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Forum brings together academics, Asia-Pacific diplomats

Diplomatic representatives, including a number of ambassadors and high commissioners, from the Asia-Pacific region were hosted by Queen's University during the annual Ambassadors' Forum on Friday, May 5. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

Diplomats from a dozen countries in the Asia-Pacific region gathered at Queen’s recently for the annual Ambassadors’ Forum, an event that began in 2003 and provides a venue for academics and diplomats to come together and share ideas and perspectives.

Queen's in the World

“This forum serves as a model for how academics and diplomats can work together on an ongoing basis to further international dialogue, diplomacy, and action,” said Principal Daniel Woolf at the May 5 event. “There is tremendous potential for all of us – establishing more outreach programs to engage our citizens, building on collaborative efforts for mutually beneficial solutions, and enhancing international dialogue and understanding.”

This year’s forum, which included a special luncheon and discussion, featured a talk by Frank Milne, BMO Professor of Economics and Finance at Queen’s, on the “Global Economy in the Trump Era.”

“The audience was captivated,” said Professor Emeritus and former director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning Hok-Lin Leung, the organizer of the event. “One thing came across loud and clear: Be calm; don’t be distracted by all the noise and forget the structural issues that have fuelled as well as plagued globalization all these decades.”

(Photo by Bernard Clark)

For Queen’s, the meeting of ambassadors and high commissioners provides a chance for the university to directly inform the visitors about a range of new and ongoing initiatives, particularly on the international front. The diplomatic officials at this year’s event came from Indonesia, China, Japan, Thailand, Mongolia, and Nepal, among other places.

In addition to the principal, Queen’s representatives at the forum included Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Associate Vice-Principal (International) Kathy O’Brien, and Interim Vice-Principal (Research) John Fisher.

Internationalization is one of the four pillars of the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014–2019. The Comprehensive International Plan was launched in August 2015 to help the university build on its international strengths and direct future internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through academic exchange and study-abroad programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on Queen’s campus. Learn more on the International website.