35th ASEAN Roundtable – Session III: Dealing With a Volatile World
ASEAN STUDIES CENTRE
About the Webinar
This concluding session will examine the geopolitical fallouts of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially the falling apart of US-China relations, and how ASEAN and its member states can assert their agency and preserve their freedom of choice in this far less benign environment. The region has steadfastly refused to make a “binary choice” between the two major powers. What does that mean going forward? Instead of holding on to the passive position of neutrality and neutralisation, how can ASEAN enhance the nexus of “national and regional resilience” to take a positive and principled stand on geopolitical developments facing the region, and to build coalitions with like-minded partners near and far in maintaining the rules-based international system? The Covid-19 crisis has also exposed the inadequacy and dysfunction of multilateral institutions in the face of rising great power rivalry, protectionism, nationalism and nativism. Is it high time to update ASEAN-style multilateralism so that it can be more nimble and effective in response to black swan events of today and tomorrow?
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About the Speakers
Dr Malcolm Cook is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore and has worked for the Institute since 2014. Concurrently, he is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney and a Visiting Fellow at the National Security College in Canberra. Malcolm has worked in Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.
Mr Bilahari Kausikan is currently Chairman of the Middle East Institute, an autonomous institute of the National University of Singapore. He has spent his entire career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During his 37 years in the Ministry, he served in a variety of appointments at home and abroad, including as Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, and as the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry. Raffles Institution, the University of Singapore and Columbia University in New York all attempted to educate him.
Ambassador Sihasak Phuangketkeow was previously Permanent Secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was Ambassador of Thailand to Tokyo (2015) and Ambassador of Thailand to France (2016-2018). Prior to that, he was Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006) and Thailand’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva (2007). Between 2010 and 2011, he was President of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Ambassador Sihasak has also been an active contributor to the work of ASEAN, serving as Thailand’s Senior Officials Meeting Leader to ASEAN in 2006-2007, and again since 2011. Ambassador Sihasak had also served at the Thai Embassies in Washington DC and Tokyo, and as Thailand’s Consul-General in Hong Kong. He was also Chair of the High-Level Panel on an ASEAN Human Rights Body that drafted the Terms of Reference establishing the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.
Dr R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa served as Foreign Minister of Indonesia (2009–2014). He was Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the UN (2007-2009) and Ambassador to the UK and Ireland (2005-2007). He is a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Advisory Board on Mediation, UNSG’s Advisory Board on Disarmament, and UN Institute for Disarmament Research’s Board of Trustees. Dr Natalegawa authored “Does ASEAN Matter? A View from Within” (2018) and is cited as “one of the most respected foreign policy and international security thinkers of his generation, both within Indonesia, in Southeast Asia, and in the broader Asia-Pacific region”. He is presently a member of the International Academic Advisory Committee of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies; Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)’s Southeast Asia Advisory Board; International Crisis Group’s Board of Trustees; Jeju Forum’s Global Advisory Committee; University of Western Australia’s Public Policy Institute Advisory Board; Ottawa-based Global Centre for Pluralism’s Board of Directors. He is also a Prominent Research Scholar and member of the Honorary Board of the Bank of Indonesia Institute, and Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) Distinguished Fellow.
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