ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation

Opening Remarks


HRH Samdech Norodom Sirivudh

Founder and Chairman

Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace

Phnom Penh, February 20, 2012


Excellency Ambassadors

Distinguished colleagues and friends

Very good morning! Chum Reap Sour!

It is my great honor and pleasure to be given this opportunity to welcome you and I would like to extend my wholehearted gratitude to your support in this timely and significant stakeholders meeting on the terms of reference and modality of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR).

The meeting today seeks to build on the last brainstorming session which was held in October 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is an opportunity for experts and practitioners from the region to generate recommendations and suggestions which could help inform the official discussions around the setting up the AIPR.

As we all know ASEAN leaders strongly support the initiatives to establish the AIPR with the objective to promote and strengthen peace culture and contribution of ASEAN in peace making in the region and beyond. AIPR is an incremental part to realize an ASEAN community. The establishment of the AIPR was agreed to by ASEAN Heads of State at the 18th ASEAN Summit in May 2011.  The 19th ASEAN summit in November 2011 tasked Foreign Ministers to finalize the modalities of the AIPR.

The AIPR, which is mandated by the ASEAN Political Security Blueprint, could augment ASEAN’s capacity to resolve and prevent conflict. It would also be a demonstration of ASEAN’s commitment to build its capacity in this field.

To build a sustainable peace, we need the support and participation of all relevant stakeholders and with holistic approaches. In our region, we can see the emerging roles of think tanks in contributing initiatives and ideas to construct the region for the sake of regional peace and development.

The speed of globalization and regional integration process is going faster than the adapting capacity of the nation states. The governments alone could not effectively address the emerging security challenges. They need other non-state actors especially think tanks and civil society organizations.

In our region, we have two important track two diplomacy mechanisms, which are the ASEAN- International Institutes for Strategic and International Studies (ASEAN-ISIS) and Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). Now we are going to create another network, which is an ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR).  I believe that these three tracks can work and complement each other in analyzing regional conflicts and emerging security issues, finding different approaches to conflict, and stockpiling the best approaches in conflict management and solutions.

The exact role of the AIPR remains to be decided. However, an important role it could undertake is to be the regional focal point for research and training on peacemaking. It could also be the bridge between the Track I and Track II peacemaking in the region.

I strongly believe that the AIPR will take the challenges to assist state capacity and regional institutional capacity-ASEAN- in effectively and timely addressing emerging security issues and conflicts.

I wish the meeting a great success!

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