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Adipratomo 1 Ari W Adipratomo English 102 C2 Professor M Gulias

Preventive Diplomacy: A Remedy to Cure the ASEAN’s Classic Transnational Issues

This paper argues why the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) should replace traditional diplomatic strategies among the ASEAN members (sometimes referred to as the ―ASEAN Way‖) with a set of rules called ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ which can actively prevent the escalation of transnational and regional problems. This paper also discusses the history and the development of the ―ASEAN Way‖ and argues that although this method has benefited diplomatic measures for ASEAN in the past, it cannot comply any longer with contemporary Southeast Asian challenges. The paper calls for the two blocks of ASEAN members, -- the conservatives and the progressives-- to compromise and come up with a set of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ rules that can address the concerns of sovereignty and non-interference.

Introduction The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has become an enormously important region in the world today. The East and Southeast Asian Region these days ―represent more than 60 percent of the world‘s population and possess a combined GDP greater than European Union‖ (Francis 3). The ASEAN is also one of the most vibrant trade and industry

Adipratomo 2 areas in the world. Thus, any transnational issues that occur in this area can potentially affect the world‘s population. Many countries also consider their relationship with the ASEAN as crucial; therefore, it is understandable why the U.S. Secretary of State always tries to attend the ASEAN‘s annual meetings. Recently, we have witnessed the escalating extent of transnational issues in the Southeast Asian region that varies from the human rights violations that happen in Myanmar to the environmental tragedies of forest fires and the Tsunami of 2004 in Indonesia. As the regional organization of Southeast Asia, the ASEAN seems ill equipped to prevent these transnational issues from becoming worse. This may be due to the fact that a traditional regional doctrine used in conducting regional diplomacy, called the ―ASEAN way,‖ prevents the ASEAN from interrupting the internal affairs of its members. Tobias Nischalke describes the ―ASEAN way‖ as a set of rules to conduct regional foreign policy that includes ―the norms of non-interference, respect for sovereignty, peaceful resolution of conflict, and non-use of force‖ (12). The ―ASEAN Way‖ encourages ―the Southeast Asian countries to seek an informal and incremental approach to co-operation through lengthy consultation and dialogue‖ (Katsumata 111). Some of ASEAN original members such as Indonesia and Malaysia are holding tight to this doctrine, while some others such as Philippines and Thailand are criticizing the ―ASEAN way‖ and proposing a new set of rules to govern ASEAN‘s foreign policy. This paper will argue why the ASEAN should replace their rigid ―ASEAN Way,‖ with ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ that can actively prevent the transnational problems from arising and escalating to a higher level. The paper also discusses the history and the development of the ―ASEAN Way,‖ arguing that the rule that had been crucial in the formative years of ASEAN can no longer address recent transnational issues. By examining both sides of the approaches

Adipratomo 3 (―ASEAN Way‖ and ―Preventive Diplomacy‖), this paper will try to come up with some common-ground solutions that can create a bridge between these two factions and eliminating the differences that they have regarding the ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ issue.

Conservatives and Progressives As I mentioned before, with the recent transnational challenges in the region, some of the ASEAN members such as Thailand and Philippines have lost their faith in the doctrine of ―ASEAN Way.‖ They urge the ASEAN to develop a new set of rules that are capable of actively preventing transnational issues from arising, and to keep the existing issues isolated and not spreading or escalating them to a higher level. These demands drive the opponents against the ―ASEAN way,‖ or as we may call them progressives, proposing the form of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ that can be defined as an ―‗action to prevent disputes from arising …to prevent existing disputes from escalating …and to limit the spread of the latter when they occur‘‖ (Tay 254). These members believe that ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ will not violate the principle of noninterference of the ASEAN because the form of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ that they proposed will respect the state sovereignty and requires the authorization from the states that involved. For the progressives, the ―non-compliance with the ‗ASEAN way‘ has been too common, and external influences too strong to support the community idea‖ (Nischalke 11). On the other hand, strict adherents of the ―ASEAN way,‖ --or whom we may call ―the conservatives,‖ such as Indonesia and Malaysia-- are very reluctant to free themselves from this doctrine. For these ASEAN members, the concern over domestic security is above everything else. They want their internal affairs to be exempted from external interferences so that they can concentrate in constructing their nations; therefore, it is understandable why they enviously

