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NTS-Asia Newsletter

NTS-Asia Newsletter No.20

The NTS-Asia Newsletter Team
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Cheryl Lim, Sofiah Jamil and Steven Poh.


Upcoming Events

Regional Consultation Meeting on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP)

8-9 April 2010
RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies

Asia faces numerous small-scale internal conflicts, which have the potential to destabilise fragile or failing states, and pose serious challenges to others. The South and Southeast Asian regions in particular, are a hotbed for complex, internal conflicts where seeds of greater problems can be sown, turning them into a fulcrum for larger conflicts not just within a state but also between states. Some salient examples are the ongoing or dormant conflicts in Mindanao in Southern Philippines, in Southern Thailand and Kashmir in India. The concept of RtoP refers to a state’s responsibility to protect its own citizens in the face of four specific mass atrocity crimes: war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, and their incitement. In the Asian region, the implications of these conflicts on human security are immense and these make for a compelling case of the pertinence of RtoP in Asia.

Against this backdrop, the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies will host a regional consultation session to explore how Asian states can benefit through a common appreciation of the principles of RtoP. A broad objective of the regional consultation is to map out and understand the different voices on RtoP in Asia – both from state and non-state actors – in an effort to operationalise the RtoP concept. More than 20 international scholars including experts on international security and RtoP, representatives from civil society, and the media will be participating in the event.

Click here for more information on the meeting.

Symposium on Exploring the Contours of Democracy in Maldives

14-15 April 2010
Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP)

Organised by WISCOMP in New Delhi, this symposium seeks to draw on a cross-section of policymakers, academics, civil society actors and young professionals from Maldives and India to provide a platform for shared reflection on the challenges and potential of democratic practice in a country that has moved from procedural democracy to multi-party democracy. It will foreground democratic institution-building and working, as well as the evolving contours of underlying democratic values of justice, equity and human security in the Maldives.

Talk on Amphibious Asia Created Vietnam's Poor Centre: Nature, Networks, and a Region at Sea

22 April 2010
Hong Kong University (HKU)
Hong Kong

In his talk, Dr Charles Wheeler will discuss his recently completed book project, in which he challenges the longstanding agrarian model of Vietnamese history. The model was used to legitimise colonial rule and later the modern nation-state. In other words, the agrarian model shapes the very idea of what makes Vietnam Vietnamese.  Dr Wheeler addresses one of the oldest myths supporting this model – the frontier myth-cum-thesis that Vietnamese call the “March South”.  He rejects this land-centred, pioneer model of frontier settlement in favour of a dynamic model of regional formation, created by complex inter-Asian social networks, which in turn evolved from the human ecology of Amphibious Asia.

Dr Charles Wheeler is Research Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in History from Yale University, and recently arrived at HKU from the University of California, Irvine. A specialist in Vietnamese maritime history, his dissertation laid the basis for a new maritime approach to Vietnamese history. His publications address the role of the sea in Vietnamese history; littoral society and long-distance trade; Sino-Vietnamese merchant elites; political ecology and piracy in the South China Sea; archaeology, ethnohistory and political identity in Vietnam's Cham regions; and the role of Buddhism in the Chinese merchant diaspora and Vietnamese colonialism in early modern times.

Click here for more information on the seminar.

Seminar on The Obama Vision: Are We Moving Toward A World Free of Nuclear Weapons?

22 April 2010
RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies

A year ago, United States President Barack Obama gave a historic speech in Prague in which he called on the international community to move toward a "world free of nuclear weapons." In the speech, he laid out a number of specific efforts that the United States would pursue to help make this goal a reality. As the international community prepares to gather in New York for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, the difficulties of achieving both these intermediate steps and the long-term goal have become apparent. What can we expect will happen at the Review Conference in May and what are the prospects for achieving President Obama's goals?

This seminar is organised against the backdrop of contemporary debates over the benefits and risks associated with nuclear energy. The speaker, Mr Miles Pomper, is a senior research associate in the Washington, DC office of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He will discuss the issue of nuclear proliferation and weaponisation which is especially relevant against the backdrop of a ‘nuclear energy renaissance’ in Asia. It is widely acknowledged that the outcome of the upcoming Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference may have a significant impact on the prospects of strengthening efforts against nuclear proliferation in the region.

