16-17 August 2010
Venue: Buenos Aires, Argentina
From 16 to 17 August 2010, Associate Professor Mely Caballero-Anthony, Head of the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, attended the 2nd meeting of the Global Consortium on Security Transformation (GCST) Working Group on Regional Security from Above and Below, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was co-hosted by the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies (ISDS), Philippines, and the Red de Seguridad y Defensa America Latina (RESDAL, Latin-American Security and Defence Network).
The GCST Working Group aims to examine the perspectives, conceptions, discourses, debates, processes and activities of formal institutionalised intergovernmental organisations (above) and informal, non-institutionalised non-governmental groups (below) in four regions (Latin America, South Asia, Southeast Asia and West Africa) in order to determine how regional security is viewed by these two sets of security actors. In doing so, it aims to explore ways by which human security and other voices from ‘below’ might be mainstreamed into security policymaking by those from ‘above’.
Assoc. Prof. Caballero-Anthony presented on the topic of Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The presentation of case and comparative studies was followed on the second day with an institutional visit to the Red de Seguridad y Defensa de America Latina (RESDAL) for a small roundtable discussion on regional security.
The meeting and roundtable allowed the participants, experts on security conceptualisations and approaches in their respective regions, to exchange valuable insights, experiences and best practices in the pursuit of peace and security.
On Assoc. Prof. Caballero-Anthony’s part, it provided her with an opportunity to not only learn from the other participants’ insights and regional perspectives, but also to promote an understanding of how the evolving conceptualisation of security in Southeast Asia is seeing a greater embrace of human security issues – largely as a result of the ‘non-traditional’ security challenges (such as environmental degradation, food and water insecurities, transnational crime, health pandemics, and internal and cross border conflict) that increasingly threaten state and human security in our region.
During her time in Buenos Aires, Assoc. Prof. Caballero-Anthony also delivered a lecture at the National Defence Academy on the topic of ‘Regional Security Institutions in Asia’.