Session I

10:00 – 11:30 CET, Tuesday, 27th July, 2021

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You are cordially invited to join our virtual International Leadership Conference (ILC) Session entitled, ‘Track 1.5 Diplomacy Initiatives with North Korea’.

Track 1.5 dialogues are conversations that include a mix of government officials—participating in an unofficial capacity—and non-governmental experts. Neither track 1.5 nor track 2 discussions carry the official weight of traditional diplomacy, yet they offer a private, open environment for individuals to build trust, hold conversations and discuss solutions in a way their official counterparts sometimes cannot. Trusted figures can often glean better insights and nuances and provide non-official communication channels that can prove useful in a crisis. The panelists will share their own experience of Track 1.5 Diplomacy with the DPRK, in the context of parliamentary as well as non-governmental initiatives.



Mr. Humphrey Hawksley, Author, Commentator; Former BBC Foreign Correspondent, UK

Humphrey Hawksley is an author, commentator and broadcaster. His recent book 'Asian Waters' examined the points of conflict in Northeast Asia as well as the South China Sea. He has reported on key trends, events and conflicts from all over the world. His work as a BBC foreign correspondent has taken him to crises on every continent. He was expelled from Sri Lanka, opened the BBC’s television bureau in China, arrested in Serbia and initiated a global campaign against enslaved children in the chocolate industry.  For more information see



Hon. Glyn Ford, Former UK Member of the European Parliament; Founder, Track 2 Asia, UK

Professor Glyn Ford is a British academic and Labour Party politician. While serving as an MEP from 1984 – 2009, he served on the International Trade and Foreign Affairs Committee, particularly on dossiers related to Asia, including being a rapporteur for the Free-Trade Agreement with ASEAN and for implementing the Scientific Partnership Agreement with the Republic of Korea. He was also a member of the delegation with the Japanese Diet and the Korean Peninsula during which he visited North Korea 50 times. He has researched or taught in several universities in the UK and elsewhere. He has written a book entitled, 'Talking with North Korea: Ending the Nuclear Standoff'.


Dr. Antonio Betancourt - Former Director, UPF Office for Peace and Security, USA

Antonio L. Betancourt is the former Director of the International Office of Peace and Security, a key UPF initiative for world experts to discuss volatile areas of tension with an emphasis on “soft power” solutions as essential to peacebuilding. Previously, Dr. Betancourt served as the Executive Director of the Summit Council for World Peace. In that capacity, he visited North Korea 16 times, meeting President Kim Il Sung five times, and played a key role in the historic visit of Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon to North Korea in 1991. The following year, at the request of UPF’s Co-founders, he and former Costa Rican President Rodrigo Carazo Odio led a delegation of former heads of state and government to Pyongyang on the occasion of Kim Il-sung’s 80th birthday. In April 1994, he led a delegation of former heads of state and government to meet Kim Il Sung, which also included the president of CNN International. A CNN crew did the first live worldwide TV broadcast from Pyongyang on that occasion. Dr. Betancourt played a central role in enabling CNN’s on-the-ground coverage of President Carter’s meeting with Kim Il Sung in June 1994. In July 1994, he was one of the few westerners to attend President Kim’s funeral. An important accomplishment in Dr. Betancourt’s distinguished career was to organize a fund to provide humanitarian aid to North Korea in conjunction with the World Food Programme (WFP). Dr. Betancourt is a regular guest at CNN’s Spanish-language news channel, and at academic forums and international summits.





You are cordially invited to join our virtual International Leadership Conference (ILC), a series of webinars to be convened by the Universal Peace Federation from July 27 to 29, 2021 under the theme:

Toward the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula: Best Practices in Track II Diplomacy.

The conference is part of UPF’s Northeast Asia Peace Initiative, dedicated to exploring the prospects for peace on the Korean Peninsula through constructive dialogue between the two Koreas and with the other stakeholder countries of the region.

On May 9, 2021, UPF launched Think Tank 2022, a worldwide alliance of experts from a wide range of professional fields -- government, academic, civil society, faith-based organizations, the media, business, and the arts -- who will work together and pool their best insights as to how peaceful reunification can be accomplished in the coming years.

A series of three International Leadership Conferences is organized between June and August 2021. Each ILC tackles specific issues related to Korea and concludes with recommendations from Think Tank 2022. The July ILC will turn attention to the role of non-state actors, examining a variety of steps that may be taken that contribute to peace and eventual reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula. Please see the attached program.


Yours sincerely,

Robin Marsh, Secretary General, UPF - UK. Mobile: 07956210768

Margaret Keverian-Ali, Director, UPF - UK. Mobile: 07723024750

Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK

UPF - UK Charity Number 1185412

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UPF is an NGO in General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN


Universal Peace Federation UK 

Charity Number 1185412

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