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Silk Road Universities Network
Founded at Korean Conference

August 2015

This article appears in the September 4, 2015 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[PDF version of this article]

The presentations by the founder of the international Schiller Institutes, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, and by EIR Asia analyst Mike Billington  were presented on Aug. 22 in Gyeongju, South Korea, at the inaugural conference of the "Silk Road Universities Network (SUN)." 

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Representatives of 43 universities and organizations from 22 countries along the land and maritime Silk Roads participated in the conference, sponsored by Hankuk University of Foreign Studies with national and local government support.

Gyeongju itself, the ancient capital of Korea and a major port on the ancient maritime Silk Road, organized a months-long cultural and educational exposition on the Silk Road. South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who is from South Gyeongsang Province (the province of Gyeongju), and the governor of Gyeonsang Kim Kwan-yong, have promoted the Silk Road campaign in South Korea and its outreach to all the countries along the land and sea Silk Roads.

The SUN organization was founded with the intention, as stated in its Articles of Association, of "restoring 'Silkroadia,' the Silk Road Spirit—a symbol of the bridge between East and West by banding together universities located on the land and sea routes of the Silk Road and contributing to world peace and the creative development of civilization by training future leaders devoted to the spirit."

The Founding Declaration, adopted by the members attending the inaugural conference, addressed the urgency of the development process embedded in Silkroadia to end the devolving strategic crisis facing the Eurasian continent:

Sadly, however, we are witnessing terrible murder and destruction in some regions along the Silk Road today. They have become the ground on which nations fight wars with each other, and where cultures and religions clash in dispute. If we allow these conflicts to continue they will escalate and darken the future of the Silk Road, diminishing this great source of pride into a place of shame and agony.

The Declaration states that overcoming this crisis of civilization requires a "genuine appreciation for individual differences and universal truths," calling on the intellectuals and universities gathered in the SUN to adopt the "responsibility to resolve" these existential threats to civilization.

The speeches, presented by Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Mike Billington, emphasized that the new institution must go beyond the academic mission, to intervene internationally with the Silk Road perspective, on a global rather than only Eurasian scale, providing the necessary policy alternative to the extreme danger of global warfare now facing civilization from the United States and NATO geopolitical confrontation with Russia and China, as the western financial system collapses into chaos.

The first panel of the conference, dedicated to the subject "The Future of the Silk Road," was to be chaired by Mrs. LaRouche. However, due to her inability to attend the conference in person, Mike Billington chaired the panel and read her speech, as well as his own.