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.

Member committees have been established in Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, North and South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, U.S., and Vietnam. 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

CSCAP’s primary work occurs through International Study Groups that delve into specific issues and problems. These groups serve as region-wide multilateral for consensus-building and problem-solving, and often address issues that are too sensitive for official dialogue.

The Pacific Forum coordinates U.S. expert participation in the study groups, which focus on counter-proliferation (see more below); energy security; good governance, both in East Asia and in Oceania; transnational crime, including human trafficking; maritime security cooperation and capacity building; and the examination of future prospects for multilateral security cooperation, especially in the areas of confidence-building and preventive diplomacy, and with particular focus on Northeast Asia (where CSCAP efforts try to support the ongoing Six-Party Talks) aimed at Korean Peninsula denuclearization. Under the Study Groups, CSCAP Experts Groups are occasionally assembled to look in more detail at technical issues.

CSCAP Study Group on Countering the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD Study Group)

In 2004, the Pacific Forum/USCSCAP took the lead in developing the CSCAP WMD Study Group as a vehicle for raising regional consciousness on important issues related to WMD proliferation. Its primary focus is the creation of an Asia Pacific Handbook and Action Plan to Prevent WMD Proliferation.

In biannual meetings, the WMD Study Group is also examining regional attitudes toward the Proliferation Security Initiative and other counter-proliferation efforts and regimes, the prospects for the Six-Party Talks and potential means for facilitating the Korean Peninsula denuclearization process, regional threat perceptions and security outlooks, missile proliferation, and ballistic missile defense.

The WMD Study Group recently hosted its 13th meeting in February of 2011in Las Vegas, Nevada where over 60 experts, government officials, and Pacific Forum Young Leaders from over 20 countries and international organizations attended (all in their private capacities). To provide input and to create synergy with the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Nonproliferation and Disarmament that immediately followed, the meeting focused on disarmament issues.

The Study Goup has also met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 2, 2011 at the 35th Steering Committee Meeting as a Memorandum to approve the Promoting the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy.

The 14th meeting will be held on November 18, 2011 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

CSCAP Export Controls Experts Group (XCXG)

Under Pacific Forum/USCSCAP leadership, the WMD Study Group has formed an Export Controls Experts Group (XCXG) to assess national export control programs, identify vulnerabilities and shortcomings, and develop recommendations for improving both individual export control capacity and mutual cooperation.

The XCXG has met five times since its inception in 2005. The fifth, and most recent, meeting was held in December of 2009 in Hanoi Vietnam and over 20 people attended from 13 Council on Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP) member committees and other institutions, including an additional 11 members of the Pacific Forum Young leaders program. The purpose of the meeting was to review the CSCAP Memorandum on the Guidelines for Managing Trade of Strategic Goods and discuss ideas for future work of the group.

Previously, the Pacific Forum/USCSCAP also created a Nuclear Energy Experts Group (NEEG) to promote nuclear energy transparency, in part through the creation of an Asia Pacific Nuclear Energy Transparency Web Site [www.cscap.nuctrans.org], developed in cooperation with the Cooperative Monitoring Center at Sandia National Laboratories.