November 4-6, 1998
The Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies provided coordination support for the meeting of the ARF Inter-Sessional Support Group on Confidence Building Measures (ISG on CBMs), held in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 4-6, 1998. Co-chaired by Thailand and the United States, the ISG on CBMs held the first of its two inter-sessional meetings. The meeting was attended by representatives from 21 of the 22 ARF members and, consistent with the goal of increasing defense participation in ARF inter-sessional meetings and activities, most of the delegations included defense officials.
The ISG had extensive discussion on the regional security situation, focusing in particular on the implications of the current financial and economic crisis for peace and stability of the region. The participants had frank, open and substantive discussions on the regional security environment and security-related internal and transborder developments that impact on the region as a whole, and on the contribution of certain regional and global non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament regimes to regional security. The meeting exchanged views and information on their respective defense policies, including defense conversion, and reviewed their political-military and defense dialogues, high-level defense contacts, joint training and personnel exchanges with fellow ARF members.
The inter-sessional meeting considered where the ARF can add value to and supplement existing bilateral and multilateral maritime cooperation arrangements and instruments in the region, specifically in the areas of maritime safety, law and order at sea, and protection and preservation of the marine environment.