APEC as an Institution: Multilateral Governance in the Asia-Pacific

By Richard E. Feinberg | Go to book overview

13
APEC’S ROLE IN POLITICAL AND
SECURITY ISSUES

JOHN MCKAY


Introduction

APEC is usually regarded as an exclusively economic and trade organization, with its primary targets focused on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and it appears certain that at least in the near future this agenda will remain as the primary goal. However, at various times in APEC’s history, questions have been raised about the potential for the organization to play a constructive role within the region in a range of political and security issues. Generally, these calls have been met with scepticism if not downright hostility. Noordin Sopiee (1997), for example, stated his strong opposition to APEC’s entry into any kind of security role:

It would seem that there are few things more likely to damage and
even destroy APEC than to put security on its agenda. The poison
would run through APEC’s entire frame. It would be time to write
the epitaph on an endeavor that can be powerfully used to bring all
APEC countries closer together, that can forcefully bring prosperity

-227-

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