Asia faces a number of non-traditional security challenges at the subnational level which are closely linked to domestic economic and political issues in different countries, but which have important ramifications beyond national borders: from environmental degradation, natural disasters, and trafficking-in-persons to maritime security, ethnic and religious conflict, and failed systems of governance. The Asia Foundation's Regional Cooperation Program works to strengthen relations among Asian nations and their peoples in the effort to foster peace, stability, prosperity, and effective governance.
The Asia Foundation's Regional Cooperation Program focuses on:
- fostering regional cooperation on critical issues in Southeast, Northeast and South Asia;
- foreign policy capacity-building in select countries in developing Asia;
- providing opportunities for emerging leaders in the region; and,
- facilitating policy dialogues on Asian affairs and U.S.-Asian relations in Washington.
Our Regional Cooperation programs assist Asian nations and their societies in dealing with challenges to peace, prosperity and effective democratic governance. In Southeast Asia, the Foundation seeks opportunities to help civil society contribute to community building in ASEAN. In South Asia, the Foundation supports efforts to promote regional cooperation on trade, counter-trafficking, and cross-border water-sharing. In Northeast Asia, we are exploring opportunities to strengthen cooperation among Japan, China, Korea, and the United States on issues of common concern.
A hallmark of Foundation programming has been its diplomatic exchange programs. For more than a quarter century, the Foundation has supported hundreds of diplomats from China, Indonesia, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Laos, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Many policy-makers believe such programs have paid substantial dividends by enabling their diplomats to deal with their counterparts in Asia, the U.S., and elsewhere in a more nuanced and informed manner.
Through our Regional Cooperation program, the Foundation identifies and cultivates emerging leaders in Asia from a range of professional backgrounds on issues of regional and international concern, addressing the changing dynamics of politics, economics, and security in the region. Over the years, many participants in our programs have gone on to leadership positions in their countries.
The Regional Cooperation program also facilitates dialogue in Washington, DC. The Foundation organizes and hosts a monthly Southeast Asia Roundtable, which brings together 30 well-informed Southeast Asia specialists, from both inside and outside of government, to discuss issues important to Southeast Asia and U.S. interests in the region. In addition, the Regional Cooperation Program works on placements, guidance, and organization for a variety of the Foundation's exchange programs and fellowships, including L.Z. Yuan and William P. Fuller Fellows, observation/study tours, and the Foundation's long-standing "Asian Ambassadors Dinner Series" and "Asian Perspectives Series" in Washington, DC.