The ASEAN Regional Forum: Multulateralizing Security in the Asia Pacific

Maria Consuelo Casimiro-Ortuoste


With the Cold War over, the Asia-Pacific region is in a state of flux. The emerging regional security environment excludes both uncertainty and optimism, even as traditional conceptions and principles of security have become inadequate, if not obsolete, begging for a thorough reexamination and redefinition. It is clear, however, that in the post Cold War world, security can no longer be achieved merely by the bilateral, much less unilateral, actions of states but also through coalition-building and multilateral endeavors. The ASEAN Regional Forum, with its emerging role as a facilitator of dialogue and a key instrument for the development of confidence-building measures for the region, appears headed towards creating a breakthrough in multilateralzing regional security. The challenge is for ARF participants to consolidate their gains and build on the ARF process. To meet the challenge, member-states need to agree on a collective vision for the ARF; the pacing of its activities; the degree of its institutionalization; the extent of its membership; and the nature of its linkages with sub-regional and global processes.

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