Deputy Director-General (DDG) Julio S. Amador III of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) participated in the Network of East Asian Think-Tanks (NEAT) Working Group Meeting on Maritime Cooperation in East Asia in Tokyo, Japan, on 4-5 August 2015. The meeting was organized by the Japan Forum on International Relations (JFIR).
The NEAT Working Group on Maritime Cooperation in East Asia aims to clarify the current situation and challenges of maritime cooperation in East Asia, focusing on such areas as control of maritime crime including illicit drug deals, trafficking in person, smuggling, and piracy, which are at present being dealt with under various frameworks within the region. The final goal of the Working Group is to formulate a concrete scheme of regional cooperation in taking measures to counter such maritime crimes. In addition, the Working Group is also tasked with deliberating ways to develop closer cooperative ties among research institutes in the region in the study of maritime issues in East Asia.
Mr. Amador was invited to speak as the Lead Discussant for the Philippines. He emphasized the opportunities for harmonization and application of relevant international rules and norms in facilitating maritime security cooperation in the region. He also pointed out the need for greater collaboration with the International Maritime Organization and other bodies as well as cooperation with shipping companies and the academe in exchanging relevant information.
The NEAT is a Track 2 international organization of ASEAN+3 countries. Its establishment was originally proposed in the reports of the East Asia Vision Group (EAVG) and the East Asia Study Group (EASG) made upon request of the ASEAN+3 Summit, and was approved at the ASEAN+3 Ministerial Meeting held in May 2003. Currently, it is an important vehicle of Track 2 diplomacy in ASEAN+3 countries especially in traditional and non-traditional security issues.