godaddy analytics
Print this page  Bookmark and Share  NTS Bulletin May 2012  |   Read:   |   Join our mailing list 
Email not displaying correctly? Click here to view it in your browser.
NTS Bulletin

NTS Bulletin May 2012

Click here for the PDF version.

Issues: Note: Please click on the respective titles or headers for the full report.

Disclaimer: All links and news reports are correct at the time of publication.


MacArthur
Asia Security Initiative Blog

Click here for updates!

NTS VIEWPOINT

Enhancing GCC-ASEAN relations via non-traditional security

The past decade has seen economic links between the Gulf Arab region and Southeast Asia increase considerably – from just USD20 billion in 2002 to about USD100 billion in 2010. Notable factors driving this trend include increased Middle East interest in East Asian markets after the 2001 Sept 11 attacks and the 2008 global food crisis. The latter, in particular, was significant in highlighting the interdependence of the two regions. The Gulf Arab states look to Southeast Asian farmlands for food, and Southeast Asia to the Gulf Arab states for fuel.

Such developments have led to several high-level meetings between ASEAN and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on trade opportunities and economic cooperation. While these are commendable first steps, the GCC and ASEAN must consider areas beyond those related to economic value if they wish for relations to mature.

Specifically, ASEAN could share with the GCC its experience in addressing some of Southeast Asia’s non-traditional security (NTS) issues. First, ASEAN has recognised that countries must be sensitised to the importance of security for individuals and communities, rather than just for the state. A positive result of this is the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). While some may highlight the toothless nature of such a body, its establishment has nevertheless enshrined the principle of the need for action in the event of gross abuse of human rights.

Second, a regional body must be prepared to account for varying levels of capacity among its member states; failure to do so may impede the implementation of any framework to tackle NTS issues. ASEAN’s experience in this area would be particularly relevant in view of the GCC seeking to expand its membership to include countries that are less developed than the six founding member states.

For GCC-ASEAN relations to deepen, it would be necessary to cultivate inter-regional people-to-people contact that goes beyond economic interactions. Enhancing such ties could also open up an avenue for approaching sensitive NTS issues such as the rights of Southeast Asian migrant workers in the Gulf Arab region.

With GCC-ASEAN relations still in its infancy, it is likely that it will take some time before the two bodies engage on such NTS-related points. Even so, these are important issues for the GCC to consider if it is serious in ensuring security for its states and societies.

Contributed by Sofiah Jamil.

Additional Info:

^ To the top

CLIMATE CHANGE, ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY AND NATURAL DISASTERS

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

Unlike previous IPCC reports, this integrates the findings and views of experts on disaster risk management with that of scientific experts from the IPCC’s Working Groups 1 and 2. As such, there is greater emphasis on adaptation and disaster risk management, thereby providing policymakers with better information on the appropriate steps for immediate action.

This paper demonstrates the implementation of a quick, cost-effective method for identifying potentially suitable areas for oil palm cultivation. The method is designed in accordance with established standards for sustainable palm oil production and relevant Indonesian laws and policies, and is consistent with proposed national Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) strategies to support palm oil production on low-carbon degraded land.

In this report, the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability presents 56 recommendations on operationalising sustainable development and mainstreaming it into economic policy. The panel was established by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August 2010 to formulate a new blueprint for sustainable development and low-carbon prosperity. The recommendations will be tabled for consideration at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 Conference) in June 2012.

Events & Announcements

^ To the top

ENERGY AND HUMAN SECURITY

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

This paper examines the non-traditional insecurities arising from hydropower developments in the Mekong River Basin. It suggests that instead of an economic hydro-boom as anticipated by many, such projects could result in a non-traditional security disaster characterised by severe food shortages, destruction of livelihoods and large irregular movements of people.

This paper reviews the challenges facing Asian countries in meeting rising power demand as a result of the region’s rapid economic growth. It notes the wide range of potential sources of clean power, and suggests that providing sufficient power would require improvements in infrastructure and the mobilisation of various financing channels. Reforms in the power industry would also be necessary.