RSIS-NTS Workshop on Nuclear Energy and Human Security

23 April 2010
RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies

In recent years, countries across Asia have strived to balance between socio-economic development and the mitigation of climate change – all of which are vital to national security. To achieve this goal, some regional countries have embarked upon what has been termed as a ‘nuclear renaissance’. It is Asia where many nuclear expansion projects and new nuclear energy aspirants emerge. Notwithstanding the benefits which can be reaped from the use of nuclear energy, pertinent security risks exist too. Therefore, the role of nuclear power in the energy security equation has to be seen in a multifaceted way. The socio-economic, environmental and political security dimensions of nuclear power are all inter-related and pivotal for national security; they do not exist singularly, and hence need to be addressed comprehensively.

With these issues and challenges in mind, the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies will be organising a workshop on Nuclear Energy and Human Security. This event will serve as a platform for policymakers and members of the academia to study and better understand the benefits and risks associated with nuclear energy, especially in the backdrop of potentially growing nuclear power utilisation in Asia. Amongst the participating international specialists from the Asia-Pacific region are Dr Mark Diesendorf, Deputy Director of the Institute of Environmental Studies, University of New South Wales in Australia; Dr Kazuaki Matsui, Executive Director of the Institute of Applied Energy in Japan; Dr Michael Quah, Principal Investigator of the Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore; as well as Associate Professor Simon Tay, Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

Research findings and discussion notes from the workshop will be published in an edited volume titled Nuclear Energy and Human Security: Critical Debates. This volume will contain chapters on the environment, economics, politics and the roles of civil society organisations.

Click here for more information on the conference.

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Call for Applications for ­NTS-Asia Research Fellowship (2010)

The Consortium of NTS-Asia through the support of the Ford Foundation invites applications for the NTS-Asia Research Fellowship. To commence in July, this three-month research fellowship programme offers successful applicants an opportunity to work on a wide range of non-traditional security (NTS) issues in Asia. Three fellowship positions are available this year and each fellowship comes with a stipend of US$8,000 (all inclusive* for the duration of the fellowship). Young scholars are encouraged to apply.

Successful candidates can choose to conduct their research at any of the 20 NTS-Asia member institutes. Member institutes are listed below:

  1. Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APCR2P), University of Queensland, Australia
  2. Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), Bangladesh
  3. Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), Bangladesh
  4. Centre for International Security Studies (CISS), University of Sydney, Australia
  5. Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Indonesia
  6. Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), India
  7. Centre of Asian Studies (CAS), University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  8. Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
  9. Ilmin International Relations Institute (IIRI) Korea University, South Korea
  10. Institute for Asian Human Community Network (AHC), Waseda University, Japan
  11. Institute for Human Security, Latrobe University, Australia
  12. Institute for Strategic and Development Studies (ISDS), The Philippines
  13. Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies (IAPS), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), China
  14. Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
  15. Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP), Vietnam
  16. Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
  17. Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS), Sri Lanka
  18. RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  19. WorldFish Center, Malaysia
  20. Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), Foundation for Universal Responsibility, India

NTS-Asia research fellows are expected to produce at least one publishable research paper – in the form of a journal article, monograph or working paper - at the end of the fellowship period. All interested applicants should submit their applications via email by Friday, 16 April 2010, with the following information:

  • A research proposal of about 2,000 words which should include a statement on  the aims and objectives of the project, the time frame for the project, the NTS-Asia institution of choice, and reasons why it is the most suitable institution for such research, and  output
  • Information on his/her expertise in relation to the research that is to be carried out;
  • Two recommendation letters, including one from the applicant’s organisation
  • A curriculum vitae and a copy of his/her highest level of education reached

All interested applicants should submit proposals via email to:

Ms Cheryl Lim, Programme Officer at the NTS-Asia Secretariat and the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies at ischeryllim@ntu.edu.sg

Or via mail to the NTS-Asia Secretariat at the following address:

The NTS-Asia Secretariat
c/o Associate-Professor Mely Caballero-Anthony
Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)
Nanyang Technological University
Block S4, Level B4, Nanyang Avenue
Singapore 639798

The closing deadline for all applications is Friday, 16 April 2010.

*All inclusive refers to airfare, visa fees, room and board as well as any other incidentals during the duration of the fellowship.

RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies launches ‘In Conversation’ Series

‘In Conversation’ is a new section in the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies’ website devoted to interviews with experts and scholars on various NTS issues. Emil Salim, Masakazu Ichimura, Bernadette P. Resurreccion and Fitrian Ardiansyah share with us their thoughts on issues related to climate change in this first round of interviews. These interviews were conducted on the sidelines of the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies’ Conference on Climate Insecurities, Human Security and Social Resilience from 27 to 28 August 2009 in Singapore.

Click here to view the interviews.

CAS part of Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Centre of Asian Studies (CAS) has been incorporated into the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences with effect from 1 July 2009. Housed in the University of Hong Kong, the new, enhanced institute will provide a robust platform for Asian and China studies with a network of global academic partners. CAS shall continue under the Institute as a "brand name" in view of its long history and reputation both locally and internationally, particularly among peers in the field of Asian studies.

More information on CAS activities is available here.

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Recent Events

Roundtable on The Security Implications of Climate Change in South Asia

28-29 March 2010
Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)

The impacts of climate change have become a part of the daily reality for South Asia. Various climate-related consequences, i.e. higher temperatures, extreme weather patterns, melting glaciers, water scarcity and rising sea levels threaten to endanger people’s lives across the region. Against this backdrop, BIPSS organised an expert roundtable on The Security Implications of Climate Change in South Asia from 28 to 29 March in collaboration with the International Alert in London, the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies in Sri Lanka and the Peacebuilding and Development Institute in Sri Lanka. The roundtable initiated a discussion on the relationship between climate change and conflict in the region. It brought together selected experts from the region as well as across the world to discuss the complexities of responding to climate change in conflict-affected areas, explored institutional responses to dealing with such risks and identified issues of critical importance to managing the conflict risks associated with climate change.

Seminar on Knowledge Translation: The Bumpy Road from Research to Policy

23 March 2010
RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies

In this seminar organised by the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies, Dr Tikki Pang, Director of Research Policy and Cooperation in the World Health Organization examines the disconnect between researchers and policymakers and how research often neglects the importance of translating knowledge into action and the necessity to bridge this gap for the crafting and implementation of effective policies informed by scientific research. Problems largely stem from the differing mindsets and attitudes of policymakers and researchers. However, the gap is not impossible to bridge as evidenced from the success case studies (at the international, national and district levels) highlighted by Dr Pang in the seminar.

Click here to read the seminar write-up.

Roundtable on Media-Military Relations in the Media Era

21 March 2010
Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS)

BIPSS held a roundtable on media-military relations in the media era on 21 March 2010 at the Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.  Dr Syed Mahmud Ali, a renowned author and former Senior Editorial Coordinator at the BBC World Service in London delivered the keynote paper. The roundtable focused on key aspects of the current state of media-military relations and its different professional and political challenges, as well as suggested ways to develop a model to cope with the challenges. The event brought together subject experts, renowned journalists, editors of premier dailies, think tanks, analysts and high-ranking government officials.

Strengthening Health and Non-Health Response Systems in Asia: A Sustained Approach for Responding to Global Infectious Diseases

18-19 March 2010
RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies

Regardless of how strong a country’s national health system is, it is only as good as its neighbours’ because pandemics and infectious disease render national borders incapable of mitigating the security threat. Hence, there is a need for countries to focus on regional cooperation, as part of the larger strategy in responding to the global infectious disease crisis. This is one of several issues highlighted by Dr Noeleen Heyzer, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary to the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, at the conference on Strengthening Health and Non-Health Responses Systems in Asia: A Sustained Approach for Responding to Global Infectious Disease Crises.

The two-day conference organised by the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies gathered an exciting mix of presenters with a range of expertise including Dr Tikki Pang, Director of Research Policy and Cooperation at the World Health Organization; Prof. Keizo Takemi, Senior Fellow at the Japan Center for International Exchange and former Senior Vice-Minister for Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan; Dr Somsak Chunharas, Secretary General of Thailand’s National Health Foundation; and Prof. Sir Roy Anderson, Chair in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at London’s Imperial College’s Division of Epidemiology. The Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs, Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee, was the guest of honour at this event.

The conference sought to collectively identify priority action areas so as to close the gap between existing health systems and local communities' health needs, and to examine ways to improve on non-medical responses in an epidemic or pandemic disease outbreak, particularly in countries without adequate surge capacity. Beyond identifying the capabilities, redundancies, critical gaps, constraints and challenges faced by health systems in the region, participants at the conference attempted to come up with policy options and recommendations for the strengthening of health and non-medical response systems in the context of the potential emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

Click here for the full article.
A report on the conference proceedings will be published and made available online soon.

