ASEAN-IPR Discussion Series 2021 Session 4: “COVID-19 and Peace in the Region”
ASEAN-IPR DISCUSSION SERIES 2021 SESSION 4:
COVID-19 AND PEACE IN THE REGION
Wednesday, 22 September 2021
ASEAN-IPR YouTube Channel
The ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR) convened the fourth session of its Discussion Series 2021 on Wednesday, 22 September 2021, taking on the theme COVID-19 and Peace in the Region. The Webinar brought together more than fifty (50) participants from ASEAN Member States, ASEAN bodies/sectoral bodies/entities (e.g., ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Foundation, etc.), ASEAN partners, scholars, and other stakeholders?whether through the Webinar platform or its live streaming on YouTube Channel. The ASEAN-IPR Discussion Series 2021 is supported by the Embassies of Finland and Ireland in Jakarta.
The overall objective of the Discussion Series is to serve as a platform to discuss peace-related trends, engage with relevant stakeholders, as well as to enhance dialogue with like-minded institutions through the exchange of views on contemporary issues that may have an impact on peace in the region in the future. For the fourth part of the series, the Webinar aims to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions to humanitarian assistance, efforts of conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
The discussion was moderated by Dr. Darmp Sukontasap, Representative of Thailand to the ASEAN-IPR Governing Council. Three speakers shared their experience and expertise on the topic, namely: Ms. S. Nanthini, MIR, Senior Analyst of S. Rajaratnam School for International Studies (RSIS), Mr. Alexandre Faite, Head of Regional Delegation for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and Dr. Paul Quinn, Head of From Violence to Peace (Global Lead) at Christian Aid Ireland .
The speakers exchanged views on how the region adapts to the shift in priorities from conventional humanitarian assistance to healthcare support and vaccine distribution, while looking at the regions success and shortfalls in pursuit of these efforts. COVID-19 has added further complexity to the risk landscape of ASEAN and the way humanitarian relief is conducted as the region have had to deal with natural hazards while at the same time facing the pandemic. The region has responded in a commendable way through ad-hoc meetings such as the ASEAN Special Summit on COVID-19 and regional mechanisms such as the AHA Centre, ASEAN Emergency Operations Network, ASEAN BioDiaspora Virtual Centre, Regional Public Health Laboratories Network, ASEAN Risk Assessment and Risk Communications Centre as well as the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.
However, as the pandemic cannot be addressed in isolation, a horizontal, localised and cross-sectoral coordination is needed, as well as a vertical approach in the form of a neutral and impartial international humanitarian aid in conflict situations. A complementarity approach that combines the two, as well as a stronger trust and relationship between the local communities and government/defence/police is needed to ensure a sustainable, inclusive, and context-sensitive response to the health crisis and complex emergencies.
The fifth session of the Discussion Series 2021 is scheduled to be held on the third week of October, with the theme Cross Sectoral Initiatives to Advance the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda in ASEAN. Be sure to subscribe to the ASEAN-IPRs YouTube Channel, and follow our social media for latest information and/or updates on our activities.