Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP)

The Pacific Forum is proud of its leading role in the 1993 formation of the multinational Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). At the time, the CSCAP was the first of its kind, and today, it is the leading region-wide forum aimed at fostering multilateral security dialogue in the Asia-Pacific region. CSCAP members around the world promote regional security and stability through dialogue, consultations, and cooperation on concrete policy issues and problems of mutual concern.

CSCAP membership includes almost all the major countries in the Asia Pacific. It has 21 full members of the Council (Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Japan, DPR Korea, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, United States of America and Vietnam) and one associate member (Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat). Taiwan scholars also participate, increasing CSCAP's inclusivity.

CSCAP's research and analyses support compliment the efforts of regional governments and official multilateral dialogue mechanisms, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which routinely bring together senior foreign ministry and defense officials from throughout the Asia-Pacific to discuss regional security issues and concerns. Pacific Forum President Ralph Cossa is a member of the ARF's Experts and Eminent Persons Group.

U.S. Member Committee (USCSCAP)

As one of CSCAP’s founding institutions, the Pacific Forum also manages USCSCAP, whose membership includes more than 150 scholars, security analysts and corporate executives, as well as current and former government officials with expertise in Asia-Pacific security issues. USCSCAP is chaired by former Assistant Secretary of State James A. Kelly; the vice chair is Bates Gill, former Freeman Chair at Pacific Forum. Pacific Forum President Ralph A. Cossa serves as Executive Director. USCSCAP meets biannually, usually in Washington, D.C.

International Study Groups

The Pacific Forum assesses and promotes security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific on many fronts: nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear security, maritime security, counter-terrorism and transnational crime, cyber security, and preventive diplomacy. The cornerstone of many of these efforts is our involvement in the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). The network of officials, media, military, and academic representatives that comprise the membership of CSCAP provides Pacific Forum with an opportunity to influence attitudes and debates in the region on a range of foreign policy issues.

The annual USCSCAP Meeting was held in Washington in October. Pacific Forum provided an update on ARF and ADMM+ activities. Abraham Denmark (Wilson Center) and Satu Limaye (East-West Center in Washington) provided remarks on “Understanding the Indo-Pacific Strategy” in a panel chaired by Pacific Forum President Robert Girrier.

Study Groups and supporting expert groups serve as the primary forums for CSCAP’s research efforts that focus on providing policy recommendations intended to promote regional security cooperation. Representatives from CSCAP member committees meet semi-annually for a Steering Committee Meeting to review study group activity and consider recommendations for new study group initiatives. USCSCAP representatives participated in several CSCAP Study Groups and related ASEAN Regional Forum Workshops related to peacekeeping, preventive diplomacy, maritime security, and countering transnational crime and terrorism.

CSCAP Study Group on Nonproliferation and Disarmament (NPD Study Group)

Held in conjunction with the ASEAN Regional Forum Inter-Sessional (ARF-ISM) Meeting on Nonproliferation and Disarmament and sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the fifth CSCAP Study Group on Nonproliferation and Disarmament was co-chaired by USCSCAP and CSCAP Vietnam met in Seoul. Approximately 40 senior scholars and officials along with 10 Pacific Forum Young Leaders focused on recent developments in nonproliferation and disarmament, the Korean Peninsula and denuclearization, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and ways to enhance collaboration between nuclear-armed and non-nuclear-armed states on nuclear risk reduction.

CSCAP Strategic Trade Controls (STC)

A key component of Pacific Forum’s nonproliferation efforts continues to be hosting workshops on strategic trade controls, bringing together representatives from government agencies, the private sector, academia, and think tanks. In July, Pacific Forum and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, with support from the US State Department’s Export Control and Related Border Security Program, hosted a Seminar on Strategic Trade Controls in Southeast Asia in Hanoi. Discussions focused on structures of strategic trade control (STC) systems and the status of national STC implementation in Southeast Asia.

In November, Pacific Forum, in partnership with National Chengchi University’s Institute for International Relations and I-Shou University’s Department of Public Policy and Management, and with support from the Taiwan Coast Guard, the Prospect Foundation, the Ocean Affairs Council, and the US State Department’s Export Control and Related Border Security Program, hosted the eighth annual STC Workshop in the Indo-Pacific. The seminar focused on outreach programs in the Indo-Pacific, proliferation finance controls, issues associated with technology controls and transfers, the relationship between foreign policy and nonproliferation goals, and transit/transshipment and port security. The sessions were followed by site visits to the Port of Kaohsiung and US-Taiwan joint counterterrorism facilities.

Our final conference of the year was hosted in Jakarta in cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and with the support of the US Department Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under a contract administered by Los Alamos National Laboratory. This dialogue focused on nonproliferation and nuclear safeguard regimes, disarmament regimes, national experiences and regional implications of implementing nonproliferation, counterterrorism, Indonesian policy towards nonproliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear and dual use technology. On the last day of the conference, foreign experts met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director of International Security and Disarmament to discuss Indonesia’s nonproliferation efforts.