Taikichiro Mori Grants Research REPORT

Name of the Researcher:   Thassarany Noivong (80825719)/ noivong5sfc.keio.ac.jp

Name of the Research Project: “The Asia-Pacific Regionalism: Multilateral Security Cooperation in the Post-Cold War – The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)”

Affiliation:                Human Security and Communication program

                                    Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University




Table of Content:

1.     Theme of the Fieldwork Research

2.     Activities conducted

3.     Research Questions

4.     Interviewing

5.     Data collecting



Theme for the Fieldwork Research:

                  The Asia-Pacific Regionalism: Multilateral Security Cooperation in the Post-Cold War – The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)”

                  = The research is to analyze cooperation in political and security dimensions in Asia-Pacific by exploring the role of an ASEAN-centered institution, the ARF, as one of an important regional security and political arrangement, including how and to what extent this institution meet political and security challenges. This is because even though the ASEAN has created the ARF as a new cooperative forum with the attempt to deal more effectively with trans-border security issues in the post Cold War, the political dogma held by ASEAN is continue to affect cooperation in the ARF.

                  ARF cooperation on Disaster Relief (DR) - will be explored as one of cooperation on NTSs in the ARF, reflects changes in cooperation on security issues towards the non-traditional type. Even though natural disaster is a common threat to humanity that never respect national boundaries and social differences per se, DR is relied on one of the principles suggested that “DR must be conducted with the consent of disaster-affected countries (receiving countries), which has the first and foremost responsibility to take care of the victims occurring on its territory.” This implies that traditional “non – interventional principle” is still having an impact on cooperation on NTSs. But at the same time, such cooperation reflects changes in the ARF’s effort to address with new security issues in many extents.  This is through exploring the questions;

1. What could be the example case of ARF cooperation on DR: failure and success? How and Why? – Tsunami assistance to Indonesia and US military forces (2004); Nargis in Myanmar (2008), why did military forces from the US and EU intended to provide assistance fail to do so?

2. What could be the factors/ conditions determine the success of such cooperation?


Activities conducted:

Period: 6th August – 17th September 2009

Venue:  1. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangkok, Thailand

2. Thammasart University, Bangkok, Thailand

3. The Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

4. Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Ministry of Interior, Bangkok, Thailand.

5. National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC), Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, Bangkok, Thailand

6. Ministry of Defense, Bangkok, Thailand


                                    1. Studying, investigating and observing the policy and the role of Thailand and other countries towards ASEAN and the ARF.

                                    2. Observing Thailand’s role during the ASEAN chairmanship                                          

                                    3. Collecting of related and useful data and information for future research.

                                    4. Conducting interviews.



1.) Exploring research questions to be answered:

2.) Interviewing questions:

1. How relevant is the ASEAN in dealing with contemporary problems in its region has implication for the ARF in managing problems beyond sub-region, South East Asia as well?

2. How ASEAN members cooperate to solve intra-mural problem and extend such capacity to cooperate with non-ASEAN members in ARF?

3. How ASEAN’s traditional practice of “non-intervention” mismatches the nature of transnational problem, ranging from environmental pollution, disaster management, financial crisis, as well as terrorism, and affects the attempt to deal with such problems?

4. How changes in ASEAN will help ARF to be more efficient and relevant in Asia-Pacific? What is the obstacle?

5. When/ what drove the realization among ASEAN members about states’ limitation to handle security challenges? What is the example of ASEAN failure?

6. What are the conditions/ factors for ASEAN and ARF to tackle with NTS challenges?

7. How regional institution reorients in response to emerging or challenging transnational threats and security environment? 

8. How ASEAN Charter or ASEAN’s attempt to move into a rule-based organization will help ASEAN to tackle with security challenges or overcome obstacle caused by non-intervention principle?

9. How ARF will help create mutual intervention/ stabilize ASEAN by dealing with any problems ASEAN cannot deal effectively?

Disaster Relief:

10. The role of military and civil in DR.

11. The Civilian – military cooperation: Line of control; opportunity and obstacles.

12. Military cooperation with other countries; with whom, how, and what are difficulties.

13. Current exercise on DR.

14. Prospect of military of DR in the region.


3.) Interview:

1. Government Official, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; 06/08/09

                  1. The ARF’s objectives from its inception is to create “informal” forum for talking without “pre-set agenda”, which will provide chances and channel for participants to air and listen to opinion and policy of each other. This forum is therefore aimed at building confidence and mutual trust.

                  2. Although there are attempts to move ARF to another stages, but there are contrast among (East – West) members over how the ARF should evolve? As while most ASEAN and China want to keep comfort level for participant through informal consultation, western members (ex. US. and EU) want to see ARF move into a formal arrangement.

                  3. ARF is at the same time facing competition with other arrangement particular ASEAN and ASEAN+3 that also moving into cooperation on Non-Traditional issues. As a result, ASEAN needs to seek for security issues that can make added value to the ARF.

                  4. Thailand: views ASEAN+3 process as a most potential way to achieve East Asian Community, though not refuse the community to be more inclusive, ASEAN+3 is more manageable than other arrangement such as A+6 (East Asian Summit: EAS).

                  5. Mutual intervention: such as in Myanmar issue

How the non-ASEAN member in ARF will help create mutual intervention and bring change in Myanmar behaviors? Myanmar understands more about its position and tries to change the behavior according to pressure from international community, but Myanmar is under pressure of domestic politics. Myanmar’s attempt to make a constitutional change is facing restriction due to ethic groups in the country especially Karen group. The military junta may need to balance between internal and external relations that will not harmful to the position of the military junta.

                  6. ASEAN: Charter and Human Rights body may push change to Myanmar, although the mechanism is not strong enough. But as the human rights issues is once a stumbling block as EU and US have ever used such issue to be an accuse of not consulting with ASEAN in some issue. The establishment of HRB will increase ASEAN credibility.

                  7. Rather than using sanction or isolation approach towards Myanmar, engagement of Myanmar into cooperative arrangement is considered more useful. This is by increase Myanmar awareness that relations and interdependence with others are important and Myanmar needs to adept itself to be relevant to international environment.  


2. Journalist, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; 13/08/09

                  1. Condition of analyzing the ARF is nature of the forum: as an informal arrangement, created for the confidence building rather than problem solving mechanism, not touch upon any particular security issues, keep comfort level to all (even among enemy) that means the ARF is not intended to solve any problem or make any commitment, as well as keep being as a talk shop that make the forum survive in this security environment.

                  2. Cooperation on both TS and NTS threats are facing the same problem due to ASEAN in a driver seat. However, ASEAN can also be a positive condition for the ARF, ASEAN is forming cooperation in every dimensions in the ARF. Action in ASEAN is therefore can be positivity for the ARF as well. Cooperation in NTS can potentially move the arrangement forwards. ISM – DR is now creating the Civilian – Military cooperation after the Tsunami after 2004. Such cooperation is based on humanitarian assistance, but also require the consent of involving states to get into the area such as in the Nargis case. Therefore, question that ASEAN needs to address is how to draw a line between “Sovereignty” and “Non-Interference”. 

                  3. North Koran Nuclear crisis: in 2003 the ARF created “Friend of the Chair”, ASEAN appointed Cambodia to be a mediator that convince North Korea to commit herself to the SPT. However, North Korea rejected the role of Friend of the Chair. This is to reflect one of the failure of ARF in tackling security issue caused by “sovereignty” and lacking of proximity to the problem that harden ASEAN to drive the ARF.

                  4. Cooperation NTS threats such as on DR:

- Positive factors:

1. NTS creates common threat

2. NTS is normal threat that transcend states’ border.

3. NTS is less sensitive as it is not in the form of states’ conflicts (military).

4. NTS cooperation supports political status of states that participate in the cooperation.

5. ARF cooperation in NTS is benefited from geopolitics factor/ geographic connection. The US has military base in many places in Asia-Pacific that can mobilize when threats emerge.

6. ASEAN as a driver of the ARF creates continuity and can utilize existing resource in ASEAN.

7. ARF participate and mobilizing of resources, exchanging of expertise and capacity building among participants.

- Negative factors:

1. ASEAN’s cardinal “Non-Intervention” principle.

2. Institutional burden

                  - The ARF is too big to mobilize resource in emergency situation such as in case of Tsunami, and pandemic. This means when emergency occurs, ASEAN is a preferable means to deal with security problems.

3. Structural informality/ non-institutionalized – lack of mechanism, no-specific mission, and depend on issues raised in each annual meeting.

4. Inclusiveness: Russia and China occasionally obstruct ASEAN in tackling on Myanmar issue.

5.  ASEAN: the ARF Chair – how to activate the ARF and make it more relevant in security environment? ASEAN has lots of diplomatic tools to pick up, whether the ARF is picked up compare to others?

                  5. Expectation:

1. ARF to make policy option.

2. How to keep comfort level and deal more on both TS and NTS threats.

3. ASEAN’s more active role.

- To noted that although the ARF per se cannot tackle with many security issues, it provides a change for the ministers of participants to meet and talk at the sidelines of the ARF.


3. Academics, Thammasart University; 17/08/09

                  1. Non-Intervention principle and National Interest:

- Many ASEAN countries, including Thailand, India and China, relies on energy and forest sources from Myanmar that make they refrain from pushing too hard on Myanmar’s problem as international community expect.  

- Thailand as a country shares the borderline with Myanmar invests in many businesses in Myanmar that led to the question how foreign policy is influenced by domestic interest groups.

- Balancing Myanmar and prevent her to rely much on China could be a factor that make ASEAN reluctant on Myanmar issue.

                  2. Factors should be concerned in the ARF such as diversity – democracy level, developmental level and ethnic (cooperation on anti-terrorist).


4. Academic, The Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University; 3/08/09

Points of discussion:

                  1.  NTSs are per se can be obstacle to cooperation in spite of being a common threat to most states. This is because the threats is not clear in itself; when it will occur, and how to response are unknown, while the way to manage such threats is different from the traditional security threat, which is in itself more obvious. Most states have to learn how to response, especially the role of military to play a part. The threat is potentially make states to discuss and cooperate more, but the way to deal with it is still a long way to learn and adjust.

                  2. ASEAN Political and Security Community (APSC) and ASEAN Charter, which the ARF is under, will make the ARF become more formalized and legalized, but the “Non-Intervention Principle” tightly held by ASEAN is the most significant barrier to the successful cooperation.

                  3. The changing role of military caused by cooperation in disaster relief and other NTSs, including the cooperation between civilian and military.

                  4. The needs to develop networking of information exchange and development of CBMs as a pre-condition for the cooperation on NTSs.   

                  5. The unclear definition of internal and external affairs, conflict of national interests, conflicting role of agencies within each state, and how ASEAN will integrate the outcomes of each meeting (such as ASEAN Foreign Ministerial Meeting, ASEAN Economic Ministerial Meeting, and etc.). 


5. Government Officials, National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC); 07/09/09

                  1. Divided the disasters into 2 types: sudden disaster such as earthquake and tsunami, and non-sudden disaster.

                  2. Thailand (NDWC) is now developing the early warning system, especially that related to disaster water and landslide that happen often in Thailand. But it is needed to integrate works of each governmental agencies to make the warning and relief system become more effective, rather than work separately.

                  3. Early warning system and disaster relief: local, national, and regional level. Thailand received technical assistance and material from many countries especially Japan and the US. The broadening cooperation in the wider regional level is therefore beneficial as the cooperation in the sub-regional level is still limited in many extents.


6. Government Officials, Ministry of Defense; 08/09/09

                  1. The role of military in DR: military is the first unit who can get into the affected area due to resources; materials and personnel, the military has. But when they get into the area they have to withdraw first, then civilian can continue the work. The difficulty is how to make affected country accept the assistance provided by the military.

                  2. The ARF ISM – DR is divided into 5 working groups: Regional coordination of Capacity-Building Efforts; ARF Military and Civil Defense Assets (MCDA) Voluntary Model Arrangement; ARF Strategic Guidance; ARF DR Workplan; and ARF Exercise Planning. 

                  3. In part of civil – military coordination is still facing the difficulties caused by duplication of work, interpretation of agreement or textual material, and misunderstanding among each other, Standard Operating Procedure for Regional Standby Arrangements and Coordination of Joint Disaster Relief and Emergency Response Operation (SASOP) (ASEAN’s SOP on DR is an example problem in military part about the procedure of operation.

                  4. Nargis case: 1. Contacting problem in Myanmar’s capital area.

2. The material is kept at the airport, could not get into the affected area.

3. The role of negotiation made by ASEAN is one of the positive factors due to closeness of culture and tradition among members.

4. Make realized the need of civil society role, the creating of civil society and military connection to make the cooperation in the future become more smoothly. The ASEAN is establishing “ASEAN Defense Establishments and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Cooperation on NTS (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief). The civil society is important player due to the role of military is limited.    

                  5. Military cooperation: knowing the capacity is useful not only for confidence building, but also can make use of it when disaster occur. The cooperation on DR under ARF will be easier as it is concerned less with politics matter and less sensitive issue. However, it is needed for ARF to streamline many attempts on DR within the region.

                  6. The operation of MNF, when crisis occurs: Make a break down of works among military forces – the role of civilian > NGOs, and civil society. 


4.) Data collecting:

1.) To understand the evolution/ development of the forum through Chairman statements:

1.1) 1994: the First meeting in Bangkok:

                  1. Emphasized the need to develop a more predictable constructive pattern of relationships for the Asia-Pacific region through security cooperation within the region as a means of ensuring a lasting peace, stability, and prosperity.

                  2. Recognized constructive dialogue and consultation on political and security issues, Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) is used as a code of conduct and diplomatic instrument.

                  3. Security issues: Nuclear non-proliferation, maritime security, peacekeeping cooperation, and preventive diplomacy.


1.2) 1995: the Second meeting in Brunei:

                  1. Membership of Cambodia

                  2. Document in preparation for the ARF “The ASEAN Regional Forum - A Concept Paper” is obtained.

                  3. Goal: the ARF is to be a forum for open dialogue and consultation on regional and security issue to discuss and reconcile the differing views among members, but also recognizes the concept of comprehensive security – political, economic, social, and other issues.

                  4. Method and approach: ASEAN undertakes the role of primary driving force, the ARF processes at a pace comfortable to all participants in an evolutionary way in three broad stages; Confidence Building (CBM), Preventive Diplomacy (PD), and elaboration of approaches to conflicts. Decision is made through consensus and consultation. 

                  5. Participation/ Organization: moves along two tracks – track one activities carried out by government, while track two carried out by strategic institutes and relevant non-governmental organizations.  

                  6. Implementation: Inter-Sessional Support Groups (ISGs) on CB; Inter-Sessional Meetings (ISMs) on cooperative activities such as PKO, CBMs, disaster relief, and search and rescue missions. 

                  7. Security issues: overlapping sovereignty claims in the region, Korean Peninsular issue, Cambodia issues, and nuclear weapons non-proliferation.


1995 - The ARF: A Concept Paper:

                  8. Although the armed-conflict in the Asia-Pacific came silent, the participants are concerned over diversity within the region ranging from level of development, culture, ethnic, religion and history. ASEAN has a pivotal role to play in the ARF by fostering habits of cooperation and encouraging regional cooperation in the wider Asia-Pacific region.

                  9. There are concerned over: 1. the rapid economic growth that may be accompanied by significant shifts in power relations, 2. diversity, and 3. unresolved territorial that could spark conflagration.

                  10. The Concept Paper affirmed the phase of the ARF process by concentrating on CB as the initial phase and suggested two complementary approaches to security cooperation using ASEAN practices of consultation and consensus (musyawarah and mufakat), and TAC as diplomatic means to regional security.

                  11. Two baskets of CBMs are set the first to be implemented in the immediate future and the second in the longer run.  


1.3) 1996: the Third meeting in Jakarta

                  1. Future participation – shall be participants that directly affect the peace and security of the region – geographical footprint. This implied that the ARF concerned over the rapid growing of membership beyond its manageable level, while the ARF process per se was facing slow progress. The inclusion of Myanmar and India was not well received by some participants including the US and Japan that have preferred a deepening rather than an enlargement of the diplomatic process. The meeting adopted the set of criteria for new participants. The participants needed to be sovereign states, which excluded Taiwan’s future involvement (Commitment). Moreover, how the ARF can response to both views of all participants and the special needs and interests of the ASEAN States is taken into consideration.

                  2. Security issues: nuclear testing and proliferation, elimination of anti-personnel mines, conflicts in the South China Sea, and the Korean Peninsular.

                  3. For the first time stated about coordination and cooperation on Search and Rescue (SAR) through sharing of information, training facilities and expertise activities, as well as Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs) together with the UN.

- Established the ISM on Disaster Relief (ISM-DR).


1.4) 1997: the Fourth in Subang Jaya

- The debilitative effects of the region-wide financial crisis started this year made the meeting yielded almost no progress or significant developments. However, it is a turning point that ARF participants have increasingly concerned more about how to deal with transnational/ non-traditional challenges, which may be obstructed by non-intervention principle. The economic development has become the main focus of all countries as the economics has laid a solid foundation for political (in)stability in both national and regional levels.

4. ASEAN (Thailand)’s proposed idea of “flexible engagement” in the context of economic crisis must be viewed in the broader context of ASEAN’s handling of intra-regional problems. It is intended to address newly emerging transnational issues that require an approach beyond ASEAN’s tradition policy of non-intervention (Archarya 2001: 152-3).  

5. The inclusion of Myanmar into ASEAN is viewed as a means to engage Myanmar constructively, while the development of positive relations with major countries in Asia-Pacific under the ARF can help sustain stability in the region.   

6. Security issues: chemical weapons, anti-personnel mines, nuclear test, trans-boundary movement of nuclear waste, Korean Peninsular, Cambodia issue, and the South China Sea dispute.


- ISM – DR: track I activities that possibly contribute towards the wider objective of enhancing cooperation.

7. 1997: Disaster Relief: 3 points in disaster management:

1. National delivery of DR (domestic response to disaster)

- Disasters do not respect political boundaries, but are a common problem for all states of the region. Defense authorities’ role is significant as resources, skills, discipline and assets. Comprehensive approach to disaster management involves national plan of action, effective coordination and line of authority to mitigate the impact of disasters.

2. International delivery of DR (international response to disaster in another country)

- In case when national authorities request assistance (supplement not supplant), regional cooperation could enhance mutual confidence and regional security and reinforce sense of good neighborliness among the ARF members. The responses needed to be flexible, appropriate to need and well-targeted as well as conduct with the full involvement of the recipient government. To be implied that disasters can not only challenge states’ ability to response to disasters, but also reveal domestic weaknesses of many particular states and states structure.  Thus, while acquire international assistance, states also preserve their authority over the managing of delivering of disaster relief.    

3. Enhancing cooperation in delivering disaster relief among ARF members

- Useful exchange of information (among key points of contact), training resource, expert groups.

- Comprehensive approach from prevention, mitigation, relief and recovery.

- Standardization of procedure, synergy between diverse national capabilities and regional cooperation, including regional collaboration between military and civil authority. 


1.5) 1998: the Fifth meeting in Manila

1. The inclusion of Mongolia

2. Recognized the important contribution of defense and military interaction and networking in the ARF’s activities. However, economic slowdown, high levels of economic interdependence and the presence of potential sources of conflict became highly concerned during the financial crisis. The crisis could impact on the peace and security of the region and agreed that the ARF would have an important role to play in addressing these effects.

3. Security issues: Four-Party Talks Peace Process on Korean Peninsular, Peaceful dispute settlement of the dispute on the South China sea, Cambodia peace process, personnel landmines, nuclear weapons free zone, disarmament, and non-proliferation.


- 1998: Disaster Relief

4. Constituted a concrete manifestation of the ARF’s will to cooperate on matter of common interest affecting the comprehensive security of states. The cooperation aimed to provide an impetus for a more structured framework for formulating regional responses to disasters.

5. National, Sub-regional and regional delivery of DR: coordination with existing organizations – Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, focal point, (ADPC), ASEAN (ASEAN Expert Group on Disaster Management: AEGDM), Military and Civil Defense Assets: MCDA in DR in Asia Pacific, and disaster preparedness proposal within the framework of APEC. The organizations are to provide technical support to the ARF in the areas of training, information sharing and dissemination strategic planning, disaster management and protocol development. Early coordination of information and responses would be valuable on similar situations occurring in the future such as from local environments and ecologies problem – haze reduction.  


1.6) 1999: the Sixth meeting in Singapore

1. Paid attention to the security implications of the economic crisis on national and regional resilient and how the ARF can play a role in containing the crisis.

2. Concerned over increased tension in the South China Sea, while the Korean Peninsular crisis remained concerned.

3. Discussed more on trans-boundary problems such as arms smuggling, and illegal migrants, while the activities in DR was moved forward with increasing cooperation between track I and track II activities notably workshop.


- 1999: DR

4. Means to bring together defense and no-defense officials to serve the overall objectives of CB of the ARF, as well as to improve security from national to regional levels. 

5. ARF cooperation on DR

1) Promote awareness through producing relevant materials and sharing experiences in information and disaster planning, and making disaster management more open and transparent to the public.

2) Enhance capabilities through inter-connected with improvements in the regional security environment and formulating of common approaches.

3) Facilitate cooperation through collaboration among ASEAN members about acceptable format (national and sub-regional levels) before being shared with the broader group of the ARF participants. According to the report “the supportive role of the military in disaster relief. It was noted that national and multilateral military capabilities should be engaged in disaster relief operations according to the concrete circumstances and the regulations in each country, in a transparent manner, but only upon the request of the country suffering damage. Issues of disaster relief cooperation should contribute to enhancing contacts among ARF participants, including military-to-military, and complement rather than duplicate other agencies' activities and avoid projects that put heavy financial or organizational burdens on ARF participants.

- Humanitarian Office (ECHO) of European Commission provides fund and assistance.


1.7) 2000: the Seventh meeting in Bangkok

1. There was continued recovery from the economic and financial crisis and greater interaction and exchanges between and among countries in the region. However, it was felt that in responding to globalization, it was necessary for nations to strengthen their individual and collective capacities to meet the various challenges affecting their common security. A united democratic and economically prosperous Indonesia was viewed as fundamental to the maintenance of regional security. Support for Indonesia's territorial integrity was thus needed.

2. Security issues: Korean Peninsular, Peaceful dispute settlement of the dispute on the South China sea, Myanmar issue, nuclear weapons free zone, disarmament, non-proliferation and transnational crime – human and arms smuggling, and illegal migrant. 

3. 2000 DR

- ARF recognized: 1. The importance of inter-agency coordination, especially between the military and civilian agencies in disaster relief and to have a steering body comprising of representatives from the concerned agencies and headed by a high ranking figure, and to have clear-cut regulations for inter-agency coordination.

2. Disaster relief co-operation should contribute to enhancing contacts among ARF participants, including military-to-military.

3. How to access updated data on- disasters of each country in order to forecast and monitor disasters?

4. ADPC's efforts in developing an inventory of Early Warning Systems of the ARF participants. Assistance should also meet different types of disasters. Information sharing should be more in details.

5. Promoting awareness is of importance in disaster preparedness and mitigation, especially for developing countries, where the public awareness of disasters is still low and the government’s capabilities are limited due to financial constraints.

6. Concerning about a balance in pursuing, objectives of ARF cooperation in disaster relief, namely between confidence-building and operational requirements. Activities should also be undertaken at a pace comfortable to all.


1.8) 2001: the Eighth meeting in Hanoi

1. The meeting reiterated the decision-making by consensus and non-intervention principle, and the role of ASEAN in a driver seat.

2. Security issues: 1. The impact of accelerated and multi-faceted globalization to both developed and developing countries, as well as the widening gap between those two.

2. Relatively stable situations in the Korean Peninsular and the South China Sea, as well as peaceful transition and economic recovery in Indonesia.

3. Non-Proliferation of WMDs, and transnational crimes


1.9) 2002: the Ninth meeting in Brunei

1. Despite positive signs of recovery and growth in the global economy, the region continued to face uncertainties and challenges such as the sustainability of the economic recovery process and the threats of terrorism, which had a tremendous impact on the overall security environment. This led to encouraging of early accession to or ratification of relevant international Conventions and Protocols relating to terrorism and the establishment of an Inter-Sessional Meeting on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (ISM on CT-TC). The management of the consequences of a terrorist attack was viewed as a possible area for future ARF activity/work and recommended that this be given further consideration at the next ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting.

