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"Planning is fully underway for next month’s workshop in Beijing. China and India are on an Africa trajectory, and by the end of the decade will have the majority of the world’s people living with HIV/AIDS. So our main objective there is to create awareness, not only of the monumental challenges, but also of what can be done to avert worse case scenarios."

-John G. Ruggie, Weil Director, CBG

 

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John G. Ruggie, CBG Director4 March 2003

Dear CBG Faculty, Fellows, Staff and Friends:

As promised last month, I want to take this opportunity to share with you two specific highlights from CBG’s very busy February.

First, CBG is collaborating with four other Harvard institutions (School of Public Health, HBS, and the Harvard AIDS Institute), as well as the World Economic Forum and UNAIDS, on “HIV/AIDS and Business in Africa and Asia: Building Sustainable Partnerships.” Our objective is to convene leading stakeholders from around the globe to discuss innovative partnerships to deal with the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa and Asia. The first workshop was mid-month here at the Kennedy School, when 80 representatives from private business, civil society and governments gathered for what, I believe, proved to be an exciting and promising kick-off. The statistics are daunting, and by no means can we claim we’ve discovered a panacea to cope with the epidemic, but representatives from all sectors demonstrated eagerness to find ways to collaborate to meet the challenges that HIV/AIDS presents. In his keynote address, Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS, highlighted some of the powerful alliances that businesses, NGOs and governments have created in response to HIV/AIDS and encouraged the workshop participants to add to these efforts. Jack Chow, KSG alum and Ambassador at Large and Special Representative to the Secretary of State for Global HIV/AIDS, was able to join the group to address the design of the Bush administration’s global AIDS agenda. Throughout, I was struck by the level of commitment and potential for innovation on all sides and by all participants.

Planning is fully underway for next month’s workshop in Beijing. China and India are on an Africa trajectory, and by the end of the decade will have the majority of the world’s people living with HIV/AIDS. So our main objective there is to create awareness, not only of the monumental challenges, but also of what can be done to avert worse case scenarios.

Second – and only two days after the HIV/AIDS workshop – CBG hosted a day and a half symposium on global security and Asia-Pacific economic challenges, marking the 10th anniversary celebration of our partnership with the Kansai Keizai Doyukai of Osaka, Japan. This group of Japanese business executives first came to Prof. Ezra Vogel a decade ago, sparking what has turned into an unparalleled level of commitment to illuminating tough public policy challenges by private sector individuals and institutions. Despite the fact that the bubble had yet to burst in East Asia in 1993, the Doyukai had the foresight to initiate a dialogue beyond the walls of their boardroom. They envisioned an annual symposium to better our collective understanding of the interaction between the economy and security, especially in light of the rising military and economic power of China.

In last month’s meeting, the program’s original mission remained true to form; on the Harvard side, Dean Nye and Ezra Vogel spoke about the threat of Iraq and North Korea and ways to deal with these situations, Prof. Tony Saich addressed the changing economic face of Asia with the rise of China, and Prof. Jeff Frankel offered a keen analysis of the challenges to U.S. economic growth since the 1990s. On our visitors’ side, representatives from Matsushita, Sony, Daikin, and Nippon Telephone and Telegraph, among other estimable executives, offered their perspective on these issues as well. This was my first symposium as CBG’s director, and I am now convinced of how important this partnership is as an extraordinary example of back channel communication which we hope will lead to front channel results.

Also on deck, along with our Beijing workshop, within the next six weeks: another HEPG plenary session, this time discussing transmission output and investment issues in Cincinnati, Ohio; and the Young Faculty Leaders Forum convenes for the second time in April, bringing back more than 30 of the nation’s brightest young scholars to convene on contemporary struggles in American education.

And so, it has been another one of those months!

Cheers.

 
 
 
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