LaRRC Seminar Series 2010 – Cultivating Excellence: Education and Somali Youth in Diaspora

12 March 2010
La Trobe Refugee Research Centre
La Trobe University

Organised by the La Trobe Refugee Research Centre (LaRRC), this seminar explored the relationship of excellence and education to the condition of Somalia, personal achievement and civic development in the diaspora. The speaker, Prof. Admed I. Samatar, is a James Wallace Professor of International Studies and the Dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship at Macalester College in the US. Prof. Samatar’s expertise lies in the areas of global political economy, political and social thought and African development. He is currently conducting research in the area of leadership and the state in Somalia, as well as in globalisation and the rise of Islamic consciousness.

LaRRC is a core affiliate of La Trobe University’s Institute for Human Security.
More information on LaRRC is available here.

National Seminar on State of Democracy in North-East India

25-27 February 2010
Department of Political Science
Gauhati University

The success and credibility of a democracy depends on its proper functioning and delivery system with the impact of democratic institutions on the lives of the common people being the concern of democratic governments. But the state has been unable to adequately address the aspirations of the people and the procedural norms of a rational political order have yet to take root. More importantly, the task of building such a rational political order has received a severe setback due to the process of de-institutionalisation. The remedy, however, lies in strengthening these institutions.

Organised by the Department of Political Science in Gauhati University, the seminar on State of Democracy in North-East India was conducted with the aim of exploring the workings of democracy in the region and assessing the contribution of the state in deepening and extending democracy in the socio-economic field against the backdrop of growing community conflicts and violence in the area. The broad sub-themes of the seminar were: institutional legitimacy, interest representation and democratic practice, democracy as an area of participation, and the quality of governance. Seminar speakers included Prof. Ashutosh Kumar from Punjab University, Prof. Rekha Choudhury of Jammu University, Prof. Asok Sharma of Rajasthan Univeristy and Ms Banasmita Bora from the Centre of Study of Developing Societies.

IIRI hosts the Northeast Asia Forum, “The North Korean Nuclear Problem and Northeast Asia Security Architecture”

23 February 2010
Ilmin International Relations Institute (IIRI), Korea University
South Korea

On 23 February 2010, IIRI hosted the Northeast Asia Forum on the topic of ‘The North Korean Nuclear Problem and Northeast Asia Security Architecture’. The forum’s main speakers were Kim Sung-han, IIRI Director; Evans Revere, President of Korea Society; Tanaka Hitoshi, Senior Fellow in the Japan Center for International Exchange; and Wang Jisi, Dean of the School of International Studies, Peking University. In addition, Lee Chungmin, International Security Ambassador; and Scott Snyder, Director of the Center for U.S.-Korea Policy in the Asia Foundation also participated in the discussion as designated panelists.

Kim Sung-han emphasised that the end goal is the de-nuclearisation of North Korea. He stressed that the establishment of a "peace regime" should precede a "peace treaty" in order to accomplish this goal, and ultimately China's cooperation is required for this course of action to be successful. Evans Revere insisted that strategic patience alone is not sufficient to resolve the North Korean nuclear problem and that it is necessary to adopt a proactive strategy. Tanaka Hitoshi spoke of the five principles for successful Six-Party Talks. These are: To never recognise North Korea as a nuclear power state, maintain continuity among the policies of the five parties, plan for contingencies, take a comprehensive approach and ensure that all preceding informal negotiations should be part of the Six-Party Talks. He also argued for the establishment of the East Asia Security Forum. Wang Jisi talked about the Chinese perspective on the North Korean nuclear problem. He observed that it is hard to expect the international community to succeed in making North Korea give up its nuclear weapons. Thus, the five parties involved in the Six-Party Talks should engage with North Korea to open up and reform its economy as a long-term strategy.

