Strategic Foresight Group took part in the MacArthur Asia Security Initiative 2010 Annual Meeting (MASI) at Seoul from July 7-9, 2010. Hosted by the East Asia Institute in Seoul, the meeting brought together representatives of over 30 organizations spread across Asia. The meeting provided a platform for organizations to exchange ideas and explore areas of cooperation amongst them. It also sought to address two issues of “Post Crisis Global and Regional Order” and the “East Asian Community”
During the keynote address, Secretary General of the Korean Presidential Committee for the G20 Summit Dr Changyong Rhee emphasized the importance of the G20 process in stabilizing the world financial system. He said that it was important that concrete results are shown by the time the G20 Summit takes place in Seoul in November 2010, so as to solidify the ground for the G20 process. He also emphasized the need to create a global financial safe net to protect countries that are vulnerable to financial shocks. For the first time, a Summit of business people is going to take place on the side lines of the G20 Summit in Korea in an endeavor to involve more civil society organizations into the process.
The Session on Post Crisis Global and Regional Order touched upon issues such as the membership of the G20, the issue of efficiency vs. legitimacy and the need to move from a crisis committee to a steering committee, the need for a secretariat for the process and the concept of formation of G2 with US and China. Non-traditional security issues such as water, energy, food security, climate change and infectious diseases were also discussed along with the best institutional mechanisms to deal with them. While the role of the US was seen as diminishing in the region, it was clear that the US will continue to play an important role, even while East Asia is growing at a fast pace economically with greater regional integration.
Strategic Foresight Group belongs to Cluster 3 of the MASI i.e. on internal challenges for which the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore is the core institution. A number of ideas for cooperation between organizations of this cluster working on similar issues of water and food security across the Asian region were discussed.