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PacNet #44A – ASEAN Summit in a post-Sept. 11 World

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is meeting in Brunei for its annual summit. At the beginning of the 21st century, ASEAN finds itself at a crossroads in the wake of its inability to address a plethora of regional problems – the transnational haze caused by forest fires in Indonesia, human rights abuses in Myanmar, the proliferation small arms and narcotics, the spread of HIV/AIDS, maritime piracy, and, most important, the Asian economic crisis. Now ASEAN faces the issue of how to deal with international terrorism in a post-Sept. 11 world and its ability to forge a coherent message on this issue is important not only for the sake of regional security, but also for the long-term viability of the organization itself.