2. ASEAN committed to further accelerate its economic integration, embarking on far reaching economic cooperation, bridging the development gap in ASEAN and reiterated support for the territorial integrity and national unity of Indonesia after economic recovery and political transition.

3. Other security issues: independence of East Timor, Myanmar issue, India-Pakistan tension, and non-proliferation and arms control.

- Establishment of Early-warning system.


1.10) 2003: the Tenth meeting in Phnom Penh

1. Mainly focused on cooperation on anti-terrorism and related issues:

- Korean Peninsular

- Terrorism “reiterated their condemnation of terrorism and expressed their determination to take all necessary steps in order to raise public awareness and take effective action against terrorism.  At the same time, rejected any attempt to associate terrorism with any religion, race, nationality or ethnic group.” Enhanced cooperation under the Inter-Sessional Meeting on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (ISM on CT-TC).

- Combat money-laundering and terrorist financing, man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), the establishment of the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT), the rising incidence of piracy at sea in the Asia-Pacific region in cooperation with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

- The growing cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, including cooperation within ASEAN, in dealing with transnational crime - the Joint Declaration of ASEAN and China on Cooperation in the Field of Non-Traditional Security Issues.

2. Other issues: the South China Sea dispute, national reconciliation in Myanmar, the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of Indonesia, as well as deny the separatist movement access to means of violence through arms smuggling into the Aceh province, and non-proliferation of WMDs and small arms and light weapons.  

3. Improve ARF through: Enhanced Role of the ARF Chair, Friends of the chair to assist the Chair in dealing with international situations, which affect the peace and security of the region, and enhance confidence and cooperation in addressing common security threats, including international terrorism, transnational crime, piracy and other maritime crimes.


1.11) 2004: the Eleventh meeting in Jakarta

1. Admission of Pakistan

2. Due to the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II (Bali Concord II) at the 9th ASEAN Summit, the ARF’s role as the primary forum in enhancing political and security cooperation in the Asia Pacific region is affirmed. Further welcoming of the endorsement of the ASEAN Security Community, as one of the pillars of the ASEAN Community, supporting of the realization of the ASEAN Security Community in 2020 and the development of its Plan of Action.

3. Accession by the People’s Republic of China and India to the TAC during the ASEAN+China Summit and ASEAN-lndia Summit in October 2003, and by Japan and Pakistan during the 11th ARF.

                  4. Current concerns over situation in Iraq – the importance of full implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 (2004) on Iraq, and the importance of all nations supporting the full transfer of sovereignty to Iraqi authorities, and the presence of the multinational force in Iraq for the time period described in UNSCR 1546.

5. Intensified cooperation over non-traditional security between ASEAN and China (and India). Overall key focus of security cooperation is on anti-terrorism such as support for the center forming complementary working relations, including cooperation in the training of officials involved in counter-terrorism with other relevant regional bodies, such as the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok and the Southeast Asia Regional Center for Counter Terrorism (SEARCCT) in Kuala, Lumpur, and through ISM on CTTC.

6. Moving to the PD – conduct activities listed in the PD at a pace comfortable to all.


1.12) 2005: the Twelfth meeting in Vientiane

                  1. Cooperation on DR was vividly concerned. The tsunami disaster in 26th December 2004 led to the Declaration on Action to Strengthen Emergency Relief, Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Prevention on the Aftermath of Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster of 26 December 2004, which underlined the importance of ARF partners in working together in emergency relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction as well as prevention and mitigation efforts in addressing natural disaster. The establishment of an effective and durable tsunami early warning system for the Indian Ocean under the co-ordination of the United Nations which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of the Indian Ocean and the individual requirements of countries. Importantly it led to the reconvening of the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Disaster Relief and Related Issues for the inter-Sessional year 2005-2006 to be co-chaired by Indonesia and China.

         2. Goals: the establishment of regional mechanisms on disaster reduction, including preparedness and mitigation and supported the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response. (Result?)

                  Initiated action – oriented programs to strengthen emergency relief and rehabilitation in the aftermath of the tsunami, especially a Tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean (IOTWS) and other ocean – related hazard warning system.


- 2005 ISM-DR:

         3. Goals: stock-taking the capabilities of individual countries in deploying their civil and military assets to the disaster-affected areas, enhancing civil-military relations in the ARF process on disaster relief operations, exchanging views and experiences on disaster preparedness and relief operations including sharing of information, transfer of knowledge, and capacity building as well as updating the ARF contact points and training institutions on disaster relief.

         4. Setting up an ARF database of assets and capabilities, capacity building, particularly in civil-military cooperation in disaster relief as well as raising public awareness.

- Coordination with other international agencies such as the UN and others.

         5. Civil-Military cooperation in DR:

1. Legal framework for military to participate in emergency situation (such as China enacted the First Constitution in 1954, National Defense Law in 2000, and Regulations on the Army’s Participation in Emergency Rescue and Disaster Relief in 2005).

