The ASEAN Charter represents the common goals and aspirations of the region in a variety of thematic areas. While on some themes, implementation is quite straight forward, on others a careful process of debate and analysis is required to arrive at roadmap on the way forward. The Charter provisions on dispute settlement fall under the latter category.
Chapter VIII of the Charter is devoted to the settlement of disputes and Article 23 states that: “Member states which are parties to a dispute may at any time agree to resort to good offices, conciliation or mediation in order to resolve the dispute within an agreed time limit.” and that: “Parties to the dispute may request the Chairman of ASEAN or the Secretary-General of ASEAN, acting in an ex-officio capacity, to provide good offices, conciliation or mediation.”
As part of the process of initiating a regional dialogue on how to institutionalize ASEAN Charter commitments, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, the ASEAN Studies Centre of the Institute of South East Asian Studies and the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Singapore, will be hosting a two day brain storming seminar which will be held from 21-22 June 2010 in Singapore.
The main points of discussion in the seminar will include:
- Reviewing lessons learnt and best practices from South East Asia’s experiences in conflict prevention and resolution.
- Undertaking a historical review of ASEAN’s role in conflict prevention in the region.
- Examining the institutional structures within ASEAN for conflict prevention and resolution.
- Identifying ways to enhance ASEAN’s role in conflict prevention and resolution as mandated by the Charter.
- Identifying areas in which capacity building is required.
Officials from ASEAN member states, ASEAN Secretariat officials and prominent experts from think-tanks and universities in the region will be invited to attend this seminar. In all, around 30 participants will attend.