Events & Announcements

^ To the top

FOOD AND HEALTH SECURITY

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

This report seeks to highlight the implications of food insecurity beyond shortages, hunger and poverty, linking the issue to more traditional economic and national security concerns. In particular, it emphasises the impact of rising food prices on UK and global economic growth; the interrelationship between food insecurity, conflict and revolution; and the UK’s own food chain resilience.

This report is the first in an annual flagship series by the IFPRI which comprehensively covers food security policy issues. The report identifies major food and agricultural policy developments in 2011 and contains an overview of new and emerging key players in the global food system. Policy responses to the major food and agricultural challenges of 2011 are analysed and suggestions for addressing ongoing threats to food security at both the international and domestic levels are presented for consideration.

Events & Announcements

^ To the top

INTERNAL AND CROSS-BORDER CONFLICT

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

This article reviews the evolution of the RtoP and highlights the confusion and contestations over the definition and scope of the concept. It examines the debate over the diffusion of the RtoP in Asia and points out the challenges. It also identifies the mechanisms at the state, regional and international level that could facilitate the operationalisation of the RtoP in the region.

This report maps the development trends and prospects for Asia’s economies. It highlights that the continued uncertainty over the sovereign debt problems in the Eurozone presents the greatest risk to the growth in developing Asia. Within the region, rising inequality constitutes a big challenge. The report identifies the drivers of inequality and provides recommendations for policymakers.

Events & Announcements

^ To the top

TRANSNATIONAL CRIME AND OTHER NON-TRADITIONAL SECURITY ISSUES

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

This report observes that, in recent years, there has been an explosive growth of ‘illicit white’ cigarettes that are made specifically for smuggling. Such growth in illicit trade poses security challenges as the profits are used to fund terrorism activities worldwide. The report therefore calls on countries to adopt comprehensive anti-illicit trade policies, strengthen intergovernmental as well as inter-agency cooperation, and exchange information.

This study analyses 166 bribery cases that occurred over the period 1971–2007. These cases involved 107 publicly listed firms from 20 stock markets. These firms were reported to have bribed government officials in 52 countries. It observes that companies increased their market value by an average of USD11 for every USD1 that they paid in bribes.

In recent years, destination countries such as Singapore have stepped up efforts to combat trafficking in persons (TIP). This article discusses the TIP phenomenon and the significant new developments in Singapore’s policies on the issue. In particular, it highlights the establishment of Singapore’s Inter-Agency Taskforce on TIP and the development of its National Plan of Action.

This article evaluates the responses of four Southeast Asian states – Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore – to the recent International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers (Domestic Workers Convention 2011). It highlights differences between labour sending and labour receiving countries in terms of their responses, and suggests that ASEAN could play a significant role in bridging that gap and promoting the adoption of universal standards and practices.

Events & Announcements

^ To the top

Terms of Use:

You are free to publish this material in its entirety or only in part in your newspapers, wire services, internet-based information networks and newsletters and you may use the information in your radio-TV discussions or as a basis for discussion in different fora, provided full credit is given to the author(s) and the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). Kindly inform the publisher (NTS_Centre@ntu.edu.sg) and provide details of when and where the publication was used.

About the Centre:

The Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies was inaugurated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan in May 2008. The Centre maintains research in the fields of Food Security, Climate Change, Energy Security, Health Security as well as Internal and Cross-Border Conflict. It produces policy-relevant analyses aimed at furthering awareness and building capacity to address NTS issues and challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The Centre also provides a platform for scholars and policymakers within and outside Asia to discuss and analyse NTS issues in the region.

In 2009, the Centre was chosen by the MacArthur Foundation as a lead institution for the MacArthur Asia Security Initiative, to develop policy research capacity and recommend policies on the critical security challenges facing the Asia-Pacific.

The Centre is also a founding member and the Secretariat for the Consortium of Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies in Asia (NTS-Asia). More information on the Centre can be found at www.rsis.edu.sg/nts.


Copyright 2012 NTS-Centre | Share this Publication | Unsubscribe