Some of T2A’s past projects have aimed at helping the development of a trust-building informal dialogue between the European Institutions and East Asian countries. To do so, Track2Asia has acted as a guide and a go-between for the European and Asian stakeholders willing to engage in dialogue. Other projects have focused on promoting country-to-country dialogue through people-to-people exchanges in the fields of art, sport and culture. These exchanges help building solid foundations for economic and political cooperation between Europe and its Asian partners.
Korean Global Forum (KGF) and EU-Korea Informal Dialogue
The KGF is a yearly Conference sponsored by the Republic of Korea and organised by the World Korean Foundation, held each year in a different country. It aims at collecting foreign experts’ and policy-makers’ contributions to feed discussions on the Korean Peninsula. Track2Asia members participated in the past as co-organisers and as contributors, in particular in the DPRK-related fora of discussion. In 2015 T2A, as a constituted association, took part in the organisation and panel discussions of the KGF held in London and Paris in June.
EU-DPRK Informal Dialogue
Glyn Ford has always believed in informal dialogue as a successful mean to go beyond the misunderstandings and lack of trust that are so typical of the traditional diplomatic and political exchanges, in particular with a country such as the DPRK. Through the years, he has always used his knowledge and unique access to this country to facilitate the engagement of European stakeholders at all levels with their North Korean counterparts. Track2Asia’s most important project so far has been to help the establishment of an informal dialogue between prominent former European politicians and Pyongyang decision-makers, trying to apply the trust-building informal dialogue that proved successful in the case of Northern Ireland.
North East Asia Economic Forum (NEAEF)
Rason as a Window of Dialogue with the DPRK
NEAEF is a regional non-governmental organization created in 1991 to sponsor and facilitate research, networking, and dialogue relevant to the economic and social development of Northeast Asia. The goal of NEAEF is to encourage cooperation and advance knowledge and understanding about the challenges the Northeast Asian Region is facing. The Forum holds annual conferences, workshops and seminars for planning, facilitating, coordinating and implementing international and interdisciplinary solutions to common policy problems. Its Members include Japan, China, South Korea, Mongolia, Russia and the US. The DPRK, originally included, has not participated since the late 90s.
Glyn Ford has been the only European speaker invited to contribute to the Forum every year. T2A is now engaged, in cooperation with the NEAEF staff, to re-open this unique dialogue with the DPRK, beginning with the organisation of a second field trip to the Rason Special Economic Zone in early 2016.