27/01/2020

CONCEPT NOTE

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON

SCO: REGIONAL CONNECTIVITY & HIGHER EDUCATION

INTRODUCTION: The world in the 21st century requires win-win model to address the issues of poverty, violence and many other forms and manifestations of human suffering. The end of the Cold War was a paradigm shift in International Politics which paved the way for a multipolar world. Globalization emerged as a dominant trend in International Relations and deepened interdependence between regions and countries of the globe. In the emerging global order another important and visible trend was regionalism. The features of the new regionalism highlighted the common desire of the participants to negotiate regional problems and to achieve mutually beneficial and sustainable development of the entire region. The development of new regionalism ultimately led to regional organizations that strived for regional economic integration. Among the developing world, China successfully grasped the inherent opportunities of globalization and regionalism. With its pragmatic policies especially slow political and fast economic reforms in the 1980s and 1990s , China with its 1.436 billion population and land area of 9.388 million square kilometers has emerged the fastest growing economy of the world.

South Asia covers about 5.2 million square kilometers and has a population of about 1.891 billion. More than 150 million people from the region are expected to enter the labor market by 2030. UNDP report highlights that 64 percent of Pakistan’s population is below the age of 30. Of this, hardly one percent makes it to universities and 29% of the population is between 15 and 29. The young population of Pakistan faces great issues including illiteracy, unemployment and social disengagement. The youth, anywhere in the world, is either a catalyst for the socio-economic & politico-intellectual growth of a society or a recipe for self-degeneration. 

The economic strength enabled China to realize its cherished dream of the revival of the legendary Silk Road. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched in 2013 to strengthen economic integration of Eurasian landmass. In the second decade of the 21st century as an alternative to zero-sum game model, the win win model projected by BRI  inspired many political Gurus and decision makers at the helm of affairs in many politically organized societies.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) came into existence on 26 April 1996 as Shanghai Five and then it transformed into SCO in 2001 to achieve its objectives of ensuring regional peace and connectivity. Since its inception SCO gradually galvanized multilateral cooperation in different fields among the member countries and the implications of this development were far reaching for the region and beyond. Its main focus remained on cooperation for creating a democratic, equitable international political and economic system as well as collaboration in political, security, economic, scientific, technical, energy, transport, tourism and educational fields. The member states of the SCO intend to promote effective cooperation in joint. research, knowledge sharing by scholars at research centers, and special competitions within the SCO to find new sources of social and economic development.

There are many regional connectivity projects nevertheless supported by China and based on win win model BRI got more prominence. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a corridor of the BRI is a hyphen which joins, a buckle which fastens Pakistan to China and the two nations consider it a great leap forward for regional economic development. In the mega CPEC project China and Pakistan are collaborating in energy, infrastructure, telecommunications, education and health. In the second phase of CPEC, the focus is on industrial development and special economic zones.

CPEC ushered new avenues of collaboration including cultural and knowledge corridors. The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC), which came into existence in 2002 brought a silent revolution in the realm of higher education and equiped the students and faculty of Pakistan to realize their career dreams. The HEC promoted excellence in research and learning. Under the CPEC Consortium of China and Pakistan Universities the China Association of Higher Education (CAHE) and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) are taking concrete steps in the field of higher education to facilitate the transfer of knowledge.

China Study Centre, University of Peshawar in collaboration with China Embassy Islamabad, Higher Education Commission (HEC), Higher Education Department (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University Peshawar, FATA University, Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies (IDPS) and other partner universities is organizing three days International conference on, “SCO: Regional Connectivity & Higher Education” at China Study Centre, University of Peshawar on 10-12 March 2020.

 

CONFERENCE OBJECTIVES:  

  1. To examine the SCO and the shared future of its members
  2. To analyse the prospects of regional economic connectivity
  3. To explore collaboration in higher education among the SCO members
  4. To search for areas of cooperation between Universities of Pakistan and China.

 

SUB-THEMES:

  1. The SCO and regional peace and stability
  2. The evolving political and security dynamics in South Asia
  3. Afghanistan: Peace so far and yet so near
  4. Pakistan and India Relations: Opportunities & challenges
  5. Kashmir:The unfolding human crisis & international community
  6. BRI: All inclusive win-win model
  7. CPEC Phase II: Industrial Cooperation
  8. CPEC: Development of tourism in Pakistan
  9. CPEC: Cultural & agricultural development in Pakistan
  10. The achievements and successful experiments of HEC & CAHE
  11. Collaboration in Higher Education between China and Pakistan
  12. Youth Development for Human Resource Development in Pakistan

 

IMPACT: One of the main functions of the China Study Centre, University of Peshawar is to organize conferences, seminars, workshops, symposiums and training courses on various aspects of Pakistan and China Relations and regional issues. The International conference will promote coordinated efforts, exchange of experiences and cooperative action for win-win model and strengthening Pakistan and China iron brotherhood for regional peace and development. The experts interaction during the International conference on these important themes will be disseminated in a report and will be shared with stakeholders, journalists will be invited to give due projection in media to the experts opinion.A large number of students will participates and will learn about these important issues.This conference will analyze the development of SCO, regional connectivity projects and will explore collaboration in higher education among SCO members especially Pakistan and China, which will benefit youth of the region and will polish their talents.

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