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Event: Peace Zones - Creating Avenues for Stability through Development

Event: Peace Zones - Creating Avenues for Stability through Development
Admin - Tue Oct 15, 2013 @ 06:59PM
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“Peace Zones: Creating Avenues for Stability through Development – South Sudan, Syria, Colombia and Korea,” hosted by the Office of Peace and Security Affairs, UPF-DC from 2:00 to 4:30 pm on Tuesday, October 15, at The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave., NE, Washington, DC. 
Korea: Dr. Seung-ho Lee, President, DMZ Forum
South Sudan: Dr. Joseph Agolory & Dr. Matilda Rial, Board Members, South Sudan Health Development Group, with special guest delegation from the Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan, and delegation from MECUDA Villages Association of Cameroon  
Colombia: Dr. James Patton, Executive Vice President, International Center for Religion and Diplomacy
Kurdistan: Sharif Behruz, President, Iran Roundtable, and Habib Azarsina, Board Member, Iran Roundtable with special guests Jehad Saleh, Syrian Kurdish journalist and writer, and Samira Ghaderi, Director, American Kurdish Council  
Moderator: Velma Anne Ruth, M.Ed., President, Independent Review and Executive Director, Middle East Democracy Federation.
Host: Dr. Antonio Betancourt, Director, UPF Office for Peace and Security Affairs, Washington, D.C.
Peace Zones: Creating Avenues for Stability through Development 
South Sudan, Syria, Colombia and Korea
The concept of “peace zones” was first introduced in 1947 through UNSC Resolution 181 to promote peace in Jerusalem. Since then, the United Nations has engaged dozens of peacekeeping missions through the development of international coalitions for stability, addressing crises of military proportions, humanitarian, volatile conflicts and major natural disasters. Over time, as conflicts deteriorate, large territories are designated to promote advancement, such as industrial zones for trade, production, and resulting economic growth which facilitates strength in diplomacy between neighboring nations. 
Sudan and South Sudan agreed to create a demilitarized zone, a 12.4-mile buffer zone which would allow resumption of South Sudan's oil shipments to the north. At least 75% of the oil fields are in the south, however, latest satellite imagery confirms that, in contradiction of U.N. reports, and in violation of security agreements, both Sudan and South Sudan maintain troops in much of the border zone. Throughout Africa, volatility is fueled through economic crises and desperation for such fundamental goods as food, water, and medical help. Prospects for medical and water development, plus job growth in South Sudan, from Juba to Unity State proposes opportunities for advancing resources that may be fundamentally shared between north and South, and beyond to Kenya and Uganda. 
Syria, for over two years, the conflict has taken over 125,000 lives, pushed out over two million refugees, and has left millions more internally displaced in cross warfare between the Syrian government and their allies, Syrian revolutionaries, and a cornucopia of foreign terrorist organizations. This humanitarian crisis has spread throughout Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt, taking with it volatility that crosses borders. In the course of Kurdistan’s quest for a four-state solution to their nationalism between Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, Iraqi and Syrian Kurds are joining together, hosting 200,000+ refugees and integrating them into the economy. Can locations like Erbil or Syrian Kurdistan serve as peace zones, in leading an end to the conflict in Syria through international coalition?
Colombia, as part of the peace talks launched in 1998, the government granted FARC, a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization, a safe haven larger than the state of Maryland. Known as Farclandia, the zone was largely controlled by FARC. Despite the government’s willingness to offer land-for-peace, FARC continues terrorist attacks most recently on Colombia’s oil industry.
Korea, the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which has served as a buffer zone between North and South Korea since the 1953 Armistice ending the Korean War, has seen discussion of numerous possible co-ventures, most notably a nature reserve, but by and large, the DMZ remains a no-man’s land directly controlled by each nation’s military with numerous Armistice violations in the past 60 years.
We invite experts and scholars to discuss the development of designated territories for the sake of promoting stability both in-country and between nations, and will review current prospects for advancing peace.
The Office of Peace and Security Affairs hosts monthly forums on volatile areas around the world and explores ways in which lasting peace can be established with emphasis on “soft power” solutions. Universal Peace Federation has activities in 160+ countries, with special NGO consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council. 
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