Dignitaries, scholars to discuss ASEAN-Canada relations at York roundtable

Southeast Asian dignitaries and scholars will visit York on Oct. 26 to participate in the Common Fears and Hopes: ASEAN and Canada at 50 Roundtable. As one of the featured events in this week’s Canadian Council for Southeast Asian Studies (CCSEAS) Conference, the roundtable is convened to mark the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“This is an important moment in ASEAN’s history,” said Abidin Kusno, event organizer and York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) director. “We organized the roundtable to take this moment to reflect on the global role of ASEAN and possible directions for future relations with Canada.”

The roundtable will begin at 1:45pm in Room 519 Kaneff Tower. It will include contributions from:

  • Petronila Garcia, ambassador of the Philippines to Canada and chair of the ASEAN Committee of Ottawa;
  • Teuku Faizasyah, ambassador of Indonesia to Canada;
  • Ian Burchett, director General Southeast Asia, Global Affairs Canada;
  • Joshua Brown, Canada-ASEAN Business Council; and
  • Stéphanie Martel, postdoctoral fellow, University of British Columbia.

Paul Evans (University of British Columbia and former faculty in York’s Department of Political Science) will chair the roundtable.

Founding member nations Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand established ASEAN in 1967 to create a forum for regional collaborations. ASEAN has since grown to include Brunei, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Since its inception, ASEAN has worked towards building a community of Southeast Asian nations focused on economic integration, growth and consensus-building. Dubbed the “ASEAN Way” by scholars and commentators, this approach has resulted in unprecedented growth with ASEAN representing the world’s seventh-largest market and third-largest labour force.

The roundtable will tackle key questions about the status of ASEAN in the context of shifting great power rivalries. Is there sufficient common ground amongst ASEAN members for navigating global shifts? The participants will especially focus on the implications of ASEAN’s agenda for Canada. What is the best fit between Canadian and ASEAN interests?

It will kick off productive discussions about the 33rd biennial CCSEAS conference theme, “People In and Out of Place.” More than 120 international and Canadian researchers will present their work related to this theme over three days at York (Oct. 26 to 28). The conference also features Southeast Asian performances, film screenings and special panels commemorating York professors of Southeast Asian studies.

The roundtable is sponsored by the York Centre for Asian Research, the Consulate General of the Philippines in Toronto, the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Ottawa, the Canada-Vietnam Society and the Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.

For more information about the roundtable and the CCSEAS conference, visit ccseas.ca.

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