Security through Cooperation: Furthering Asia Pacific Multilateral Engagement
Erin Williams

Brian Job, Liu Faculty Affiliate, UBC
December 4, 2007

The CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2007.
CSCAP Launches its New Flagship Publication.

Please click here to link to the full document CRSO 2007 Executive Version.

There is a real and urgent need for multilateral cooperation and institution-building to manage traditional and non-traditional security threats in the Asia Pacific.

This is the consensus of the nine prominent regional experts presented in the first annual CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2007 (CRSO), entitled Security through Cooperation: Furthering Asia Pacific Multilateral Engagement.

CSCAP (the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific) is the region’s most inclusive Track-2 institution.  The CRSO is envisaged as an annual publication to highlight regional security concerns and to promote informed policy-relevant outputs to advance regional security cooperation at official (Track 1) levels.  The CRSO 2007 was edited by Brian L. Job, Co-Chair, CSCAP Canada.*

This inaugural issue of the CRSO highlights key developments in Asia Pacific multilateralism during the past year:

* Positive momentum in the Six-Party Talks (6PT) has created focused attention on the necessity to create a Northeast Asian security forum.
* Asia is becoming an increasingly “nuclearized” region.  Concerted efforts must be taken to rebuild the global non-proliferation regime in ways that engage Asian states.
* Asia Pacific states are increasingly engaged in post-conflict peacebuilding.  Asian-based organizations are being asked to play a larger role in managing conflicts within their own region.
* The Asia Pacific security agenda is expanding.  Non-traditional security threats such as terrorism, pandemic diseases, and climate change have risen to the top of the priority list.
* Asia’s security footprint has expanded to include zones of insecurity along the Asia’s western and south Pacific margins.

Security through Cooperation: Furthering Asia Pacific Multilateral Engagement, CRSO 2007 is available in digital form at  The CRSO 2007 comprises nine chapters (details on the reverse).  The CRSO is being published in two forms:  The just-released Executive Version provides concise issue backgrounds, informative data, and specific policy implications for the regional advancement of ‘security through cooperation’. Extended versions of these chapters providing further background and more detailed description of policy implications and initiatives will be available on-line as on 15 December 2007.

*The CSCAP Regional Security Outlook is a product of an editorial board established by the CSCAP Steering Committee.  While efforts were made to ensure that the views of the CSCAP membership were taken into account, the opinions and materials contained in this volume are the sole responsibility of the authors and the Editor and do not necessarily reflect the views of CSCAP’s Member Committees, their individual participants, or the CRSO’s financial supporters.  Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the Editor.

Security through Cooperation: Furthering Asia Pacific Multilateral Engagement,

CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2007

Highlights of the nine chapters ….

* “The Imperative of Multilateral Security Cooperation,” Brian L. Job and Erin Williams (Associate Editor).  The region’s security architecture is in flux; its central foundations are unsettled.  Track Two institutions such as CSCAP have a vital role to play in providing policy-relevant outputs and innovative responses to deficits in existing multilateral arrangements.

* “Beyond Crisis Management: Prospects for a Northeast Asian Security Mechanism,” Chu Shulong.  Constructing this mechanism should not be contingent upon the success of the Six-Party Talks. Northeast Asian states need a forum for dialogue about mutual security concerns that goes beyond the North Korean
nuclear issue.

* “Coming to Terms with a Nuclearizing Asia: Restoring and Reorienting the Non-Proliferation Regime,” C. Raja Mohan.  A new non-proliferation order must be reconstituted to more actively integrate Asia’s rising powers as stakeholders. Regional actors need to devise new initiatives to manage the expanding use of nuclear energy in the region.

* “National Successes and Regional Deficits in Southeast Asia’s Battle against Terrorism and Insurgency,” Rizal Sukma.  Domestic political contexts have made many Southeast Asian governments reluctant to place their counter-terrorism strategies under the U.S. ‘War on Terrorism’ umbrella. While national-level responses have had notable successes, the trans-national dimension to this threat requires more extensive intra-regional cooperation.

* “Waiting for the Next Shoe to Drop: Addressing the Gaps in Asia’s Pandemic Preparedness,” Mely C. Anthony.  Asia is likely to be ‘ground zero’ in the event of a pandemic outbreak of avian influenza. Unless regional governments do more to fully implement multi-state and multi-sectoral cooperation, large sections of the population will be vulnerable to a disease whose lethality could far exceed that of SARS.

* “Climate Change and Insecurity in the Asia Pacific: Regional Initiatives to Address Emerging Threats,” Simon Tay.  Many Asia Pacific states have avoided committing to obligations under existing climate change regimes. This will have to change in order to mitigate and adapt to the most threatening dimensions of climate change.

* “Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, and Regional Security: Next Steps and Challenges for Asia,” Pierre Lizee. While ASEAN and the ARF have begun to embrace peacekeeping and peacebuilding as part of their security agendas, they have done so in a limited and hesitant way. Both need to overcome their institutional inertia to create new mechanisms and doctrines that facilitate regional involvement in international peace operations.

* “Small Islands with Large Consequences: The Regional Security Ramifications of Oceania’s Internal Conflicts,” John Henderson. The South Pacific is becoming a new arena for strategic competition. This competition exacerbates these island states’ political instability, which in turn stalls efforts to rein in the transnational criminal activity that has wider, negative spill over effects for Pacific Rim states.

* “Asia’s Shifting Centre of Gravity: What Afghanistan and Iraq Mean for the Rest of Asia,” Masashi Nishihara. As the Afghan and Iraqi insurgencies gather steam and influence, they threaten other parts of Asia through contagion and spill over effects. The regional security institutions of the Asia Pacific must extend their focus westward.