Transnational Security Challenges and Cross-Regional Cooperation Workshop

Oct. 27-31, 2008


On 27-31 October 2008, the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies held their first joint senior alumni seminar on “Transnational Security Challenges and Cross-Regional Cooperation” at APCSS in Honolulu. 27 senior alumni from APCSS and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies were invited and took part in the seminar. Their final report was presented to former US Secretary of Defense Dr William Perry.


The forces of globalization are increasingly altering the traditional national and regional perceptions of security and the regional security dynamics in both Europe and Asia. Terrorism and other transnational challenges have transcended national and regional boundaries. The EU and NATO’s activities are not limited to Europe. The rise of China has global impacts. Energy concerns are world-wide and conflict prone. Yet, there are very few mechanisms or channels of interaction among developing security practitioners of the two regions. The alumni corps of APCSS and MC represents one of the most influential, competent and broad-minded tiers of national security apparatus and could help in addressing and closing the current gaps in the inter-regional security dialogue.


The APCSS-MC Senior Alumni Seminar was designed to broaden the security perspectives of senior practitioners beyond the boundaries of their regions, facilitate an exchange of practical experience and best practices in responding to transnational challenges, as well as identify common areas of concern and required and coordinated multilateral action at regional and cross-regional levels.


The workshop included panel presentations by subject matter experts, facilitated break out group discussions, and plenary meetings to review the consolidated break-out group reports.


The key strategic cross-regional strategic trends were identified as the following:

  • Changing Strategic Landscape

–        Rise of other major powers with continuing key US role

–        Growing significance of  Integration Gap between Europe and Asia

–        Reemerging influence of historical legacy

  • Socio-Economic

–        Growing significance of energy security

–        Growing concern for economic stability

–        Increased attention to environmental issues with transnational effects especially climate change

–        Fragility of global health security

–        Demographic-economic shifts

  • Security

–        Growing recognition of the importance of and increasing sophistication of terrorism

–        Proliferation of Human and drug trafficking

–        Spread of WMD and Uranium Enrichment Technology

Based on the assessment of the current cross-regional cooperation mechanisms, the workshop identified several opportunities and possible next steps to respond to security trends and shocks. They included suggestions to:

  • Enhance institutional links between AP and European organizations
  • Promote issue focused functional cooperation
  • Promote Free Trade agreements between EU and AP nations and organizations
  • Improve coordination between relevant multinational bodies on Afghanistan
  • Strengthen international and create cross-regional safety mechanisms to ensure nuclear power safety
  • Develop Energy Security Code of Conduct
  • Promote  NGO and private sector participation in formulating and implementing cross-regional cooperation
  • Improve cross-regional consultations on reforming the international financial and monetary system to include norm setting and  crisis management mechanisms


The workshop participants endorsed the idea of conducting regular joint senior alumni seminars alternating between Honolulu and Garmisch.


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