Queen's welcomes Asia-Pacific diplomats
Ambassadors and High Commissioners to Canada who represent more than half of the world’s population will be on campus today for the seventh annual Ambassadors Forum.
Organized by Professor Hok-Lin Leung, former Director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning, the gathering of 20 Asia-Pacific “heads of mission” is an opportunity to foster international dialogue and understanding in an academic setting.
“I wanted the eyes and ears of foreign governments to know what informed and thoughtful Canadians think about Canadian and international issues,” says Professor Leung. “The forum is also an opportunity to showcase Queen’s talent.”
This year’s speaker is Queen’s School of Business professor Louis Gagnon who will discuss international banking reform. Past topics have included international peacekeeping and peacemaking, globalization and national sovereignty and Canada’s role in world peace.
Dr. Leung also organizes Ottawa meetings of this group of diplomats three times a year.
Principal Daniel Woolf says the initiative aligns with Queen’s activities and aspirations for partnerships and collaborations in the Asia-Pacific region.
“We have many cross-disciplinary initiatives underway in that part of the world involving teaching, research and student exchanges," says Principal Woolf. "But there is huge potential for growth in all of these areas that will benefit both Queen’s and the institutions and communities we work with.”
Dr. Leung says the forum is all about building bridges. “There are things we do well that we can teach others and things that we can learn from other parts of the world,” he says. “And it’s always wonderful to see the High Commissioner of Pakistan talking to the High Commissioner of Australia or the Ambassador of Iran talking to Japan.”