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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

United States Accedes to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia

On July 22, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton signed the United States’ Instrument of Accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. At the same time, the ten ASEAN Foreign Ministers signed an Instrument of Extension of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, completing the United States’ accession to the Treaty. Among other things, parties to the Treaty pledge to promote perpetual peace, everlasting amity and to cooperate in economic, social, cultural, technical and scientific fields.
During her visit to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta in February of this year, Secretary Clinton announced that the Administration would pursue accession to the Treaty because “we believe that the United States must have strong relationships and a strong and productive presence here in Southeast Asia.” Today’s signing ceremony successfully completes this Administration initiative.
The speed at which the United States worked together with ASEAN members to realize U.S. accession to the Treaty highlights our re-energized involvement in Southeast Asia, as well as the close mutual ties sought by ASEAN and the United States. U.S. accession is a symbol of the United States’ desire to engage more deeply and effectively with ASEAN on regional and global priorities.
The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia was signed by the original members of ASEAN in 1976. All ASEAN members have since become parties to the Treaty. In 1987, ASEAN amended the Treaty to invite countries outside of Southeast Asia to accede to the Treaty in order to build confidence, promote peace and security, and facilitate economic cooperation in the region

Article obtained from
Bureau of Public Affairs
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 22, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874

According to Ambassador Goldberg the United States has had some very good meetings with the Malaysian Central Bank. These discussions were for the purpose of continued improvements in the implementations of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874. Resolution 1874, the most recent U.N. resolution, includes important new provisions on inspections, as well as on financial matters; they are aimed at North Korea’s nuclear and missile technology programs

Ambassador Goldberg would not comment on speculation that the Malaysian bank system was being used to help fund the North Korean development of nuclear weapons. However, the Ambassador did state, “…, Malaysia has expertise in the financial sector, and experience that we hope to tap as we move forward as an international community within the UN, to implement the U.N. resolution. Again, with our overall goal being a return to serious and meaningful discussions about denuclearization and non-proliferation. That is our goal, and we look at the resolutions as a way to get back to our original purpose. “

The Ambassador stated that the United States will continue to share information with the international community in an effort to keep the international banking system safe and secure.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Japanese Military movements

Yonguni Island probably doesn’t mean much to anyone except divers and archealogists. Yonaguni Island is home to an interesting collection of what some describe as the oldest buildings in the world. They aren’t actually on the island, they are in the water and are a major attraction for visitors.
Situated less than a hundred miles from Taiwan, Yonguni is the southern most Island of Japan and part of the Okinawa Perfecture District. It is making some news lately with the reported movement of Japanese Defence Forces possibly being relocated there. It is possible that Japan is trying to show its resolve in protecting its southern border from any intrusion, although this hasn’t been a problem in the past. There are a number of reasons that Japan may be moving troops to this location besides a show of force. Over the past 15 years Japan has started to come out of its cacoon which it wrapped itself in after their defeat in the Second World War. In recent years the Japanes Defence Forces have served in locations outside their national bounderies which was previously prohibited by the Constitution. Japan is once again taking a larger military role in world affairs. This move to Yonguni Island may be one method of getting the people of Japan use to the idea of military use in unison with diplomatic ends.
Japan also has Islands in the north which have been occupied by Russia since the end of the Second World War. Is it possible they are flexing their muscle in the south before stretching to the north?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Abu Bakar Bashir

Abu Bakar Bashir was born in 1938 and graduated from school in 1961. It is claimed that he is the spiritual head of the Jamaah Islamiyay (JI). He states that the organization does not exist. Bashir has been in prison numerous times on various charges. He has a large following and is considered very dangerous to the security of the Pacific Region. He has stated in the past that the only way the West will be secure is if it follows Islam.
Bashir has been charged with numerous terrorist activities to include the 2000 Christmas Eve bombings against Christian churches which killed 18 people and involvement in the 2003 bomb attack at the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta which killed 14 people. He was also indicted for bombings in 2002 in Bali which resulted in the death of 182 people. Although Bashir was found guilty of the 2002 bombings he was not found guilty of the Marriott Hotel charges.
He was released from prison in 2006 to the cheers of his followers.
In October of 2008 he stated he was forming a new group called "Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid" ("partisans of the oneness of God").