[Sponsored Report] Asean-led meeting linked to forum

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[Sponsored Report] Asean-led meeting linked to forum

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Sunset at Jeju’s Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak), a Unesco World Heritage site in southern Jeju. Provided by World Heritage Institute

For the first time, Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will host the 13th East Asia Forum on May 20, the inaugural day of the Jeju Forum, to bolster regional cooperation against cyber-terrorism and other non-traditional security threats.

This comprehensive annual forum includes members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Korea, China and Japan. It functions as a research body fostering community-building in East Asia.

Following the 12th EAF in Brunei last year, Korea was selected as the host country for this 13th meeting.

Holding the EAF as a back-to-back session with the 10th Jeju Forum is considered a milestone in the history of the forum, government officials said.

“Everything aligned well in terms of timing,” said Oh Ryong, the secretary general of the Jeju Forum’s Secretariat, on linking the East Asian Forum with the Jeju Forum for the first time.

“The theme of “A Prosperous East Asia through Non-Traditional Security Cooperation” also goes well with the Jeju Forum’s theme. The East Asia Forum deals with issues such as cyber-terrorism and terrorism epidemics and complements the Jeju Forum, which also deals with cybersecurity.”

Oh continued, “The participants are mostly incumbent deputy ministers from member countries, so they will be able to represent their governments in the discussions.”

East Asia has reached a considerable level of economic integration and the ensuing strong interdependency has become the driving force of the region’s prosperity.

Despite growing interdependency and connectivity, East Asia’s vulnerability to non-traditional security challenges also continues to grow.

The region is also becoming increasingly susceptible to dangers of infectious diseases like the Ebola virus, climate-related environmental degradation and violent extremism, including acts of terrorism.

As highlighted in the Joint Statement of the 2014 Asean-Korea Commemorative Summit, Oh added, there is a need to address these non-traditional security challenges by cooperation and a unified response.

In the past, East Asia has shown resilience and inventiveness in turning a crisis into an opportunity to strengthen cooperation, forming the Asean+3 dialogue in response to the 1997 financial crisis, as well as coming together to denounce and fight terrorism.

This forum will serve as a platform for current government officials to share knowledge and experience in responding to emerging non-traditional security challenges such as climate change and terrorism.

The forum also will explore ways to frame and elevate regional cooperation to a new level by sharing experiences of dealing with non-traditional security issues facing the East Asia region as a whole.

The opening session will be open to participants of the Jeju Forum, the media and the public, while the three concurrent sessions and one wrap-up plenary session are closed.

The concurrent sessions’ topics are “Trust Building in East Asia through Soft Security Cooperation,” “Enhancing Security in East Asia through Terrorism Response” and “Fostering Growth in East Asia through Climate Change Response.”

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