RSIS Activities in the Council for Security Co-Operation in the Asia-Pacific Singapore National Committee (CSCAP)
IDSS took over the Secretariat for the Singapore National Committee of the Council for Security Co-operation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) in early 1998. Mr S.R. Nathan assumed Co-Chairmanship of CSCAP-Singapore in November 1996 together with Mr C G Kwa. Mr Nathan was succeeded by Professor Khong Yuen Foong (1999) and Mr Barry Desker (2000 – present).
The members of the Executive Committee of CSCAP-Singapore are:
- Mr K.Kesavapany; Director, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
- Professor John Wong; Research Director, East Asian Institute
- Associate Professor Simon Tay; Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs
- Mr Kwok Fook Seng; Director-General, ASEAN-Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Col Lai Chung Han; Director (Policy), Defence Policy Office, Ministry of Defence
- Professor Hank Lim; Research Director, Singapore Institute of International Affairs
- Ms Ellen Lee; MP forSembawang GRC (Woodlands)
- Mr Tan Chye Hee; Director (Security Policy), Ministry of Home Affairs
- Mr Lionel Yee Woon Chin; Principal Senior State Counsel, International Affairs Division, Attorney-General’s Chambers
The CSCAP Secretariat co-ordinated by IDSS has worked to increase Singapore participation in CSCAP in the past five years. In late May 1997, CSCAP-Singapore organised the first General Meeting of the Council which brought together a number of senior officials of CSCAP Member Committees together with three Deputy Foreign Ministers.
The Working Group on Confidence and Security Building Measures which CSCAP-Singapore co-chairs with US-CSCAP and CSCAP-Korea is one of the more active Working Groups in the Council. The Group has since its inception met 14 times and put forward recommendations and proposals for the drafting of defence policy papers as a confidence and security building measure; the feasibility of an arms register in the region and especially on how to progress preventive diplomacy in the ASEAN Regional Forum. In February 1999 and April 2000, the Working Group, with the support of the United States Institute of Peace, conducted well-received Workshops on Preventive Diplomacy which included a simulation game that enabled participants to experience preventive diplomacy in practice. The Workshops were conducted immediately prior to meetings of the ARF Inter-Sessional Support Group meetings on Confidence Building Measures to enable Senior officials to join the Workshops. A sub-group bringing together a group of nuclear energy experts has successfully established a CSCAP Asia Pacific Nuclear Energy Transparency Web Site. This web-site was developed on the belief that greater transparency and increased awareness of each others’ nuclear programmes would enhance confidence and security about each other’s nuclear capabilities.
The RSIS has, together with the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies of the Australian National University compiled and published the key papers and statement CSCAP has drafted on preventive diplomacy in a volume The Next Stage; Preventive Diplomacy and Security Co-operation in the Asia-Pacific Region edited by Desmond Ball and Amitav Acharya in 1999.
CSCAP-Singapore has also actively participated in the meetings of the other Working Groups of CSCAP on Comprehensive and Co-operative Security; on Maritime Co-operation; and on Transnational Crime. More recently, CSCAP-Singapore started participating in meetings of the North Pacific Working Group.
In June 2000 IDSS Director, MrBarry Desker, as Co-Chair of CSCAP-Singapore, was elected to Co-Chair of CSCAP with Professor Desmond Ball from CSCAP-Australia. Mr Desker will hold the Co-Chair for two years to 2002.
The RSIS looks forward to working with CSCAP to promote security co-operation in the region.
Last updated on 10/07/2014