall O’Connor – We need to take a “business as unusual” approach
Tari Lestari – A clean energy transition is the only way to create a better future for Asia
Tari Lestari – A clean energy transition is the only way to create a better future for Asia
Roli Mahajan – Making the case for mandatory environmental service
Roli Mahajan – Making the case for mandatory environmental service
Abner Lawangen – Asia can truly be a resilient towering continent if all countries pull together to combat climate change
Abner Lawangen – Asia can truly be a resilient towering continent if all countries pull together to combat climate change
Marifrance Avila – “For us to achieve the Asia that we want, we need to start with achieving the country that we want”
Marifrance Avila – “For us to achieve the Asia that we want, we need to start with achieving the country that we want”
Salinee Hurley - Replacing kerosene with solar power - an incomparable way to mitigate climate change
Salinee Hurley - Replacing kerosene with solar power - an incomparable way to mitigate climate change
Fellows Begin Building a Community for the Asia They Want
Fellows Begin Building a Community for the Asia They Want
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PROFILE

Charles Morrison - Asian Leadership Will be Needed to Help Address Climate Change

Former president of East-West Center reflects on new multi-year series and importance of collaboration

Charles Morrison speaking at Salzburg Global Seminar

Charles Morrison speaking at Salzburg Global Seminar

Oscar Tollast | 29.03.2018

Two years ago, Charles Morrison, the former president of the East-West Center, took part in a planning meeting to discuss ways in which to increase capacity in Asian regional organizations. He and others identified two or three areas where progress could be made. The output of this meeting was a new multi-year series held in partnership between Salzburg Global Seminar and the Japan Foundation. The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation I - A Clean and Green Asia is the first of three meetings which will hopefully lead to a synthesis program convened in Asia in 2020.

“Climate change [and] environment was the first area,” says Morrison, speaking during the session he helped plan. “It’s an incredibly important issue, not just for Asia but for the world. It’s one in which Asian leadership will be needed…” Morrison is at Schloss Leopoldskron, the historic home of Salzburg Global Seminar, as a facilitator. After complimenting the selection of participants, he says, “I think it’s generally really lively discussions and a lot of learning because people are talking to other people with whom they share interests but not necessarily with whom they’ve ever met before or had discussions.”

Morrison first joined the East-West Center in the 1980s, moving to Hawaii to work as a research scholar. At the start of the next decade, he became the director of the Center’s economic and politics program. In 1998, he was selected as the Center’s president. After nearly 20 years at the institution, Morrison still underlines the importance of bridging divides and bringing people together from different parts of the world.

“The biggest thing that has happened during my lifetime, aside from the kind of rise of Asia, has been this continent - Europe - where two world wars started,” Morrison says. “People are now growing up in France, Germany, Britain, Italy [and] can’t even imagine their countries at war… It’s a transformation, not just in international relations, but in a way that people that think. They can squabble [on] the soccer field, but the idea of countries being at war is unimaginable.”

Morrison says this is a 20th-century achievement which is continuous and requires constant work. No achievement is necessarily forever, he warns. Reflecting on Asia, he says, “There’s a lot of regional rivalries, and with the development, there’s a lot of new issues. Climate change is only one of the many issues that Asia faces. Building those relationships between Europe, North America, and Asia, I think, is incredibly important.”

Alongside his role as president, Morrison has written on Southeast Asian international relations, US foreign and trade policies toward Asia, and Asia-Pacific regional organizations. He adds, “The East-West Center works mainly on [the] North America, East Asia - to some extent - and South Asia relationship, and it does [in] the same ways as Salzburg Global. It’s [a] very complementary institution from my perspective. We work with young people. We do educational programs and research activities, and we do dialogues for prevention and development.”

Morrison stepped down from his position as president last year. He remains involved with the Center as a distinguished senior fellow. He assists with fundraising and activities where he feels he can contribute. Commenting on the presentations he’s witnessed at Salzburg during the latest session, he indicates some of the projects proposed may be, in his opinion, “overly ambitious.” That said, he doesn’t rule any of them out from succeeding. He adds, “I think as long as people are committed to work together, the projects will be further refined and actually achieve something.”


Charles Morrison was a facilitator at The Asia We Want: Building Community Through Regional Cooperation I - A Clean and Green Asia, the first session of a new multi-year series held in partnership with the Japan Foundation. For more information on the session, please click here. To keep up to date with the conversations taking place during the session on social media, follow #SGSasia.

29.03.2018 Category: SALZBURG IN THE WORLD, SALZBURG UPDATES, SUSTAINABILITY
Oscar Tollast