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30 October 1998
TEXT: ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM MEETING
(Will meet in Honolulu from November 4-6) (480)
Washington -- Senior foreign affairs and defense officials, as well as
military officers, representing members of the the ASEAN Regional
Forum (ARF) will meet in Honolulu from November 4-6.
Following is an October 30 statement by the Department of State on the
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
October 30, 1998
STATEMENT BY JAMES B. FOLEY, DEPUTY SPOKESMAN
ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM MEETING
Honolulu, November 4-6, 1998
Senior foreign affairs and defense officials, as well as military
officers, representing members of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) will
meet in Honolulu from November 4-6. Mr. Ralph L. Boyce, Jr., Deputy
Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Mr. Saroj
Chavanaviraj, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of Thailand, will co-chair this meeting of the ARF's Intersessional
Support Group on Confidence Building Measures. A second meeting will
be held in Bangkok on March 3-5, 1999.
The Confidence Building Measures Group is the most active of the ARF's
intersessional working groups and its meetings form the core of the
ARF's overall work program. The results of its deliberations in
Honolulu and Bangkok will form the basis of the agenda for the annual
Ministerial meeting in July that Secretary Albright and Department of
Defense officials attend.
The United States has played an active and supportive role in the
ASEAN Regional Forum since its inception in 1994. The ARF, comprised
of twenty-two members (21 countries plus the EU), is the only
region-wide Asia-Pacific government-level security forum.
Co-chairmanship of the ARF's intersessional groups rotates; the U.S.
co-chaired with Singapore a meeting on Search and Rescue in March 1996
and is working with Thailand and New Zealand to conduct a Disaster
Relief experts meeting in Bangkok in January 1999.
In Honolulu and Bangkok, the Group will continue a frank, open and
substantive dialogue on security-related and political developments in
the region, defense policies, nonproliferation and arms control, and a
range of confidence building activities. For the first time, the Group
will examine the overlap between confidence building and preventive
diplomacy, the second stage of the ARF's evolution.
In addition, the Honolulu meeting will focus on maritime cooperation,
specifically on where the ARF can add value or supplement existing
activities and regimes in the areas of maritime safety, law and order
at sea, and protection and preservation of the marine environment. A
separate but concurrent meeting of maritime officials, chaired by the
U.S. Navy and the Royal Thai Navy, will address these issues in
detail. Admiral Joseph W. Prueher, Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific
Command will conduct a briefing and facilitate a tour of naval
facilities for ARF participants.