Crafting a Technology Roadmap Towards Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability in Singapore: Beginning the Journey

23 February 2010
RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies

The technology roadmap asserts that technology is an absolutely necessary but totally insufficient condition to addressing the challenges that we face in energy security in an increasing carbon-constrained world, even as we continue to pursue economic development at a breakneck speed, as reflected in the rapidly growing economies in the region. Fossil energy remains a fuel reality over the next few decades but how we transition to a future of alternative and renewable energy (including nuclear energy) will revolve around the critical challenges in our understanding of ‘systems of systems’ interaction on the use of ‘low energy density’ sources. This seminar presentation was a compilation of excerpts from a final report that Dr Michael Quah worked on during a short-term assignment with the Energy Studies Institute (ESI) in Singapore. Dr Quah has since joined the ESI as a Principal Fellow. This talk was a reprise of an Energy Studies Institute – Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ESI-ISEAS) seminar held in Singapore on 7 December, 2009.

Click here for the full article and audio recording.

IIRI holds the 5th and 6th Ilmin Forum for International Affairs and Security (IFIAS)

18 December 2009, 22 January 2010
Ilmin International Relations Institute (IIRI), Korea University
South Korea

IIRI held the 5th and 6th editions of the Ilmin Forum for International Affairs and Security (IFIAS) on 18 December 2009 and 22 January 2010 respectively. Harvard University Professor, Dr Robert Rotberg, gave a talk entitled ‘State Failure and North Korea: A Conceptual Framework’ at the 5th IFIAS, and Korea University’s Prof. Yoo Ho-yeol discussed ‘Types of North Korean Contingencies’ in his role as guest speaker at the 6th IFIAS.

In his presentation, Dr Rotberg explained that security is the most important element in determining state failure. It is under this criterion that North Korea should not yet be considered a failed state because it still maintains firm control over its domestic security even though it is not adequately providing political goods (a form of public good) to its people. He also highlighted the particular danger that could potentially arise from North Korea becoming a failed state given its possession of weapons of mass destruction. In order to prevent such a dangerous scenario from unfolding, he called for the active intervention of the international community, such as the UN and G8.

Prof. Yoo in his talk pointed out that North Korea’s centre of power is abnormally tilted toward its military so as to promote the succession of Kim Jung Eun after Kim Jong Il steps down from power. This bias toward the military could lead to conflict between the Korean People’s Army and the Korean Worker’s Party in North Korea. He discussed three types of scenarios that could potentially arise and lead to drastic change within North Korea. The first scenario is a transference of power due a health problem afflicting Kim Jong Il, the second scenario envisaged is a military coup, and the last is an internal uprising. In the following session, specialists and scholars discussed these particular issues that North Korea could soon be facing.

IIRI has successfully held six IFIAS since August 2009. The forum invites experts on North Korea to discuss the critical issues affecting the country such as contingency and state failure of North Korea. The speakers of past IFIAS include Joel Wit, Senior Research Fellow at Columbia University; and Former Korea Desk Officer at the US State Department and Professor, Victor Cha of Georgetown University, who also serves as the current CSIS Korea Chair. IIRI is a recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's ‘Asia Security Initiative’ research fund.

Conference on Meeting the Millennium Development Goals: Old Problems, New Challenges

30 November - 1 December 2009
La Trobe University and Australian Council for International Development
in partnership with AusAID

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a United Nations partnership initiative to eradicate extreme poverty and other forms of disadvantages and human crises by 2015. Some progress has been made but major gaps are evident, for example in official development assistance, market access (trade), debt relief, gender equality, access to essential medicines and access to technology. The global financial crisis, rising food prices and climate change have significantly impacted countries in their efforts to achieve the MDGs. There is thus a renewed need for strategising in international as well as local partnerships to realise the MDGs and to consider what is needed beyond them.

This conference examined steps to be taken to sustain the momentum as the half-way mark of the 2015 MDGs deadline approaches. The conference brought together a wide range of stakeholders such as community representatives, academics, professionals from within and outside the traditional development field, the corporate sector and many others who may ordinarily not consider themselves as concerned with development. Emphasis was given on creating new ideas and new angles based on learning from different perspectives and sectors as well as sharing success stories, best practices, and failures as learning points.

The keynote speech, ‘The MDGs: A Constructive Critique’ was delivered by Dr Jan Vandemoortele, former United Nations Development Programme Resident representative in Pakistan and one of the architects of the MDGs.

Click here to access the papers presented at the conference.

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Recent Publications

Report on the 3rd Annual Convention of the Consortium of Non-Traditional Security in Asia Conference report, NTS-Asia, 2009

This NTS-Asia report details the proceedings of the 3rd Annual Convention of NTS-Asia that was held from 3 to 4 November 2009 in Singapore. The report covers panel discussions on NTS issues such as climate change, natural disasters, the Responsibility to Protect and other NTS issues affecting the Asian region.


