Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 114
This monograph includes the discussion papers presented at the First Meeting of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) Maritime Cooperation Working Group held in Kuala Lumpur 2-3 June 1995.
The establishment of a Working Group on Maritime Cooperation by CSCAP, as part of its initial work programme, is a reflection of the importance of the maritime environment in the security deliberations of Asia Pacific countries. The Asia Pacific region is distinctively maritime in nature.
The sea, and issues to do with the sea, are an important part of international relations in the region, both between regional countries themselves, and between these countries and the rest of the world.
The importance of maritime cooperation in the Asia Pacific region flows from the nature and complexity of the regional geographical environment, and the propensity for illegal activities and disputes to occur at sea.
Maritime cooperation will contribute to regional stability by easing tension and reducing the risks of conflict while helping to promote a stable maritime regime in the region with the free and uninterrupted flow of seaborne trade, and nations able to pursue their maritime interests and manage their marine resources in an ecologically sustainable manner in accordance with agreed principles of international law.
The CSCAP Maritime Co-operation Working Group has adopted a broad view of security, which encompasses a range of small 's' security issues, such as maritime safety, resources conservation, coastal zone management and unlawful activities at sea (such as drug smuggling, illegal population movements and piracy),as well as more conventional maritime security issues.
A comprehensive approach to security was explicit in the Group's first meeting programme, which included sessions on shipping, marine science, and the marine environment. The papers in this volume provide a comprehensive review of the main maritime security concerns in the region.
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