On 25 February 2021, the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre) hosted a webinar on “Disaster Governance and Prospects of Inter-Regional Partnership in the Asia Pacific”. Chaired by Head of the NTS Centre, Prof Mely Caballero-Anthony, the webinar was delivered by Dr Alistair D.B. Cook, Senior Fellow, and Mr Christopher Chen, Associate Research Fellow, both from the NTS Centre’s Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Programme.
Considered one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to natural hazards, the Southwest Pacific contains five of the top 20 most at-risk countries in the World Risk Index, with Vanuatu and Tonga ranking first and second respectively. Its neighbouring region of Southeast Asia is similarly vulnerable with its exposure to a variety of natural hazards, resulting in significant damage and loss of lives annually.
Drawing from their recent journal article, “Re-imagining the global humanitarian system: Emerging dynamics in the Asia Pacific”, the speakers reviewed the disaster management frameworks and initiatives in ASEAN countries. They also looked at how complementary efforts by the two neighbouring sub-regions could provide a platform for shaping the global agenda on disaster governance and climate change.
Additionally, the webinar highlighted the various reasons behind the potential collaborations between ASEAN and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). These included the need to solve collective action problems and the similarities in articulations of a common regional identity, i.e., the “Pacific Way” and the “ASEAN Way”. The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session involving 36 participants, with discussions ranging from the potential withdrawal of the Micronesian states from PIF, to the military-to-military cooperation between the two regions.
Catch it here on the RSISVideoCast YouTube channel: