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G. Toloraya: Address to World Summit 2014

Asia and the Pacific – Rising Geo-economics and Deteriorating Geopolitics
Prepared notes for address to the World Summit 2014, Seoul, Korea, August 9-13, 2014

In the midst of sustained, strong economic growth in the Asia-Pacific, making the region one of the key engines of the global economy, there have also been unfortunate trends of rising tensions in the Asia-Pacific:

-          Intensified competition among major powers
-          Increased historical conflicts and arguments
-          Deterioration of territorial problems
-          Rising confrontation in maritime areas
-          Increasing arms race

New challenges

Will the declining geopolitics of the region ultimately have an adverse impact on the rising Asia-Pacific as well?

How has the current regional security architecture dealt with these challenges, and how could such an architecture evolve to better prepare the Asia-Pacific for the security environment of the future?

There is a need for effective confidence-building measures, preventive diplomacy and conflict management in the maritime field (different perceptions of trends of naval modernization, growing tensions in maritime areas, challenges of piracy, and transnational crime at sea).

The evolving regional security architecture and the approaches to confidence-building measures, preventive diplomacy and conflict management in our region must be able to address the growing challenges in the maritime field as well.

What are the key security challenges of the Asia-Pacific region for the next decade, and how will these evolve or be different from the current challenges that we face?

How can the evolving regional security architecture be adapted to deal with current and future security challenges in the region? What role do countries in the region and major powers play in this evolving regional security architecture?

What role can new security concepts or approaches play in better preparing the region to deal with new security challenges, including the “Indo-Pacific” idea and the enhanced security dialogue in the East Asia Summit?

What has been the contribution of existing confidence-building measures, preventive diplomacy approaches and dispute settlement mechanisms in the region, including ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] and ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) to reducing the trust deficit in the region and promoting regional peace and stability? How could these be improved?

How have other organizations approached the issue of confidence building, preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution? What are some of the experiences that could be applied to the Asia-Pacific region?

How can rules-based approaches and norms-building help contribute to building trust, preventive diplomacy and conflict management, and how could these be developed in the Asia-Pacific context? Are there innovative dispute settlement mechanisms and conflict management approaches that can be developed for the Asia-Pacific?

Maritime domains are an important part in building the prosperous Asia-Pacific. Today, their significance has been increasing as they serve as vital sea lines of communication, sources of food and energy security, as well as an area for competition among the major powers. What are the challenges stemming from maritime domains in the Asia-Pacific and what are their implications on the relations among states in this region?

As certain seas in the region have developed into potential flashpoints against the backdrop of naval modernization which could adversely affect regional peace, security and stability, how can ASEAN cope with this situation and turn the turbulent seas into the seas of peace and cooperation, taking into account the possible competition between the new strategies of major powers in the region?

What are the best practices regarding conflict resolution and reconciliation for maritime disputes which would benefit mutual efforts to defuse the potential for maritime conflict in the Asia-Pacific?

Maritime domains in the Asia-Pacific have become a source of wealth and economic opportunities. On the other hand, maritime domains are where transnational crimes are increasing at an alarming pace. To promote maritime connectivity and unimpeded maritime commerce, which are essential for sustained economic growth and development, how can stakeholders in the region cooperate to prevent and combat transnational crimes at seas and piracy?

To promote practical and effective cooperation in countering transnational crimes at sea, how can we enhance awareness among law enforcement and relevant agencies about challenges in the maritime domain as well as threats and dangers of all forms of transnational crimes at sea? How can the region promote enhanced maritime domain awareness? What are some of the constraints in such cooperation?

How can we strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of existing ASEAN-led mechanisms and arrangements in preventing and combating transnational crimes at sea, such as ARF, ADMM-Plus, ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF) and Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF)? What role can other centers and initiatives such as ReCAAP ISC [Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia], and coordinated air and naval patrols in the region play in helping address such transnational crimes at sea and piracy?

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