Energy Development in ASEAN Countries and Sino-ASEAN Energy Cooperation
Xue Li, NTS-Asia Research Paper, 2 April 2009

East Asia is one of the three main economic blocks in the world. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries – as New Industrial Economies (NIEs) – and China – as an emerging power – are promoting regional integration. The paper examines energy development and cooperation – an important component of economic collaboration – in this region. The paper outlines the energy products in eight ASEAN countries, presents the details of energy exploration and production in them, analyses the South China Sea issue, and details the energy cooperation between those countries and China.

Xue Li is a research fellow from the NTS-Asia Research Fellowship 2008. This paper was written by him during his fellowship.


Renewable Energy: A Survey of Policies in East Asia
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Kevin Punzalan and Collin Koh, NTS Alert, NTS-Asia Secretariat, March 2010

This NTS Alert conducts a brief survey of renewable energy (RE) policy frameworks among five selected East Asian countries – China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. There appears to be agreement among East Asian countries on the importance of alternative energy as a solution to addressing the energy-economics-environment nexus. National efforts have been undertaken in recent times to tap these under-utilised resources, in part due to the possible recognition that other alternative sources, nuclear power especially, are politically and economically riskier. While earlier energy policies in these five nations were plagued by technical and financial barriers, concerted efforts have been undertaken by these governments to overcome them.


Energy Renaissance in East Asia: Nuclear or Renewables?
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Kevin Punzalan and Collin Koh, NTS Alert, NTS-Asia Secretariat, March 2010

As East Asia rapidly develops, greater demands are being placed on governments to efficiently supply energy to sustain economic growth. Simultaneously, public awareness of environmental issues has placed new imperatives on energy planning. To meet these challenges, the concept of sustainable development must be incorporated into energy security strategies in order to balance the three priorities of energy security, economic growth and environmental protection. Alternative energy forms a cornerstone of such a strategy. From a brief examination of the contemporary developments in alternative energy sources in East Asia, this Alert shows that the use of ‘nuclear renaissance’ for describing the energy future of the region is still premature, given that progress in this field has not been uniform and has largely stagnated. Instead, renewable energy developments show better progress and hold greater promise for East Asia. Thus, instead of a ‘nuclear renaissance’, a ‘renewables renaissance’ may be taking hold in the region.


The Many Faces of Statelessness
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Priyanka Bhalla and Pau Khan Khup Hangzo, NTS Alert, NTS-Asia Secretariat, February 2010

In December 2009, 4,300 Laotian Hmongs in Thailand were involuntarily repatriated to Laos. Their status in Thailand has often been disputed, as some have officially been recognised by the UNHCR as ‘refugees’, others are considered ‘economic migrants’ or ‘illegal migrants’ by Thailand and as a result, many of their children are ‘stateless’. The label they receive decides the treatment they get under national and international law. This Alert aims to analyse the difference between stateless persons in their habitual residence and stateless persons on the move, explaining the many faces of statelessness within Southeast Asia.


Understanding Statelessness: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Priyanka Bhalla and Pau Khan Khup Hangzo, NTS Alert, NTS-Asia Secretariat, February 2010

In 2008 and 2009, there were numerous reports in the international media of Rohingya, a Muslim minority group from Myanmar, attempting to escape from Myanmar to Thailand and Malaysia, via perilous boat journeys. After being ‘pushed back’ by Thai authorities, there was pressure on ASEAN and the Bali Process for People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, to address the root cause of statelessness. The aim of this NTS alert is to analyse the problem of statelessness, giving an overview at both global and regional levels and tracing its causes and consequences. In addition, this alert explains the significance of statelessness under international law, highlights cases in Southeast and South Asia, and concludes by reviewing the types of solutions that are potentially effective.


Civil Society Actions and Reactions to COP15
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Irene Kuntjoro and Sofiah Jamil, NTS Alert, NTS-Asia Secretariat, January 2010

Despite the dominant role of states at the 15th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen, civil society has been playing an increasingly prominent role in international climate negotiations. This Alert examines civil society’s efforts to gain public support and influence decision-making through conventional as well as new and creative means.


