Report available for download: Tigers and Dragons: Sustainable Security in Asia and Australasia
Do also read "Toward sustainable security" by Chris Abbott and Sophie Marsden, Jan 21, 2009
Asia is a region in transition, and transition creates uncertainty. The political, economic and societal landscape is shifting, with major new powers emerging and smaller states attempting to protect their interests in this changing dynamic. At the same time, climate change and the other long-term emerging threats to security will require regional responses and thus a degree of regional unity.
This report is based on the outcomes of a consultation that Oxford Research Group (ORG) and the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) held in Singapore in September 2008. Bringing together security experts, academics, government officials and civil society leaders from across Asia and Australasia, the two-day meeting explored the implications of the sustainable security framework for the region. [download report]
The closed-door residential roundtable discussion will be conducting an in-depth exploration of the issues revolving around Sustainable Security. The central themes will be to (1) explore the regional implications of the underlying drivers of insecurity and how they manifest themselves at present or may do in the near future, (2) assess the impact of current or likely Western policy responses, and (3) develop alternative policy responses based on regional perspectives on achieving security.
This event is part of the ORG-SIIA's Regional Sustainable Security Consultation 2008.
Come September 2008, the SIIA will be working with Oxford Research Group (ORG), one of United Kingdom’s top 10 think-tank, to host the Regional Sustainable Security Consultation (Asia and Australasia) here in Singapore.
This Regional Consultation (Asia and Australasia), to be held from 10-13 September 2008 in Singapore, will be attended by approximately 15 security (both traditional and non-traditional security) experts and will consist of 2 components – a two-day semi-structured residential roundtable discussion, and a half-day public conference.
But first, what exactly is “Sustainable Security”?
The Oxford Research Group (ORG) has previously indentified and analyzed 4 main interconnected trends as the root causes in conflict and insecurity in today’s world as well as the likely determinants of future conflicts.
These 4 trends are:
- Climate Change: displacement of peoples, severe natural disasters and food shortages, leading to much higher levels of migration, increased human suffering and greater social unrest.
- Competition over resources: competition for increasingly scarce resources, especially from unstable parts of the world – such as oil from the Persian Gulf.
- Marginalisation of the majority world:increasing socio-economic divisions and the marginalisation of the vast majority of the world’s population.
- Global militarisation:the increased use of military force and the further spread of military technologies (including weapons of WMD)
Hence, instead of utilizing the control paradigm which attempts to unilaterally control the threats through the use of force (i.e. “attack the symptoms”), Sustainable Security aims to address these 4 trends through cooperative resolution of the root causes of those threats using the most effective means available (i.e. “cure the disease”).
In addition, through Sustainable Security, NGOs as well as the wider civil society will have a unique chance to coordinate their efforts to convince governments to address these trends. This might produce a closer knitted linkage between NGOs and governments. In turn, such synergies might mean a closer and stronger international bonding of peace, development and environmental issues.