Resolving domestic conflict in South East Asia: how to build a sustainable peace (WP1359)

Resolving domestic conflict in South East Asia: how to build a sustainable peace (WP1359)Image: Keepscases

In association with the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, Jakarta
and the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jakarta
In partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra

Building on November 2013’s discussions, the meeting examined and shared experience from the region, identify best practice, support the work of the ASEAN Institue for Peace and Reconciliation and strengthened cooperation in the ASEAN region.

Conflicts in South East Asia have been an enduring challenge for governments over the past several decades, some dating from the colonial era. In recent years, governments in the region have demonstrated leadership by engaging in innovative peace processes, several of which have effectively drawn on the support of neighbouring countries through mediation or monitoring roles. There is thus a rich body of experience in the region, and potential for further regional cooperation, to help governments along the difficult path to durable resolution of conflict.

While South East Asia comprises some of the fastest growing economies in the world, unresolved domestic conflicts in some countries, either insurgent or communal, mean that risk of instability poses a constant underlying threat. Resolution of these disputes will help the region achieve peace and stability, and realise its full economic potential.

Building on discussions from our meeting on Conflict Resolution in South East Asia: sharing experiences and best practice, held in November 2013, this meeting:

  • Examined and share experience from the region, and elsewhere, in peace consolidation following domestic conflicts, looking to apply this experience to ongoing conflicts in the region;
  • Identified a ‘menu of options’ and best practice for measures in building a sustainable peace, and how these options can be of practical use in current conflict situations;
  • Encouraged support for the work of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation in the region;
  • Strengthened, more broadly, cooperation in the ASEAN region.

I am delighted that, 15 months after the first Wilton Park Conference was held in the UK, there remains a strong appetite for discussion and the sharing of ideas on conflict resolution in South East Asia. The UK, like the countries of South East Asia, has its own experiences of resolving differences peacefully, and we all stand to benefit from working together, through opportunities like this, to find workable solutions for lasting peace.

Hugo Swire, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Nothing beats having the right people in the room and a supportive atmosphere for frank discussion, which is how solutions emerge. For Australia, our support for this conference continues the good work of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) in helping people in ASEAN member countries learn from each other and identify new and creative means to promote peace, reconciliation and prevent conflict.

Simon Merrifield, Australian Ambassador to ASEAN

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