30 Mar 2005

Conference to open in Brisbane to discuss peace in the region

8:18 pm on 30 March 2005

A four-day conference in Brisbane, starting on Thursday, aims to canvas different views on how sustainable peace can be achieved in the Asia/Pacific region.

The University of Queensland is bringing together academics, activists, and government and agency officials to discuss how peace, justice and reconciliation can be advanced.

The Conference will also mark the official opening of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.

Its head, Professor Kevin Clements, says one thing they are trying to achieve with the conference is to create a space where different voices can be heard.

"I think one of the major challenges that Australia and New Zealand have faced, for example, is that they, in a sense, have been defining the problems for the region and imposing solutions on the region, rather than really creating environments within which the region can speak to us about their own specific needs and interests and how they can best be satisfied."

Professor Kevin Clements of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.