Adipratomo 4 guard the principle of non-interference. Conservatives also have a long history of mutual distrust between them. Thus, the doubt leads to the fragile unity among the ASEAN members. With this distrust in mind, we can conclude that the non-interference principle in one way or another becomes the manifestation of the defense mechanism practiced by the conservatives. Hiro Katsumata believes that the basic principles of the ―ASEAN way,‖ ―can also be understood with reference to the ASEAN members‘ weak socio-political cohesion‖ (115). In addition, it is important to note that the cultural factors also influence the decision of the ASEAN‘s conservatives to defend the ―ASEAN way‖ because this doctrine resemble local value of ―musyawarah [the decision-making process through discussion and consultation] and mufakat [the consensus decision arrived at]‖ (109).

The ASEAN and “ASEAN Way” The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on the 8th of August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand by five original members, who are: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Thailand through the ―signing of Bangkok Declaration‖ (Snow and Brown 283) The main purposes of the ASEAN are to promote the growth of economic, social progress and cultural development as well as promoting the peace and security in South East Asian region. The essence of the Bangkok declaration reflects the collective concern of ASEAN as describes below by Donald Snow and Eugene Brown: The Bangkok Declaration committed the members to a joint effort to promote economic cooperation and regional welfare; underlying the declaration were three common objectives for the region: economic, social and cultural development, political and economic stability in the face of superpower rivalry, and resolution of intra-regional

Adipratomo 5 differences. In addition there was the political goal of providing a united front to avoid being drawn to the Vietnam War (Snow and Brown 284).

In order to achieve the ASEAN goals, the members of the ASEAN agreed to develop a unique doctrine to conduct the regional diplomacy among its members. This doctrine – or sometimes referred as The ―ASEAN Way‖ – is basically a fundamental set of rules that utilized to conduct the regional diplomacy among the ASEAN members. The ―ASEAN Way‖ includes practices such as agreement of not interfering other country‘s internal affairs, and quiet diplomacy where it is common to talk about transnational issues only among the countries that are affected. The ―ASEAN Way‖ also emphasizes the non-use of force in inter-state relations as well as peaceful resolution of disputes according to consensus and agreement. The development of the ―ASEAN Way‖ can‘t be separated from the influences of the geopolitical situation in Southeast Asia at that time. In the early 1960‘s, there was a major regional conflict in the region that involved Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia. The base of the problem was the objections of the Philippines and Indonesia in the creation of a newly independent Malaysia. Indonesia felt afraid Malaysia would be a basis for the western nations to spread their influence in the Southeast Asian region. The situation was even more complicated when the interest of the big powers such as the Netherlands, Soviet Union, Britain and the U.S. got involved. The peak of the confrontation reached when Indonesia launched the attack on the newly born Malaysia in the military operation known as ―Ganyang Malaysia‖ (Destroy Malaysia) or sometimes also referred as ―konfrontasi‖ (confrontation). Now that we have passed the confrontation era or sometimes referred as the ―postkonfrontasi‖ era, the trauma of ―konfrontasi‖ has led to the development of mutual distrust

Adipratomo 6 among the ASEAN members. Because of this distrust, the ASEAN members ―have been—and continue to be – plagued by interstate disputes, internal subversion and move to secede‖ (Katanyuu 827). The distrust and the traumatic experiences shared among the nations in Southeast Asia have been carried as far as the establishment of the ―ASEAN Way‖ principles of non-interference and informal diplomacy. The development of the ASEAN‘s principle of non-interference is greatly influenced by the desire of the ASEAN countries to build the nations without the intervention from the foreign countries. When the ASEAN was established in the 1967, few years after ―Konfrontasi,‖ many of its members had just gained their independence or at least had just started to build their countries. During that time, ―their policy priority was to maintain domestic stability‖ (Katsumata 828). Therefore, in order to achieve the policy priority and also to stimulate the internal affairs and development in ASEAN members, the members‘ internal affairs must not be the object of intervention from the foreign nations. This concept of non-interference is reflected in numerous ASEAN document such as: ―the Bangkok Declaration; the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality [ZOPFAN] Declaration; and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation‖ (Katayuu 827).

