• Centre for ASEAN Regionalism Universiti Malaya (CARUM)
  • carum@um.edu.my
  • +6 03 7967 6921

Indo-Pacific Dialogue @ Terengganu

Aug 17, 2023
02.00 PM - 05.00 PM
Seminar Room 1, UMT Convention Centre, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu

Managing World’s Oceans and their Resources: Challenges and Opportunities in
The Indo-Pacific Region

Concept Note

The Indo-Pacific region has emerged as a focal point for global geopolitics and economic dynamics. As nations grapple with traditional and non-traditional security challenges, forging strong partnerships has become imperative. One such alliance with great potential is between the European Union (EU), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Malaysia.

The EU-ASEAN-Malaysia partnership can significantly contribute to regional stability by addressing traditional security challenges. Strengthening defence cooperation, joint military exercises, and information sharing can enhance the capabilities of nations to respond effectively to security threats, such as territorial disputes and piracy.

The Indo-Pacific is not only plagued by traditional security issues, but also by non-traditional threats such as climate change, cybersecurity, and transnational crime. Collaborative efforts in disaster management, sustainable development, and counterterrorism can bolster the resilience of the region and promote peace and prosperity.

Prioritizing defence and security as a cooperation area undoubtedly fits into the EU Indo-pacific strategy. As a formidable force in defence and security, the EU is well-positioned to contribute significantly to the stability of the Indo-Pacific, especially considering the region's broad spectrum of security threats. This symbiosis of supply and demand could bolster the EU's involvement in the region and diversify areas of cooperation, further strengthening the EU's partnership with countries in the region.

In 2021, the EU Council approved the EU’s Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, marking a significant leap towards possible defence and security collaboration with Indo-Pacific nations. Strategically, the EU will remain steadfast in its commitment to constructing an open, rules-based regional security architecture by enhancing the security of sea lines of communication, capacity-building, and the naval deployment of the EU and its member states in the region.

Similarly, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has demonstrated substantial interest in the area of security. The ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) underlines prevalent security challenges, including border disputes, unsustainable exploitation of maritime resources, and maritime pollution. Based on these issues, ASEAN advocates for deeper cooperation with partners to resolve border disputes and foster security and freedom of navigation using a comprehensive and peaceful approach. The AOIP also emphasizes the importance of non-traditional security threats and prioritizes cooperation in areas such as transnational crimes and sea piracy. Its vision aligns closely with the EU's objectives, setting the stage for potential collaborations between the EU and ASEAN to promote a stable and peaceful Indo-Pacific region.

Unlike the AOIP, which maintains a degree of ambiguity to balance various interests, Malaysia's National Defence Policy acknowledges the importance of traditional, non-traditional, and internal security issues to protect Malaysia's national interests—namely, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and economic prosperity. The policy commits to a peaceful resolution of these issues and seeks bilateral and multilateral regional and international cooperation. Naturally, Malaysia welcomes the EU as a potential external partner to cooperate in defence and security issues.

The Indo-Pacific region stands at a crossroad, with both immense opportunities and daunting challenges. The path to a stronger partnership between the EU, ASEAN, and Malaysia requires dedication, cooperation, and a shared vision of a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific. By addressing traditional and non-traditional security concerns, fostering economic integration, and nurturing diplomatic ties, this trilateral alliance can pave the way for a brighter future in one of the world's most dynamic and strategically significant regions.

This also calls for greater synergies between all parties and thus, this dialogue aims to discuss the emerging trends of traditional and non-traditional security issues and provide targeted solutions for challenges faced in the Indo-pacific region, through perspectives of the EU, ASEAN, and Malaysia.

Programme Schedule: 17 August 2023



2:00 PM

Arrival of Guests & Registration

2:30 PM

Welcoming Remarks by Dr. Wan Mohamad Asyraf Bin Wan Afthanorhan, Deputy Dean (Research & Innovation), Faculty of Business and Management, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA)

2:40 PM

Special remarks by Ms. Timea Magony, Political Officer, Delegation of the EU to Malaysia

2.:55 PM

Program briefing and introduction of panellists by the moderator:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zairihan Abdul Halim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Development, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT)

3:00 PM

Dialogue Session (12 minutes for each presenter):

1)  EU perspective:

(Q&A. Ms Timea Magony)

2)  ASEAN perspective:

Speaker 1: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Noreha binti Hashim (Issues and challenges of ASEAN's Maritime Governance)
Deputy Dean, Faculty of Maritime Studies, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT)

Speaker 2: Mr. Madzli bin Harun (ASEAN Logistic Diplomacy: ASEAN Sovereignty in the Context of ASEAN Custom Transit System)
Faculty of Maritime Studies, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT)

3)  Regional perspective on Fisheries/International Law:

Speaker 3: Prof. Dato Dr. Saharuddin Dato Abdul Hamid (Community Base Fisheries Management – The Way Forward),

Faculty of Maritime Studies, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT)

Speaker 4: Mdm. Wan Mariam binti Wan Abdullah (South China Sea and Sovereignty)

Faculty of Maritime Studies, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT)

4)  Malaysian perspective:

Speaker 5: Prof. Dr. Nazli Aziz,
Deputy Dean, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Development, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT)

Speaker 6: Dr Kamiru Kabalu,
Faculty of Business and Management, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA)

4:15 PM

Q&A Session

4:45 PM

Closing Remarks by Dr. Rahul Mishra, Director of Centre for ASEAN Regionalism Universiti Malaya (CARUM)

4:50 PM

Photo session and Presentation of souvenirs

5.00 PM

End of the session followed by Hi-Tea