U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video
 You are in: Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security > Bureau of Political-Military Affairs > Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Releases > Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Fact Sheets > 2003
Fact Sheet
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
Washington, DC
July 16, 2003

ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)

The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) convened its first Ministerial meeting on July 25, 1994 in Bangkok, Thailand in accordance with the 1992 Singapore Declaration of the Fourth ASEAN Summit, whereby the ASEAN Heads of State and Government proclaimed their intent to intensify ASEAN's external dialogue in political and security matters as a means of building cooperative ties with states in the Asia-Pacific region. The ARF has agreed that the ARF process would proceed in three stages, from confidence-building (Stage I), to preventive diplomacy (Stage II), to elaboration of approaches to conflicts (Stage III).

Since its founding, the ARF has developed into a useful forum for consultation and dialogue with the goal of preventing future conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region. The ARF has instituted important Confidence Building Measures that contribute to transparency and may form the basis for successful preventive diplomacy down the road. Accomplishments include: "ARF Annual Security Outlook," a unique regional document laying out security concerns of ARF members; the distribution of Defense Policy Statements among ARF members; publication of Defense White Papers or similar papers; preparation of annual submissions to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms and circulation of member submissions to ARF members; engagement in bilateral security dialogues, high-level defense contracts, and defense/training exchanges since 1995; and participation in arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation activities and regimes such as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Chemical Weapons Convention, Convention on Conventional Weapons, Biological Weapons Convention, and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The meetings and activities of the ARF proceed on three levels: Ministerial, Senior Officials, and inter-sessional. Chairmanship of the ARF rotates among ASEAN members. Activities at the inter-sessional level are co-chaired by ASEAN and non-ASEAN states. A host of Track II events also complement ARF activities by allowing strategic institutes and non-governmental organizations to interact with government officials in their personal capacities.

ARF Member States are: 23 countries consisting of: the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam); the 11 "Dialogue Partners" (European Union (EU) Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, North Korea, Russia, the United States); Papua New Guinea; and Mongolia.


  Back to top

U.S. Department of State
USA.govU.S. Department of StateUpdates  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information

Published by the U.S. Department of State Website at http://www.state.gov maintained by the Bureau of Public Affairs.