ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)
On Results of the 13th Session of the Regional ASEAN Security Forum
Unofficial translation from Russian
On July 28 Kuala-Lumpur (Malaysia) was the venue of the 13th session of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) as part of the annual activities of the Association of Southeast Asian States. The Forum is the key mechanism of interstate dialogue on the problems of security in the APR which brings together twenty-six participants, including Russia, the PRC, the US, Japan, India, Pakistan, the ASEAN countries as well as the European Union. Our country's delegation to the meeting was led by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The participants in the meeting discussed in a broad conceptual way the situation in the world and the APR, exchanged opinions on the biggest threats to regional security, looked at the prospects of broader interaction in the fight against new challenges, in the first place, international terrorism and other kinds of transnational crime. Discussed in a substantial way were some topical themes, such as non-proliferation of WMD, the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula, the nuclear program of Iran, the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East settlement. A notable place was given over to the prospects of deepening the interaction between the Forum and other regional organizations, the formation of a system of comprehensive forecasting, warning and liquidation of the aftermath of ecological disasters in Asia, which was reflected in the statement "The ARF on the fight against natural disasters and emergency response."
The participants in the meeting exchanged opinions on priority areas of the future activities of the Forum, including in the context of strengthening the antiterrorist aspect of cooperation in the framework of the ARF. The meeting passed decisions on cooperation and countering cyber attacks and the use of the cyber space for terrorist goals.
The common interest was confirmed in enhancing practical returns from the activities of the ARF and its ability to adequately react to the new challenges in the field of regional security as well as in expanding many-faceted interaction in the interests of ensuring security in the region. The Russian side at the meeting circulated proposals on establishing an inter-civilizational dialogue in the framework of the ARF.
Kuala-Lumpur was also the venue of a meeting of interested delegations to discuss the issues of security in Northeastern Asia, including prospects for the resumption of the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear problem.
Sergey Lavrov held a series of bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of a number of ARF states during which an interested exchange of opinions took place on practical aspects of the interaction between Russia and these states.
July 28, 2006