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Globalization: The Promises and The Perils, U.S. and Asian Responses

Informatics Creative Commons photo-patchwork. (musha68000/Flickr)

Informatics Creative Commons photo-patchwork. (musha68000/Flickr)

Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund
Dr. Ashok Khosla, Founder, Development Alternatives
Muzaffar Chishti, Director, Immigration Project, UNITE
Nang Lao Liang Won, Co-founder, Migrant Assistance Programme, Thailand
Raymond Offenheiser, President, Oxfam America


Welcome by Ambassador Nicholas Platt, President, Asia Society

Good evening everybody. I'm Nick Platt, President of the Asia Society and I'm delighted on behalf of the Asia Society to welcome you all here tonight for the launching of the Asian Social Issues Program.

American public perceptions of Asia over the past two decades have largely been shaped by two phenomena effecting the region: Economic expansion and economic crisis. These developments have obscured a number of social challenges of increasingly important global significance such as those concerning ethnic and other types of communal conflict, the environment, migration and human rights. The Asia Society recognizes that these social issues and the strategies used to deal with them will play a large role in the international relations of the 21st Century. Tonight's program - "Globalization, The Promises and the Perils" - marks the formal launch of the Asia Society's Asian Social Issues Program. With the help of a major grant from the Ford Foundation, the Asia Society is undertaking a major US public education initiative known as ASIP - Asian Social Issues Program.

Through a variety of multi-disciplinary programs, ASIP will bring American public attention to important social issues in Asia and the innovative strategies that have been generated within the region in response to those issues. In doing so, ASIP will strive to articulate why Asian social issues matter to Americans.

Tonight's program will begin with a keynote address by Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund. After a brief question and answer period, Dr. Linda Lim, Asia Society Trustee, ASIP Advisor and Director of the Southeast Asia Business Program at the University of Michigan, will moderate the panel discussion responding to Dr. Sadik's remarks and to the issue of Globalization - Promises and Perils.

Now it's my privilege to introduce Dr. Sadik. Dr. Sadik is Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund and holds the rank of Under Secretary General. On her appointment in 1987, she became the first woman to head one of the United Nations major voluntarily funded programs. She has consistently called attention to the importance of addressing the needs of women and of involving women directly in making and carrying out development policy. This is particularly important for population policies and programs. In June 1990, the Secretary General of the United Nations appointed her Secretary General of the International Conference on Population and Development. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Nafis Sadik.