Thursday, April 07, 2011

Fwd: New blog posts - New challenges for ASEAN

Though it has been a while since I posted a proper blog entry, I thought it was important to remind visitors that this blog is far from dead. Secondly, ASEAN is a pet topic, which I have regrettably neglected for some time now.

Given all that is going on in the world with regard to the UN, the AU and its sub-regional economic communities and their capacity--or lack thereof--to intervene in Ivory Coast and Libya, why would ASEAN not get shelved to the back-burner?                  

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From: HD Centre <>
Date: 2011/4/7
Subject: New blog posts - New challenges for ASEAN
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New blog posts
7 April 2011

New challenges for ASEAN

In February 2011, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) took a historic decision to intervene in a dispute along the Thai/Cambodian border. While this decision could potentially boost the regional organisation's capacity to manage internal conflicts, the current difficulties in implementing it could reverse this potential gain, argues Michael Vatikiotis, Regional Director for Asia at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (the HD Centre).

In one of two blog posts recently published on Peacetalks (the HD Centre's online discussion forum), Dr Vatikiotis explores the current Thai/Cambodia border crisis. He considers the challenges it poses for ASEAN and its efforts to increase its role as a guarantor of regional security. He also suggests other paths which could help de-escalate the conflict.

Another challenge faced by ASEAN is linked to the inclusion of new member states. In a second blog post, Dr Vatikiotis reflects on the prospects and potential repercussions of East Timor becoming the newest member of an expanded ASEAN.  Despite misgivings among some member states centred on the country's economic and political stability, Dr Vatikiotis argues that incorporation of East Timor makes sense from a regional security perspective.

These two blog posts are also available on the MacArthur Foundation Asia Security Initiative blog, which hosts discussions on current events and security challenges in the Asia Pacific region. The HD Centre is one
of six contributing organisations.

The HD Centre would like to thank the MacArthur Foundation for its support for research into Asian peace and security issues.



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The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue is an independent mediation organisation dedicated to improving the global response to armed conflict. It mediates directly between belligerents and helps others to do the same. The HD Centre is active in approximately 15 conflicts around the world, some of which are necessarily confidential.

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