Update on COP15: States’ Deliberations and Decisions
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Irene Kuntjoro and Sofiah Jamil, NTS Alert, NTS-Asia Secretariat, January 2010

In the lead-up to the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen, world leaders had been constantly reminded of the need to act on one of the most pressing global contemporary issues to date. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has been a prime advocate, as seen in his efforts to rally global support to spur, particularly, developed and industrialising countries to formulate effective policies and give ‘hope’ for the survival of developing countries most vulnerable to climate change. Thanks to the support of media industries worldwide, the UN’s efforts of providing hope at Copenhagen became known as Hopenhagen. Unfortunately, national and regional efforts came to naught during the two weeks of COP15 as the objectives that had been initially set out were hardly achieved. This Alert examines countries’ deliberations and decisions that have influenced COP15’s piecemeal outcome.


Political Change, Democratic Transitions and Security in Southeast Asia
Edited by Mely Caballero-Anthony, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, December 2009

The fragility of democracy in Southeast Asia is a subject of increasing concern. While there has been significant movement in the direction of democratisation, the authoritarian tendencies of popularly elected leaders and the challenges posed by emerging security threats have given rise to a shared concern about the return of military rule in the region. This book examines the nature of political transitions in Southeast Asia and why political transitions towards political liberalisation and democracy have often failed to take off. It considers political systems in Southeast Asia that have gone through significant periods of transition but continue to face serious challenges toward democratic consolidation. Some key questions that the book focuses on are – Are emerging democracies in the region threatened by weak, failed or authoritarian leadership? Are political institutions that are supposed to support political changes toward democratisation weak or strong? How can democratic systems be made more resilient and what are the prospects of democracy becoming the defining political landscape in Southeast Asia?


Mainstreaming the Responsibility to Protect in Peace Operations
Charles T. Hunt and Alex J. Bellamy, Working Paper, Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APR2P), 2010

This paper examines what peace operations can do to institutionalise and implement RtoP. This involves answering two central questions: how do peace operations already contribute to RtoP and how might their capacity be augmented to strengthen their contribution? The main argument is that RtoP and peace operations are symbiotic and mutually reinforcing. Notwithstanding systemic challenges, peace operations offer a legitimate and ready-made vehicle for moving RtoP from principle to praxis. At the same time, RtoP constitutes a facilitating norm for harnessing political will and buttressing the legitimacy and credibility of contemporary peace operations.


Democracies in Transition: Opportunities and Challenges for Nepal- A Report
Navanita Sinha, Report, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2010

This WISCOMP report is based on the proceedings of the symposium on Democracies in Transition: Opportunities and Challenges for Nepal held in New Delhi last year. The symposium brought together scholars, practitioners, diplomats, activists, legislative members and women in politics from Nepal and India, and provided space for responses and generated dialogue on the prospects for democracy and governance in Nepal. The report focuses on four themes. They are: the challenges of constitution building in contemporary Nepal; issues of land ownership, livelihood and social justice; security sector reforms in Nepal; as well as Indo-Nepal relations and the role of the international community in Nepal.


Contested Border and Division of Families in Kashmir: Contextualizing the Ordeal of Kargil Women
Seema Shekhawat and Debidatta A. Mahapatra, Discussion Paper, Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), 2009

Twentieth in the WISCOMP Discussion Paper series, this monograph documents the experiences of families who have suffered division due to the drawing and redrawing of the India-Pakistan border. The authors argue that as markers of the territorial sovereignty of states, borders continue to receive greater attention in academic research and the media at the cost of the ‘borderlanders’ – the people who pay the price of safeguarding that sovereignty. Through their research they attempt to bring into focus the suffering of the ‘borderlanders’ and provide a rationale for giving precedence to the humanitarian implications of the Kashmir conflict.


Mangrove revival diversifies livelihoods while addressing climate change
Brief, WorldFish Center, 2009

Funded by the Australian Government, the project ‘Poverty alleviation, mangrove conservation and climate change: Carbon offsets as payments for mangrove ecosystem services in Solomon Islands’ explores whether or not mangroves can be included in offset projects. This brief outlines the key elements of the project and its key deliverables. The project offers the Government of the Solomon Islands timely advice and enhanced technical expertise to cope with the costs and challenges arising from climate change. It trains Solomon Island scientists on the implications of, and opportunities for, using tradable carbon credits as a conservation tool and livelihood opportunity.


