David Kennedy ’80, Harvard Law School’s Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law and director of the Institute for Global Law and Policy, recently joined a team of former political leaders and diplomats from across Asia in founding the new Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council (APRC), which will work to promote peace and reconciliation in the Asian region through quiet diplomacy.

The launch of APRC was organized and chaired by Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai S.J.D. ’85, former deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Thailand, in Bangkok, where APRC members shared ideas with Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Hassan Wirajuda LL.M. ’85, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current advisor to the President of Indonesia, will also serve as one of the 22 founding members.

Kennedy said, “I am honored to have been invited to join so distinguished a group, and look forward to working with them wherever the APRC can be useful in reducing tensions. There are very few such Asia-wide initiatives mobilizing the experience of statesmen in an independent non-state organization. I am very pleased the IGLP could play a small role in getting the project underway.”

The APRC will offer an Asia-wide, informal and non-governmental network of prominent former politicians, diplomats and thinkers to assist societies suffering from violence and social and political tension, organizers said. It will be a center for research that will harness the influence and insights of its members to support peaceful change and reconciliation in disputes—or potential disputes—both within and between nations.  Where parties to a conflict feel their engagement might be helpful, the APRC will provide an unofficial and behind-the-scenes platform for dialogue and mediation.

The idea to form the APRC was established during the Asia in the Next Decade International Symposium, which was convened in Bangkok in August 2011 by IGLP, the Saranrom Institute of Foreign Affairs Foundation, and the Faculty of Law of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.

The APRC launch was covered by The Nation, Malaysia’s The Sun Daily and Demotix.com.

A full description of the APRC and a list of its founding members is available here.