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Roundtable Conference: Strengthening Regional Integration in ASEAN through multi-channel Dialogue

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A two-day Roundtable Conference was held at the Treaty Room, Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR) from 9-10 December 2013 on Strengthening Regional Integration in ASEAN through multi-channel Dialogue. It was led by the Foreign Policy Study Group (FPSG), with Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) and IDFR as joint organisers.

The Foreign Policy Study Group’s aim is to “strengthen ASEAN integration by enhancing NGO linkages to complement the excellent government-to-government cooperation” and provide a platform for important stakeholders to discuss issues and suggest ways to consolidate bilateral relations between ASEAN member countries (FPSG, 2013). 

Tan Sri Razali Ismail, Chairman of FPSG commenced the session with his welcoming remarks, followed by the Director General of IDFR, Dato’ Hussein Nayan. The Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia, YM Tengku Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Ahmad Rithauddeen, then delivered his opening speech.

The conference was based on four themes – Extremism and the need for moderation on region-wide basis, Role of Media in Fostering greater ASEAN integration as ASEAN moves towards ASEAN Community in 2015, Human Trafficking and Migrant Workers in ASEAN, and Role of Youth: Harnessing Youth to participate more fully in ASEAN’s domestic and intro-regional work.

Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah, CEO of Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) suggested for ASEAN to collaborate with the youth and women, to establish students exchange programme between ASEAN members states and organise programmes that will add value to the youths. Tan Sri Razali raised the issue on crimes resulting from human trafficking – sexual exploitation, arms and drug abuse.

Speakers came from all ten ASEAN member states: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

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Reported by: Syahrul Nizzam Nordin
Academic Studies, Research and Publication Division

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