ASEAN is strengthening maritime cooperation in the region as part of efforts in ASEAN community building. Under the ASEAN Political Security Community (APSC) there are six ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies, namely ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) (with three corresponding Senior Officials Meeting), Commission on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ Commission), ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) (with one corresponding Senior Officials Meeting), ASEAN Law Ministers Meeting (ALAWMM) (with one corresponding Senior Officials Meeting), ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) (with three corresponding Senior Officials Meetings), and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) (with one corresponding Senior Officials Meeting).
On maritime issues, referring to the matrix of ASEAN Sectoral Bodies to Implement the APSC Blueprint (2009), there are four sectoral bodies listed, namely AMM, ADMM, AMMTC, and the ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting (ATM), which is under the ASEAN Economic Community. The APSC measures in the second APSC Blueprint (2015) have changed, but the related sectoral bodies should remain the same. In addition to these four sectoral bodies, ARF also takes up maritime security issues.Â Â First, as part of the ARF Working Group, an ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security (ARF ISM-MS) was set up by the ARF ministers in 2008 and met for the first time the following year. Second, prior to the ISM-MS, the ARF ISM on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (ARF ISM-CTTC) first met in 2003, and have included matters related to maritime security.
The ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF) is another mechanism that was established in 2010 as a measure mandated by the APSC Blueprint (2009). The 3rd AMF in 2012 also saw the inauguration of the 1st Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), involving the East Asia Summit participants and build upon the existing AMF.
Maritime issues (not only maritime security) are discussed in these ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms in a cross-cutting and overlapping manner. Given this situation, it raises the possibility that there will be a lack of coordination and an overlap of efforts as the scope of discussions and activities expands, thereby putting the effectiveness of those frameworks at risk and creating a drain on resources.
This workshop seeks to gather insights on how ASEAN member states view these different mechanisms, including which of the platforms they consider most fruitful, which they view as redundant, and which they would support to continue in the future. All of these are seen from the perspectives of each relevant ASEAN state.
This workshop will also highlight a number of recent initiatives/proposals discussed in different ASEAN mechanisms, such as (but not limited to) the adoption of the Code for Unplanned Encounter at Sea (CUES) to the region and the extension of it to civilian actors, diplomatic hotlines for maritime emergencies, adoption of a regional statement on IUU fishing, and mechanisms for dispute settlement. This workshop seeks to also gather insights on how ASEAN member states view these recent initiatives/proposals.