29 January 2016
The implementation of the ASEAN (Association of South-east Asian Nations) Community on Dec 31 marked an important point of integration of the 10-member regional pact. Despite recent emphasis on its economic and social contributions, ASEAN has also played a significant role in shaping the evolving regional security architecture. This consists of a complex, overlapping framework of institutions often criticised for its indirect approach to advancing regional security.
Such criticisms are unfounded.
The region will face many critical issues in the coming years, such as maritime disputes, trans-border economic and political issues, and transnational terrorism. This requires increased cooperation and mechanisms to manage disputes.
However, resolution mechanisms must operate within the existing regional architecture to manage the diverse interests and diplomatic practices of different states. The overlapping framework helps serve different constituencies and address different needs.
An overview of these institutions demonstrates their continued relevance and the need to work within the existing system, rather than look for new solutions.
… Barry Desker is distinguished fellow and Jesse Caemmerer is a research analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 29/01/2016