2. Clearly define scope of cooperation

         6. National capacity: how to integrate various types of resources to support member countries (such as the Incident Command System (ICS), as one component of National Incident Management System (NIMS), which is now utilized for all emergency response in the US). 

         7. Regional capacity: capability to ensure the rapid response of both civil and military operations (such as how to combine capability of EU and ASEAN on DR: European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) and ASEAN Cooperation on Disaster and Emergency Relief or in supporting of the ASEAN Standby Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (ADMER). Or how to combine various available frameworks on DR cooperation to develop guidelines for ARF?

                  8. The sign of changing perception on security cooperation was reflected in the ARF Seminar on Enhancing Cooperation in the Field of Non-traditional Security Issues and workshop on “evolving the changes in the security perceptions of the ARF countries”.

9. They have emerged against diverse historical and cultural backgrounds. They were more diversified and had both intrastate and interstate implications and propagated more rapidly than traditional ones and their effects were increasingly complex. States need to shared their best practices and experiences in coping with non-traditional threats such as terrorism, illicit drugs, piracy, smuggling and HIV/AIDS, corruption, illegal logging. This is required a holistic and comprehensive approach to address non-traditional security issues that involve a more diverse set of actors to identify and address both the symptoms and root causes of these threats. However, the non-interference principle is still regarded.

10. Security concerns caused by; increasing economic interdependence, but with increasing economic disparity; remaining traditional interstate security issues, but with more prevalent and common NTS threats; major powers tension, but with non-state actors playing a greater part in regional and international affairs. These require effective multilateralism, increased commitment and cooperation, common actions, as well as stability in major powers relations.


1.13) 2006: the Thirteenth meeting in Malaysia

                  1. Maritime security: to ensure the safety of navigation, environmental protection and maritime security in the Malacca Straits, while maintaining the balance between the sovereign rights of the littoral states and the legitimate interests of the international community.

                  2. Newly urgent NTS threat is pandemic influenza – cooperate with existing organization rather than duplicate such as with the WHO.

- 2006 ISM – DR








                  3. ARF-DR: to develop cooperative framework, norm, procedure and direction of cooperation. ARF SOPs on Civil – Military Coordination, and the ARF General Guidelines for Disaster Relief Cooperation as a basis for the rules of procedure of the ARF standby arrangement and rapid response system.

4. ARF General Guidelines for Disaster Relief Cooperation:

- Defines scope of “disaster” and “Relief”.

- Principles: - assisting and receiving countries: respecting of sovereignty and territorial integrity and timely, consent of receiving country, and fair and distribution of relief.

                  - Measures to prevent disaster within territories from spreading abroad.

                  - Facilitating of the work of foreign disaster relief teams within its territory.

                  - Not involve in local disputes and avoid having adverse effect on the local economy.

                  - Not carry arms.

5. ARF Standby Arrangements for DR and Emergency Response: guiding principle for both civilian and military and ensure consistency with existing UN guidelines and ASEAN mechanism on DR.

- Principles: mitigate disasters and minimize risks to disaster and voluntary basis.

- The role of ‘ARF Center’: as a communication hub and facilitator of information sharing.

- Coordination among agencies on providing assistance to reconcile and integrate the assistance before moving cross border.

- Civil-military cooperation.

                  6. ARF Strategic Guidance for HADR (Daft): recognizes the role of Multinational Force (MNF), refer to the entire organization of nations participating forces sharing interests in DR, as one of stakeholders in a large community aid and relief organizations, operated under the guideline “MNF SOP”. The term coalition applied to task force that based on ad-hoc (non-treaty) multinational effort and is normally “crisis action” in nature.

- Using of military asset in the emergency is needed for effective humanitarian assistance and DR.

- Military: major contributor due to the rapid mobilization and logistic capabilities, as well as health facilities in an emergency, but not take a responsibility on rule of law implementation.

- NGOs: especially UN – UNOCHA as an agency that mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international stakeholders. , IOM to facilitate relief directly to those effected from disasters.

- Others: logistics support, and health support.


1.14) 2007: the Fourteenth meeting in Php.

                  1. Adoption of the ARF General Guidelines on DR Cooperation and welcoming of the Philippines and the US for a 2009 DR Exercise

                  2. Initial Planning of DR Exercise noted that while civilian agencies had overarching responsibility for DR efforts, the military often had the best capacity to respond swiftly to immediate DR need. However, the respect for sovereignty in the promotion of the tie and inter-agency coordination among DR stakeholders is still important. It is concerned how the ARF will move toward further practical outcomes in DR cooperation.  


1.15) 2008: the Fifteenth meeting in Singapore

                  1. Cyclone Nargis and the earthquakes in Sichuan, China: the first led to the establishment of ASEAN-led mechanism involving ASEAN Member States individually and collectively, as well as the United Nations and the international community. This is reflected that many of the ARF countries are in a region prone to natural disasters, which is needed for the forum to intensify cooperation in the areas of emergency preparedness, disaster relief and management, rehabilitation and recovery including with existing mechanisms and the United Nations. Endorsing of proposal by the Php. and US to conduct an ARF DR Exercise.

