At Rhodes Conference, Yakunin Announces Creation
of New Research Institute to Promote Global Infrastructure
Oct. 11, 2015 (EIRNS)—Vladimir Yakunin, the President and Co-Founder of the World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations" (or Rhodes Forum) at which Lyndon and Helga LaRouche have repeatedly spoken over the years—opened the 13th annual Rhodes Forum on Oct. 10 by announcing the launching of a major new global think tank, focussed on global infrastructure projects.
Yakunin, who until recently was also the head of Russian Railways, used his opening remarks to blast geopolitical thinking and the danger of war.
"We have seen that a world dominated by a single civilization does not work. Recent conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria have demonstrated the failings of Western interventionist foreign policy. It is clear from the current state of conflict throughout the world that intercultural dialogue is vital."
Among the prominent speakers at Rhodes was Jayshree Sengupta, Economist, Observer Research Foundation, from New Delhi, India, who also spoke at the June 2015 Schiller Institute conference in Paris. In her remarks at Rhodes, she emphasized the importance of infrastructure, and called for cooperation with China in particular. She said there are 700 million Indians in rural villages with no infrastructure, but we have hope with the BRICS and its New Development Bank to be able to finance our infrastructure needs. We are all equal there, but not in the IMF, she stated. The BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) will take care of many problems, with bridge loans when money starts flowing out. But unlike the IMF, the CRA will have no conditionalities, no dictates, no strings attached.
Under China’s leadership, she said, the AIIB is up and running, and Europe defied the United States and joined. Some in India are nervous about China, worrying lest one big power be replaced by another, namely, China. But I say no, Sengupta asserted; We are equal in the AIIB and the NDB, and that is why I support this.