Adept Conference

Conference on Asian Development and Peace

A new study of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG), “The Opposing Security Architectures of the U.S., Japan, and China in Asia: Implications on ASEAN Countries,” shows Southeast Asian states’ differing positions on the maritime and territorial disputes in the South China Sea (SCS) – part of which is the West Philippine Sea (WPS). Countries in the sub-region seek the development path and find themselves increasingly in types of economic cooperation or interdependence with China. They, however, take divergent positions on settling the maritime and territorial rows with some increasingly aligned – or tilting toward – the major powers in the sub-region, U.S. and Japan on one hand, and China, on the other.

This paradox is taking shape in the larger context of tensions in the East China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, and Taiwan straits on top of extremism, human trafficking, migration, climate change, pandemics, and other “nontraditional” issues. Asia today lies at the center of power politics among major powers including the U.S., Japan, and China.

All these are posing challenges to countries in Southeast Asia to bring into fruition their lofty objective of building a regional community and toward integration. More than just a response by their state governments, what should the peoples of Southeast Asia do to bring about a real regional community and deal with conditions that divide rather than what unite them?

Organized by the Asia for Development and Peace Today (ADePT), Fellows of CenPEG and other development & peace advocates and in cooperation with the Integrated Development Studies Institute (IDSI), UP Asian Center, and the Office of the President, University of the Philippines, the Conference on Asian Development and Peace aims to present people’s perspectives on how to deal with these issues – which are underlined in the CenPEG paper.

Apart from providing the perspectives – particularly socio-cultural, women, migration, maritime, business, and others – the discussion aims to come up with policy solutions and actions to bring the discourse of “oneness” (what binds rather than what divides Asia) unto the current platform of “regional integration and community.” Among the topics are “Toward Inclusive Economic Growth in Asia: Philippine Experience” by George T. Siy, IDSI; “Japanese Perspectives on Development & Peace in Asia: ODA & Alternative People’s Responses” by Prof. Masaki Yokoyama, Ferris University, Japan and “Competing Security Architectures in Asia: Impact on ASEAN” by Prof Bobby Tuazon, CenPEG.

The conference will be held on January 29, 2016, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the Ikeda Hall/Balay Kalinaw, Guerrero cor. Dagohoy Streets, University of the Philippines, 1101 Diliman, Quezon City. Papers and summary of the proceedings will be published.