Defining “Preventive Diplomacy” Dag Hammarskjold, former United Nations Secretary-General, invented the term of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ for the first time in 1960. The basic elements that make up the foundation of the ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ include the norms of ―international law and the United Nations‘ goal to ‗take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace‘‖ (Tay 2). The interpretation of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ slightly changed during

Adipratomo 7 the Cold War and in the post-Cold War era. During the Cold War framework, the theory of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ focused on actions to keep narrow clashes from aggravating ―wider involvement and confrontation between the two superpowers‖ (2). When we move forward to the post-Cold War era, the concept of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ has changed once more. Now, the term ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ means ―actions to prevent disputes from arising … to prevent existing disputes from escalating…and to limit the spread of the latter when they occur‖ (Yuzawa 787). The application of the ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ comprises the presence of good will offices by the third parties that can be implemented as easy as ―a telephone call during onset of a crisis‖ or can be extended ―to factfinding missions and mediation during the onset of a potential crisis‖ (Tay 2). The essence of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ is not exclusively limited to the preventive actions and diplomatic measures. Sometimes, the ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ can be carried as far as the ―actual use of limited force, or other coercive measures‖ (3). The concept of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ would soon attract the attentions from the ASEAN‘s progressives. The ASEAN‘s progressives, who have been disappointed with the lack ability of the ―ASEAN way‖ to accommodate the recent challenges, would soon try to adopt the ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ into the framework of the ASEAN foreign policy. In order to deal with the concern of state sovereignty and the non-interference principles held by the conservatives, the progressives proposed a modified version of the ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ that can addressed the concern of both progressives and conservatives.

Adipratomo 8 Why are some of the ASEAN countries reluctant/encourage to change the “ASEAN Way?” Among the founding fathers of the ASEAN, Indonesia and Malaysia are the two countries that support the strict interpretation of the ―ASEAN Way." As the big supporters of the ―ASEAN Way‖ the conservatives try to defend the ―ASEAN Way‖ with every effort that they have. The reason why the conservatives try to defend the ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ is understandable. With a long history of mutual distrust and concern over the national sovereignty, the ―ASEAN Way‖ is a non-negotiable value for the conservatives. The issue of sovereignty has become very crucial for the conservatives. The reason why the issues of sovereignty become very important become obvious when we examine the conservatives‘ post-independence years that had been highlighted by the national security problems that ―arose as a result of intervention or interference by outside powers in Southeast Asian affairs‖ (Katsumata, ―Reconstruction‖ 112). These historical backgrounds have make the ASEAN conservatives hold tight to the ―ASEAN way‖ because the ―ASEAN Way‖ allows the conservatives to, ―concentrate on domestic matters‖ and also to evade ―interference or criticism from other states that would have been an obstacle to nation building‖ (Katsumata, ―ASEAN diplomacy‖ 5). The main reason why the ASEAN conservatives are hesitate to change the ―ASEAN Way‖ is because they are afraid that the different form of regional diplomacy – i.e. ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ – will hindered with their principles of non-interference and states sovereignty. On the other hand, the progressives who have been unsatisfied with the progress made by the ―ASEAN Way‖ proposed the adaptation of a new set of rules. Bangkok has become the most vocal party to call for changes in the doctrine of the ―ASEAN Way.‖ The main reason why Thailand proposed the changes is explicable. Thailand is one of the ASEAN countries that suffer severely from the impact of many ASEAN transnational issues. Some of the transnational issues

Adipratomo 9 that impacting Thailand include the problems of the illegal refugees from neighboring country of Cambodia and Myanmar, that has created tremendous health and social challenges for the Bangkok, as well as the environmental haze problem caused by the forest fires in Indonesia. These issues have pushed Thailand to urge the ASEAN to interpret the ―ASEAN Way‖ in a more flexible way. The Bangkok efforts gain supports from the Philippines. Both countries ―have been relatively distinct‖ from other ASEAN members and also ―politically western‖ (Katsumata, ―ASEAN Diplomacy‖ 9). These two countries have become the locomotive of change for he ASEAN foreign policy in the past few years. Conservatives belief that the ―ASEAN way‖ has no longer able to address the contemporary issues in the Southeast region and it need to be changed with a more flexible doctrine. The conservatives belief that ―‗many old principles...are no longer adequate‘‖ to address the contemporary transnational issues, and they call for a ―‗regional…cooperation and solutions‘‖ to deal with these contemporary transnational issues (Katsumata, ―ASEAN Diplomacy‖ 4). The attempt to deal with these new challenges – that ranges from economic, environmental, drug trafficking, and terrorism – ―require a collective response‖ from all of the ASEAN members (2). They believe that the only way for the ASEAN to deal with these new challenges is by interpreting the ―ASEAN Way‖ into a more flexible way or by implementing the modified version of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ into the framework of the ASEAN foreign policy.

