Ms. Karla Mae Pabeliña shares Southeast Asian states’ view on nuclear risk, and the role ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms play in promoting nuclear risk reduction.

Senior Foreign Affairs Research Specialist Karla Mae G. Pabeliña of the Foreign Service Institute’s (FSI) Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies (CIRSS) participated in the Second ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Workshop on Reducing Nuclear Risk in Pursuit of a World Without Nuclear Weaponsheld on 22-23 March 2023 in Brisbane, Australia.

Co-chaired by the Governments of Australia and the Philippines, the second ARF Workshop on Nuclear Risk Reduction sought to develop a common understanding on nuclear risks; discuss the different approaches to risk reduction, including through collaborative work between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states; and consider the path forward to addressing these nuclear risks.

In her remarks, Ms. Pabeliña stressed that Southeast Asian states face a difficult conundrum—a strategic insecurity stemming from Southeast Asia’s geographic location and the volatility of the regional security architecture. Southeast Asian states are deeply concerned with the humanitarian, economic and strategic consequences of a nuclear conflict between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, or between India and Pakistan, and the risks of escalation between China and the United States in an event of war arising from a Taiwan contingency. Individually and collectively, Southeast Asian states have supported various nuclear risk reduction initiatives in the context of promoting nuclear disarmament.

The second ARF workshop on Nuclear Risk Reduction was attended by representatives from ARF participating states, and regional experts.  

The participants of the second ARF workshop on Nuclear Risk Reduction with co-chairs Australia Ambassador Ian Biggs and Philippine Assistant Secretary Kira Christianne Danganan-Azucena.