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NGOs plan peace declaration for cooperative sea exploration

TAIPEI -- The Taiwan Peace Foundation said yesterday that it will hold an international conference to promote a peaceful approach to territorial disputes among countries in Northeast Asia.

Foundation chief executive Chien Hsi-Chieh said the foundation is gearing up to hold an annual meeting of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) in Taipei on Aug. 5-6., marking the first time the meeting takes place in Taiwan.

An international conference that promotes peaceful development of sea resources in the Northeast Asian region will also be held Aug. 3 in an attempt to tackle territorial disputes through the efforts of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Chien said.

The GPPAC was established in 2003 in response to a call made by then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the establishment of an NGO working for conflict prevention.

The GPPAC has 15 regional networks across the world and Taiwan belongs to the Northeast Asia network, Chien said.

The meeting came as tensions rose over territorial disputes over Diaoyutai Islands between Japan, China, and Taiwan in the East China Sea; the dispute over the Takeshima island chain, called Dokdo islands in Korea, between Japan and South Korea; and the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine Coast Guard in May.

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