ASEAN Decision-Making and Policy Change in Southeast Asia
Time & LocationSession 10
Fri 11:00–12:30 Room 1.102
- Lukas Maximilian Müller University of Freiburg
- Bridget Welsh National Taiwan University
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- ASEAN and Its Participation in Fostering International Cooperation in Criminal Matters Angela Leonor Aguinaldo Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law
Since its inception, ASEAN has taken a strong political position against terrorism and transnational crime. ASEAN and its member states believe that transnational crime and terrorism are threats to regional security and stability. In view thereof, ASEAN has come up with different declarations, treaties, and the like that should foster stronger cooperation. This includes stronger commitments with its dialogue partners, such as the European Union, for example, to foster more effective cooperation in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and punishment of terrorism and transnational crime.
While within the Association itself, there are a lot of declarations and soft law arrangements on international cooperation in criminal matters, there has only been a few identifiable treaties and agreements. There have been proposals since 1967 for an extradition treaty, for example, but until now, no formal agreement has been reached. At most, one can identify the 2004 ASEAN Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty as the ASEAN legal framework that allows cross-border collection and exchange of information and evidence among the member states.
A closer look into the aforementioned treaty provides some interesting insights as regards its development and implementation. Through a comparative criminal law approach that not only looks into both the regional and member state level frameworks but also the law in the books vs. the law in practice, certain observations can be made as regards how ASEAN and its member states make the system work, and at the same time, considerations for the further development of international cooperation in criminal matters.
- Chairship System and Decision-Making by Consensus in International Agreements: The Case of ASEAN Sanae Suzuki Institute of Developing Economies
How are different positions reconciled under decision making by consensus in international agreements? This article aims to answer this question. Consensus rule provides each participant a veto, which risks resulting in non-agreement. Taking ASEAN as a case study of international organizations that have adopted consensus rule as the main decision-making procedure, this article presents the chairship system as an analytical scheme to examine how different positions are or are not reconciled under consensus rule. The system is based on conventional knowledge regarding the chair in international conference, which can be defined as an institution where the role of the chair is taken by one member state in an international organization and plays a role in agenda-setting. The agenda-setting power given to the chair varies across organizations. This article assumes that the chair in ASEAN is given a relatively strong agenda-setting power to enable the chair to reach agreements and bias such agreements in its own favor.
- The Role of NGOs Concerning the Implementation of International Regulations and its Effectiveness in ASEAN Ricarda Gerlach University of Vienna
This presentation focuses on the role of NGOs concerning the implementation of international regulations and its effectiveness in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). First of all, the policy transfer from regulations by United Nations (UN) to ASEAN in the case of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP), which was signed by the region’s respective government leaders in 2015, will be examined. Furthermore, recent developments concerning the regulations and decision-making processes will be traced back from regional cooperation (ASEAN) to finally national implementation. The role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the international sphere has become increasingly influential and NGOs were officially acknowledged when governmental institutions invited experts of civil society organizations to participate in the international Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF3) in Accra in September 2008. As important civil society actors, NGOs were invited to cooperate with national governments and on the regional level. The crucial role of NGOs becomes evident in the process of implementation of international regulations. They influence decision-making processes by control, assessment and monitoring of e.g. the CEDAW realisation in their country.
- Who drives ASEAN’s Connectivity Agenda? Lukas Maximilian Müller University of Freiburg
The establishment of the connectivity agenda of ASEAN was supposed to mark a watershed moment for physical, institutional and people-to-people integration in the Southeast Asian region. But little progress was initially made following the introduction of the first Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) in 2010. A new master plan was introduced in 2016, reframing the connectivity agenda and introducing governance reforms within ASEAN. Even though the institutional reforms include a strengthened ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN’s intergovernmental processes have remained unchanged.
Implementing the connectivity agenda therefore faces the challenge of intra-ASEAN coordination. With the introduction of the master plan came significant interest in engagement by external partners at the regional as well as the member state levels. External partners are attempting to engage with ASEAN’s connectivity agenda throughout the policy process, from setting the agenda regionally to funding its
implementation nationally. Taken together, ASEAN’s internal and external challenges in governing connectivity are exacerbating old challenges and creating new opportunities for the region. This paper explores the emerging governance dynamism involving the ASEAN member states, the ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN dialogue partners.
Long criticized as a talk shop, ASEAN has made significant progress both in the regularization of its decision-making procedures as well as its reach into various policy areas. Regional-level decision making, particularly since the establishment of the ASEAN charter, is increasingly having an effect on ASEAN’s member states and their national policies. Progress has been made in all of ASEAN’s three pillars, although to varying degrees. The ASEAN Economic Community has been the policy area with the most political traction, as can be seen in several areas such as competition policy and the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA). Progress within the political-security and socio-cultural pillars of the organization has been more modest, but observation suggests an increasing regionalization of decisionmaking in these areas as well. Incoherence remains on some contentious issues, most visible in the Philippine turnaround on the South China Sea in 2017 and continued regional inactivity in the Rohingya humanitarian crisis.
The increased policy importance of the regional level can at least partly be tied to changing norms and mechanisms in regional decision-making. Beyond the much-noted ASEAN Way and its emphasis on consensus and non-intervention, ASEAN utilizes a variety of informal and semi-formal decision-making mechanisms to address emerging regional issues. One such example is the chairmanship of the organization, which has a profound effect on ASEAN’s agenda. Another one is the ASEAN sectoral bodies, which partly provide the agenda for the ministerial meetings and summits from the bottom up. Civil society increasingly plays a role at different stages, providing inputs and monitoring outcomes of regional negotiations and activities. External partners also affect ASEAN’s policies to varying degrees, due to the organization’s strong commitment to external economic and political relations.