                  2. Expectations: Review of the ARF, including the need to strengthen the role of all ARF participants; enhance practical cooperation; maintain the moratorium on membership; focus on concrete areas of cooperation; enhance the role of the ARF Chair and the ARF Unit, develop an ARF Vision Statement, standardise the format of the voluntary Annual Security outlook, enhance cooperation with Track II organisations; and improve the ARF's operating mechanisms.

- 2008 DR:

                  3. Close cooperation between Indonesia – Australia on Joint exercise – noted that it reflects desire to coordinate and share experiences and knowledge in DM.

                  4. DM stakeholders are defined.

- Affected nations

- Assisting nations

- UN

- International NGOs

- International organizations

* Strategic and operational cooperation> tactical level

                  5. Coordination process:

 Start from local coordination to ASEAN (ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on DM: AHA Center), UN Relief

* ARF SOP: to describe the flow of information and best practices.

                  6. Preventative measures for potential disasters:

- Transition to civil support of the host nation during recovery and reconstruction such as waste management

- Development of a long - term stabilization plan in coordination with development agencies

                  7. The ARF meeting agreed to draw up an ARF DR “Work Plan aimed at coordinating ARF-wide or sub-regional training for disaster preparedness” (draft) encompasses relevant aspects of DM cycle and make a concrete progress where in can bring added value to reduce risk and recovery, given its geographic focus.

                  Defined the priority areas of cooperation into 3 tiers:

1.     Active priority areas and projects under ARF Framework.

-        Disaster risk and vulnerability identification, reduction, and prevention

-        Improving government emergency response, relief and early recovery

-        Capacity identification and improving coordination

2.     Priority areas and projects to be considered.

-        Risk mapping, monitoring, and early warning.

-        Disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction

3.     Possible, future priority areas: private-public partnerships, and NGOs in DM.


1.16) 2009: the Sixteenth meeting in Phuket

1. Changes in ASEAN: roadmap for the establishment of ASEAN Community by 2015 under the ASEAN Charter that drove the adoption of ARF Vision Statement.

                  2. Security issues: The situation in Korean Peninsular was highly concerned. DPRK was “condemned” especially for the US over non-commitment to the UNSC Res. 1874 (2009) and recent activities. “Comfortable to all” practice in the ARF is therefore challenged.

                  3. Myanmar: to further support close cooperation between the Government of Myanmar, the UN, and ASEAN in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis and to continue to engage constructively with and contribute to the economic and social development, as well as the path of democratization.

                  4. The US accessed to the TAC, a code of conduct between states.

                  5. DM: develop synergies and links between ASEAN and ARF effort on DR

-  ASEAN: efforts to further develop regional standby arrangement, rapid response teams, including initiatives on cooperation over use of military assets in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief on voluntary basis, and the designation of Secretary-General of ASEAN as coordinator for humanitarian assistance in cases of major disasters and pandemics.

 The conduct of the ARF Voluntary Demonstration of Response on Disaster Relief (ARF-VDR) Co- Chair: Php. – US. in the Philippines on 4-8 May 2009. First field exercise by ARF as a civilian-led, military-supported activity. They considered that the exercise was a major step for the ARF in developing concrete and tangible contributions to a transnational security issue like disaster relief and recommended a follow-on exercise along with the adoption of ARF Work Plan on DR. The exercise provides to nations who lack an effective national disaster coordination organization an excellent demonstration on effective disaster response coordination. The exercise provided a major deliverable to strengthen ARF in transnational security issues, at the same provided a chance for civilian and military officials to cooperate, which increases the comfort level among ARF members. Moreover, it is a way to improve understanding, planning, and execution by host and assisting nations in disaster relief and related procedures, including streamlining of various DR approaches of regional, and national agencies.


- 2009 DR

                  6. The importance of the 8th ARF ISM DR is to learn important lessons especially from the experiences of China and Myanmar in dealing with devastating natural disasters, in order to enhance disaster relief preparedness and responses under the ARF and the need for the ARF participants to deliberate better and concrete activities and proposals in the areas of capacity building and disaster management cooperation to address disaster relief issues more effectively in the future.

                  7. The ARF Desktop Exercise on Disaster Relief, for example, was to build interoperability among ARF participating countries in disaster relief cooperation as well as to practice the draft ARF Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.

            8. Many participating countries proposed idea for DR cooperation such as Japan’s “Tokyo Defense Forum” reflects efforts to improve equipment, inter-agency cooperation mechanisms and civil-military cooperation, as well as Australia-Indonesia Partnership on DR Exercise.

                  9. Linking relief, recovery and reconstruction cycle: the relief of human suffering, restoring livelihoods, the reestablishment of stable conditions, building national and international capacities to respond to crises, enhancing the phasing of the response to a crisis and mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction into development cooperation.

                  10. Expectations: Prepare a specific project proposal to further the work on the Strategic Guidance. Work Plan on DR is the area that would move faster than others and give ARF some added value amid the existing mechanism.