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Crisis Management in the ASEAN Plus Three Countries
 
 
 
Somkiat Kamolpun, Ed.D.
Office of the Higher Education Commission
Chadarat Singhadechakul
Office of the Higher Education Commission
1. Rationale
 
Enhanced cooperation and interaction among the ASEAN Plus Three countries significantly fosters political, economic, and social development in each individual country and the region as a whole. Nevertheless, new challenges have emerged and without proper management, they have become crises, for instance, natural disaster, migration and human rights, and epidemic. According to the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision, crisis management is an immediate and cross-cutting issue in the three pillars of ASEAN Community. The Declaration urges member states and dialogue partners, including ASEAN Plus Three and ASEAN Plus Six, to develop more dynamic and robust regional mechanism to address challenging issues. Because of globalization and interconnectedness of the global citizens, a number of crises have inevitably affected many countries in the region. ASEAN have policies to deal with a number of crises, but those policies have never been translated into actions. Although each individual member state attempts to mitigate the effects of the crises, the lack of synergy in policy implementation hinders the effectiveness in regional crisis management.
 
The Post-2015 Vision indicates that natural disaster and climate change are emerging challenges. Along with human rights and economic challenges, natural disaster and climate change increase the number of forced and irregular migration which eventually affects health security in the region. These crises have brought about a number of consequences, for instance, loss of lives and livelihood, homeless and misplaced people, health care burdens, transnational crimes, to name a few. To address these crises effectively, concerted effort among the ASEAN Plus Three countries is needed at the levels of policy makers and academic community.
 
Hence, Thailand would like to propose the theme of ‘Crisis Management’ for the 24th and 25th Network of East Asia Think Tanks Coordinators Meetings and the 13th NEAT Annual Conference. It consists of three sub-themes: natural disaster and climate change, migration, and health security. The main goal of the meetings and the conference with the theme ‘Crisis Management’ is to support the Post-2015 Vision by initiating dialogues among scholars and providing policy recommendations to the ASEAN Plus Three leaders. The concept papers on respective sub-themes appear in Annex 1, 2, and 3.
 
For the full text of the report, click here.

Network of East Asian Think-Tanks

The Network of East Asian Think-tanks

     
Officially recognized at the “10+3" summit meeting, Network of East Asian Think-tanks (NEAT) is a mechanism for research and academic exchange, and a platform for the second-track diplomacy in the regional cooperation among “10+3" countries in East Asia. It aims at integrating the research resources in East Asia, promoting the academic exchanges and providing intellectual support for East Asian cooperation. To be more specific, by establishing a network among East Asian think-tanks, governments and enterprises and promoting the interaction of these three circles, it intends to study the key issues related to East Asian cooperation, work out strategic ideas and concrete policy suggestions for the regional integration and submit research reports to the “10+3" summit meeting.
 
In 2002, East Asian Studies Group (EASG), the second-track in the mechanism of East Asian cooperation, suggested 17 short-term measures to be taken for closer cooperation among East Asian nations, among which was establishing “Network of East Asian Think-tanks" (NEAT) within the framework of “10+3" regional cooperation. The suggestion was adopted at the informal meeting of “10+3"leaders held in Phnom PenhCambodia in September 2002.
 
The activities of NEAT fall into the following categories: 1) Hold annual conferences of NEAT members to promote exchanges among East Asian think tanks and submit an annual work report to the informal meeting of “10+3" leaders on the basis of the research of the key issues in East Asian integration process; 2) Set up a website of NEAT, bridging the governments with the academic circles, promoting the academic exchanges among scholars about East Asia, and educating the masses in the region; 3) Hold irregular international seminars on East Asian cooperation so as to facilitate the theoretic research on the integration and community building of East Asia and help to shape the theoretic framework, strategies and specific policies conducive to the regional cooperation in East Asia. 4) Cooperate in the research of the key issues in regional cooperation and figure out the solutions.
 
The founding as well as the first annual conference of NEAT was held in Beijing from September 29 to 30, 2003. There were delegates from the think tanks of all the member states at the conference. The three topics discussed were “Towards East Asian Cooperation", Important Steps Leading to East Asian Cooperation" and “Key Areas in East Asia Cooperation". The conference report was not only published, but also distributed at the “10+3" leaders meeting in 2003.