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ONU Professor to Speak at Conference in Iran

Oct 27, 2008
Dr. David Smith, associate professor of geography at Ohio Northern University, has been invited by the deputy foreign minister of Iran to attend the 16th International Conference on Central Asia and the Caucasus. Smith will travel to Teheran, Iran, for the event, which will be held Oct. 28-29.

The convention is subtitled "Confrontation in the Caucasus: Roots, Dimensions, Applications." Recent developments in the Caucasus, the geopolitical region between Europe, Asia and the Middle East, have had significant impact on the first decade of the 21st century. As one of the most culturally diverse areas of the globe, the Caucasus is a scene of confrontation for diverging interests. Of particular importance is the recent military conflict between Russia and Georgia.

Scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 29, Smith's presentation is titled "The Russian Federation and the Republic of Georgia: A Geographic Perspective on the Conflict." This will be his third appearance as a guest speaker at the Institute for Political and International Studies annual conference. In 2005, Smith spoke on geography and its association with pipeline development. The following year, he spoke on water and conflict in the Middle East.

Smith's research focuses on water and the conflict over water and regional social development issues. He has traveled to Iran and North Korea in the past five years and is a board member of the International Research for Development, a non-governmental organization, with special consultative status with the United Nations. Smith has received travel and research grants from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Fulbright and other programs.

Prominent politicians and experts from around the world will participate in the conference, pooling their knowledge of the following areas: roots and dimensions of confrontation in the Caucasus; objectives and policies of main regional and global actors in the Caucasus; security, arrangements and their implications in the region; energy security and the regional conflicts in the Caucasus; and the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Caucasus: Challenges and Opportunities.
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