Polish Perspectives on the Asia-Pacific Region

15 February 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Rutherford House Lecture Theatre 2 Victoria University of Wellington - Pipitea Campus 23 Lambton Quay Wellington, 6011

The Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs and the Centre for Strategic Studies invite you to attend a talk by Professor Jakub Zajączkowski and Tomasz Lukaszuk on "Polish Perspectives on the Asia-Pacific Region"

Professor Jakub Zajaczkowski and Ambassador Tomasz Lukaszuk will present an overview of Poland’s foreign policy on the Asia-Pacific. After the fall of communism in1989, Poland initially focused on membership of NATO (1999) and the EU (2004). But the year of joining the EU coincided with a new approach towards the region neglected during the first years of the 3rd Polish Republic—embodied in a white paper on strategy for the Asia-Pacific. Poland now regards the Asia-Pacific as the most important region in its non-EU and NATO foreign relations.

Professor Zajaczkowski will address the evolution of Polish approaches towards Asia among academics and policy-makers in the context of EU activities in the region. As an active EU member, Poland would like to have a larger role in shaping EU relations with Asia-Pacific countries. There is a need to reevaluate the instruments of common foreign policy towards the Asia- Pacific. Ambassador Lukaszuk will briefly present case studies on relations with India and new dimensions of Chinese activities in Central Europe—namely, the One Belt, One Road Initiative and the 1+16 mechanism, which have created new opportunities and challenges for Poland. As a former representative of Poland in the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission, Ambassador Lukaszuk will also touch on the situation on Korean Penninsula.

Professor Jakub Zajączkowski is Director of the Institute of International Relations at the University of Warsaw. He also chairs the Centre for Polish and Central European Studies at the University of Calcutta and Manipal University. He is a member of the research board of the European University Center at Peking University and of the Europe-China Academic Network. He has been a visiting professor at numerous institutions, including Peking University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Tribhuvan University, the University of Barcelona, Istanbul University, Indiana University, Salzburg University and Sciences Po. His research interests focus on international relations in the Asia-Pacific region, India’s economic, foreign and security policies, the European Union’s external relations, and regionalism and globalism. His extensive publications include a co-edited volume, India in the Contemporary World: Economy, Polity, International Relations, (New Delhi, London, New York: Routledge, 2014).

Tomasz Lukaszuk worked in the Polish Foreign Service for 25 years, including as Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste and most recently as Ambassador to India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Maldives. His experience in diplomacy includes service as a deputy director and then a director of the Asia and the Pacific Department of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has supported Polish universities and think tanks in developing their contacts and links with Asian partners. He has represented Poland at various conferences on Afghanistan, the Afghanistan-Pakistan International Contact Group and ASEM. His areas of expertise are integration processes in South and South-East Asia, and Indonesian and Indian internal and foreign policies. He is now based at the Institute of International Affairs of Warsaw University, where his research focuses on regionalism and interregional cooperation amongst Bay of Bengal countries as well as maritime strategies of the largest littoral countries of the Indian Ocean.


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