Former Prime Minister of Korea to lecture at UHCL: 'Crucial for college students to grasp international affairs'
Former Republic of Korea Prime Minister Nakyon Lee will present a lecture entitled “America’s Dream Never Ends: The Desirable Foreign Policies for the Upcoming Era,” at University of Houston-Clear Lake at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 23 in the Garden Room in Atrium I of the Bayou Building.
His discussion will focus on how the American Dream has declined in recent years with domestic and international challenges, and ways in which isolationist foreign policies and protectionist economic policies undermine America’s international stature and credibility.
“It’s important for university students to be aware of events and policies in other countries, even those that are far away,” Lee said. “As the world's superpower, the United States has played a leading role in shaping the international order since World War II. However, recent events such as the 20 years’ military intervention in the Middle East, the refugee crisis, the global financial crisis, and the rise of China have challenged its position.”
Lee said this has led to an isolationist foreign policy and protectionist economic measures that have caused the country to become less engaged in international affairs.
“This shift has also resulted in the United States becoming less tolerant of minorities and less diverse,” he said. “It is crucial for college students, such as those at the UH-Clear Lake, to have a strong grasp of international affairs and history. Being aware of events and policies in other countries, including Korea, is essential for promoting a multi-lateral international order and embodying universal human values, such as building a middle class, strengthening economic equality, and respecting diversity.”
He added that with great power comes great responsibility.
“UHCL students have a responsibility to understand the world to ensure a brighter future for the United States and the world,” he said. “The world is becoming increasingly interconnected and diverse, and organizations that do not keep up will find it difficult to develop or even survive. UHCL students must be open to dialogue, learning, and gaining international experience, including studying different cultures, history, religions, and foreign languages.”
Starting from college, Lee said students can promote diversity by being respectful of people who are different from them in terms of race, religion, sexual identity, and political views. “By doing so, they can help promote human rights and diversity, which are critical for the development of a brighter future for the United States and the world,” he said.