Impact of nutrition and fish supplementation on the response to anti retroviral therapy, Zambia: a literature review
Project Report, The WorldFish Center, 2009

This work is part of the Fisheries and HIV/AIDS regional programme in Africa: Investing in Sustainable Solutions, implemented by the WorldFish Center and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency as well as the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The research study analyses the effects of a fish supplemented diet on HIV/AIDS patients’ response to Anti Retroviral Treatment (ART). This literature review forms the background and basis for the clinical research to be undertaken in selected The Kenneth Kaunda Children of Africa Foundation centres in Zambia.


Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on China: Empirical Evidence and Policy Implications
Ligang Liu, Journal Article, China & World Economy, Volume 17 Issue 6, pp 1-23, December 2009

This paper applies a structural vector auto-regression analysis to quantify the impact of the global financial crisis on China. It is found that the impact is indeed sizeable: a 1 per cent decline in economic growth in the USA, the European Union and Japan is likely to lead to a 0.73 per cent decline in growth in China. The article discusses whether the current measures of fiscal stimulus are adequate to offset the sharp decline in external demand. Although there is little doubt that the massive fiscal stimulus will largely offset the significant shortfalls in external demand, the current growth pattern in China will be increasingly unsustainable in the long term. China's reform cycles suggest that external shocks are often opportunities for structural reforms. Therefore, the crisis could also be a catalyst for rebalancing China's economic structure so as to return the economy to a sustainable path.


Water and Hydro-Conflict in South Asia: Issues and Challenges
Ziaul Haque, Brief, Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), 2009

The distribution of environmental resources as a potential contributor to conflict has been the subject of considerable research, and these linkages have dominated the post-Cold War interest in environmental security. Within this genre, much attention has been given to water resources, owing to their vital importance for human survival. Perhaps no other resource—other than oxygen—is so intricately linked to human health and survival. Water is therefore considered as one of the most crucial non-traditional security issues. Today, many South Asian countries are beginning to experience moderate to severe water shortages, brought on by the simultaneous effects of agricultural growth, industrialisation, and urbanisation. As the region’s population growth continues to surge, the demand for water is increasing substantially, without a concomitant increase in water resources. This BIPSS Focus Brief discusses the challenges arising from the lack of water resources and proposes ways for effective water governance and management in South Asia.


China-South Asia Relations: A Dynamic Contour
Khaled Iqbal Chowdhury, Brief, Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), 2009

We have arrived at a critical juncture in history where the rise of China coincides with the evolving nature of South Asia’s geopolitics and its internal dynamics. Despite the global financial crisis, China has been able to maintain its economic growth momentum and the country has now become America’s largest creditor. Due to internal and external factors, Sino-South Asian exchanges are seemingly at an all-time-high with trade and commerce between South Asian countries and China increasing enormously. In light of this, it is important to study and analyse China’s relations with the major South Asian countries. This BIPSS Focus Brief illustrates China’s political, economic and defence cooperation with the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Pakistan.

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Lessons from the Past: Responding to Infectious Disease Outbreaks
Bill Durodié, RSIS Commentary, 36/2010, 29 March 2010

From Aceh to Chile: Is ASEAN Prepared for Another Disaster?
Yang Razali Kassim, RSIS Commentary, 24/2010, 1 March 2010

Impeachment or Cabinet reshuffle? Neither!
Rizal Sukma, The Jakarta Post, 10 February 2010

Non-Traditional Security Takes Precedence
Alvin Chew, Gulf Research Center Commentary, 9 February 2010
Alvin Chew is currently a visiting scholar at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai and an associate fellow of the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

Bangladesh risks becoming failed state
Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Muniruzzaman, Bangladesh Open Source Intelligence Monitors, 5 February 2010

Copenhagen: A Missed Opportunity
Sadhavi Sharma, RSIS Commentary, 13/2010, 2 February 2010

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About the Consortium of NTS-Asia

The Consortium of NTS-Asia is a network of research institutes and think-tanks in the Asia-Pacific.

Its primary objectives are to advance the field of non-traditional security (NTS) studies in Asia, develop long-term and sustainable regional capacity for research and policy studies on a wide range of NTS issues, and develop further the process of networking among scholars and analysts working on NTS issues in the region.

Website: www.rsis-ntsasia.org; Email: NTS_Centre@ntu.edu.sg

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