The Common Ground Solutions It is clear for us that in order to solve the contemporary transnational issues, the ASEAN has to come with a flexible doctrine of regional diplomacy that can addressed the concern of its

Adipratomo 10 conservatives and progressives members. The form of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ that addressed by the progressives can be adopted into the ASEAN foreign policy‘s framework as long as it can address the concern over state sovereignty and the principles of non-interference. In the exercise of ―Preventive Diplomacy,‖ several applications of ―Preventive Diplomacy,‖ such as the propose of the good offices by the third party and utilization of fact finding missions, may be said, by the conservatives, to have some degree of interference to the internal affairs of a nation. To address these issues, there are several ways that can be taken by the ASEAN to modify the ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ so that it would address the concern of every ASEAN members. The first solution is to bring the proposal of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ to the ASEAN meetings and then try to discuss and come up with the guidance principles. These principles ―need to be discussed and mutually accepted‖ by both conservatives and progressives (Tay 6). By increasing the awareness of the ASEAN members over the nature of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ –which is ―restricted to diplomatic and other similar actions‖ and has a nature of ―non coercive‖ (7) – the ASEAN members could ―foster greater trust‖ from its members and also can fairly applied the ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ in the framework of the ASEAN foreign policy (Tay 6). The second solution to the concern over state sovereignty and non-interference principle is to increase the awareness of the ASEAN members to the principle of state responsibility. It is true that each state has absolute sovereignty within the boundaries of their own region, but whenever the transnational issues—that potentially affecting neighboring states— emerged, ―they are responsible to other states for trans-boundary damage‖ (Tay 6). When the neighboring countries affected from one country‘s problem, the dimension of the problems has move from ―purely domestic jurisdiction‖ problems to the regional problems. The utilization of some sort of

Adipratomo 11 interfering actions is needed to prevent the issues and conflicts from spreading to a wider area. Therefore, the question regarding the state sovereignty and non-interference is no longer valid in this situation. The third and the last method is to add the state consent whenever the applications of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ are obviously need to be implemented to solve the problem. Whenever the ―state consent is given, preventive diplomacy is clearly not interference‖(Tay 7). In order for the consent to be given, this method is also has to be flexible. The host state should be able to give some limitations and guidance to the fact-finding missions and third party on how far they can go before they reach the limit where the absolute sovereignty of a country play. As the ASEAN move toward the preventive diplomacy, The ASEAN Must therefore strike a balance between two polarities. It needs to find a median between…the degree of institutionalization foe preventive diplomacy that the consensus of states may accept and…the degree of institutionalization that preventive diplomacy requires in order to be effective (8)


In an attempt to addresses and solves the contemporary transnational issues—that require the collective actions – the ASEAN has to change their rigid doctrine of the ―ASEAN Way‖ with a more flexible doctrine of ―Preventive Diplomacy.‖ The form of ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ that proposed by the progressives has to address the concerns of the state sovereignty and the principles of the non-interference that held by other members of the ASEAN. Some of the applications of the ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ that seems to incoherence with the concept of the state sovereignty and non-interferences will need to be modified so that the ―Preventive

Adipratomo 12 Diplomacy‖ can be mutually accepted by both conservatives and progressives. There are several solutions to solve the concern over state sovereignty and non-interference principle. The first one is by discussing and compromising the suitable principle that will be used to guide the ASEAN in the practice of ―Preventive Diplomacy.‖ The second method is by increasing awareness over the state responsibility. Whenever the issues are affecting more than one country, the issues have moved from local sphere to regional sphere. Therefore, some sort of intervention is needed to limiting the spread of the conflict. The last method of modifying ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ will be adding the state consent and authorization whenever interfering exercises of ―Preventive Diplomacy,‖ such as the use of fact-finding missions or god offices, are needed. Whenever the state gives the authorization, the exercises of preventive diplomacy are clearly not a form of interference. By exercising the ―Preventive Diplomacy‖ ASEAN can strengthen their sociopolitical cohesion by

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