Source: 恒星英语学习网  Onion  2010-01-19  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  
The formation and operation of regional groups should be motivated by concrete, pragmatic considerations.  It’s more important to have organizations that produce results, rather than simply producing new organizations.


Now, dialogue is critical in any multilateral institution.  But as Asian nations become regional and global players, we must focus increasingly on action.  Groups should assess their progress regularly and honestly, and emphasize that all participants are responsible for playing a positive role.


For example, in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that devastated South and Southeast Asia, the world witnessed how concrete collective action and a relentless focus on results can provide hope in the face of tragedy.  Beyond immediate assistance to areas hit by the tsunami, the disaster response was a catalyst for cooperation across the broader region.  It helped to forge enduring political, military, and civilian relationships that have enhanced our ability to respond collectively to natural disasters.  We should learn from this example, and act with similar urgency and efficiency in dealing with challenges such as climate change and food security.  I am proud that the United States has been and will continue to be a leader in this area.  Just this last year, we played a critical role in the civilian-military response that helped bring relief to areas ravaged by cyclones, such as the Philippines and others.


Now, to produce consistent results, institutions need effective governance.  That doesn’t mean that every organization will use the same mechanism to make decisions.  But it does mean that they should embrace efficient decision-making processes and, where appropriate, differentiated roles and responsibilities.  At the same time, building serious multilateral institutions requires us to share the burden of operating them. Systems that reward free riders and minimalist contributions are designed to fail.


So on security matters, we are eager to strengthen the ASEAN Regional Forum.  The United States will continue to participate in the Forum, and we hope to build on some recent successes, including an inaugural civil-military disaster relief exercise last May.  The ASEAN Regional Forum should make good on the vision laid out at our meeting in Thailand last July for it to assume greater responsibilities for disaster relief and humanitarian operations.  And the United States stands ready to assist in facilitating that.  It should also build on the Forum’s demonstrated recognition that Burma and other regional human rights issues will have a substantial effect on regional peace and security.  One reason I have established an ambassadorial post to ASEAN in Jakarta is to strengthen this institutionalized process.


Fourth, we must seek to maintain and enhance flexibility in pursuing the results we seek.  Now, in some instances, large multilateral institutions may lack the tools necessary to manage particular problems.  Where it makes sense, we will participate in informal arrangements targeted to specific challenges, and we will support sub-regional institutions that advance the shared interests of groups of neighbors.


Another example of that is the Six-Party Talks, which show the potential of an informal arrangement to advance shared interests.  Key regional actors have joined together to pursue the verifiable denuclearization of North Korea.  Now, making progress toward the complete and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea we know will strengthen security across Asia-Pacific countries, and we are working with our Six-Party partners for a resumption of the Six-Party Talks in the near future.


We have engaged in an enhanced relationship the Lower Mekong countries.  We have a Trilateral Strategic Dialogue with Japan and Australia, with Japan and South Korea, and we have informal arrangements guiding cooperation in the Straits of Malacca.  And these are each examples of how this kind of multilateralism can produce effective outcomes.   And I’m on my way to Australia, where Secretary Gates and I will be meeting in a 2+2 setting with our counterparts there.  So we welcome further opportunities to engage this way, for example in trilateral dialogues with Japan and China, and with Japan and India.


When it comes to sub-regional institutions, we really believe that ASEAN is an important success story.  It has made a bold decision to integrate across the economic, socio-cultural, and political-security spheres.  We believe that a strong, integrated ASEAN will serve broader regional interests in stability and prosperity.  And so we will continue to support ASEAN and we will continue emphasize capacity-building activities under the enhanced U.S.-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership and the economic-focused U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.  President Obama had that valuable first-ever meeting with ASEAN’s ten leaders in Singapore.


Now, I know some people, their eyes may glaze over when you hear all these acronyms, but we need to recognize that these regional organizations are very important to the actors who are in them.  And the failure of the United States not to participate demonstrates a lack of respect and a willingness to engage.   And that is why I made it very clear upon becoming Secretary of State that the United States would show up.  I don’t know if half of life is showing up, but I think half of diplomacy is showing up.


And as we’ve also seen new organizations, including the ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN+3, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, we hope that we will be able to participate actively in many of those.


Fifth, we need to decide, as Asia-Pacific nations, which will be the defining regional institutions.  So although we respect and will work with the organizations that countries themselves have created, some of recent vintage, it’s important that we do a better job of trying to define which organizations will best protect and promote our collective future.


Now, each may have its place and its purpose.  But the defining ones will include all the key stakeholders.  And these may be well-established, like APEC, or they could be of more recent vintage, like the East Asia Summit, or more likely, a mix of well-established and new.  This is a critical question that we must answer together through consultation and coordination.


During his visit to Tokyo last year, President Obama conveyed the United States’ intention to engage fully with these new organizations.  And as a part of this strategy, we propose to begin consultations with Asian partners and friends on how the United States might play a role in the East Asia Summit, and how the East Asia Summit fits into the broader institutional landscape, and how major meetings in the region can be sequenced most effectively for everyone’s time.


There is also a continuing need for an institution that is aimed at fostering the steady economic integration of the region based on shared principles and objectives. I think APEC is the organization that we and our partners must engage in, ensuring that it moves toward fulfilling that responsibility.



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