- Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)
Natural disasters have become our main security concern as we are witnessing more frequent disastrous natural hazards together with climate change with higher impacts on human security. Disaster management is a top priority for our region.
The recent flooding in Southeast Asia has alerted us to take more precautionary acts to reduce the damages and establish a practical approach to enhance regional cooperation on disaster rapid response. The ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response Work Program 2010-2015 and the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management-AHA Center are the key framework for regional cooperation but it needs to take into account the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders including the role or the armed forces.
It is necessary to have clear guidelines for the armed forces in disaster relief. Coordination at the national and regional levels is crucial to provide a timely and effective response to disasters.
2. Maritime Security Cooperation and Governance
Maritime security cooperation has been one of the most important and complex security issues since sea trade has been increasing dramatically in the region together with the increase of non-traditional security threats such as piracy, smuggling, natural disasters, terrorism, human trafficking, and environmental and biodiversity degradation.
Concerning South China Sea issue, it is necessary to have a regional code of conduct (COC). Recently there is a lot of improvement in strengthening both bilateral and multilateral dialogues on the South China Sea. The adoption of the guidelines of Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) is a promising step towards the full implementation of the guideline in order to maintain peace, stability, and development in the region. We welcome the creation of the working group of COC and positive reaction from China to work with this working group in order to realize COC in the near future.
In medium and long term, we need to expand our regional code of conduct on the South China Sea to a wider maritime security cooperation and governance in the whole East Asian region.