Australian member committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (Aus-CSCAP)



The 51st Aus-CSCAP meeting will be held in Canberra at ANU on 12 June 2019. Details will be provided at a later date.

Aus-CSCAP notes that Co-Chair, Professor Tony Milner AM, recently received two honours in Malaysia, both relating to the work he has done in regional relationship-building - including through CSCAP. The first was the prestigious Malaysian ‘Merdeka’ Award.

This was given for both his scholarship on Malaysia and his "role in fostering international cooperation". The 2017 Merdeka Awards were presented on 11 September by His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Perak.

The second award was an Honorary Doctorate in the Humanities.

This was presented at the Convocation Ceremony of the University of Malaya on October 21. Again mention was made of Tony's work with CSCAP, Asialink and various Australian Government initiatives in the region. Few foreigners have received either of these awards and we congratulate Tony.

Aus-CSCAP Project Co-Chairs

  • Professor Anthony Milner AM
  • Mr Ric Smith AO, PSM

The Australian Member Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (Aus-CSCAP) was established by Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) at the Australian National University, as one of the founding members of CSCAP.

Aus-CSCAP has some 150 members, including former and current officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Department of Defence, individuals from a dozen University and other research centres throughout Australia, Members of Parliament, journalists, and senior executives from Australian industry.

The Committee meets twice a year, to consider the major security issues facing Australia in the region. Aus-CSCAP members are also active in the various CSCAP Study Groups.

Australian Ministers of Defence have addressed AusCSCAP meetings on numerous occasions. Mr Andrews address the May 2015 meeting at a luncheon (held jointly with Asialink) in Melbourne.

The biennial CSCAP General Conference has been an opportunity for Australia to influence the agenda of regional discussions and has been used in the past by the Australian Foreign Minister to make important keynote addresses in the region.

The network of officials, media, military and academic representatives that make up the membership of CSCAP provides Australia with an opportunity to influence attitudes and debate in the region on a range of foreign policy issues. We believe it also assists more broadly to build Australia into Asian regional processes.

The CSCAP network has assisted the development, for instance, of the ‘Asialink Conversations’ and also helped in inaugurating the Australia/New Zealand Dialogue with ASEAN-ISIS, the influential ASEAN network that had not in the past been open to such a formal relationship with Australia.

CSCAP is a non-governmental (second track) organisation to encourage discussion and dialogue on security issues in the Asia Pacific. Membership in CSCAP is on an institutional basis and consists of Member Committees. Current membership comprises Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the USA.

The functions of CSCAP are as follows:

  1. to provide an informal mechanism by which political and security issues can be discussed by scholars, officials, and others in their private capacities;
  2. to encourage the participation of such individuals from countries and territories in the Asia Pacific on the basis of the principle of inclusiveness;
  3. to organize various study groups to address security issues and challenges facing the region;
  4. to provide policy recommendations to various intergovernmental bodies on political-security issues;
  5. to convene regional and international meetings and other cooperative activities for the purpose of discussing political-security issues;
  6. to establish linkages with institutions and organizations in other parts of the world to exchange information, insights and experiences in the area of regional political-security cooperation; and
  7. to produce and disseminate publications relevant to the other purposes of the organization.

Study groups are the primary mechanism for CSCAP activity. At the beginning of 2013, there were several on-going CSCAP Study Groups. These are concerned with: (i) Countering the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Asia Pacific; (ii) Expert Group on Export Control of Nuclear Material; and (iii) Multilateral Security Governance in the North-east Asia/North Pacific. Other Study Groups such as (i) Cyber security; (ii) Security of Submarine Cables; (iii) Regional Security Architecture; and (iv) Humanitarian and Disaster Relief, are envisaged or recently concluded. Some 22 Study Groups have had their recommendations considered at Track One (ie.,inter-governmental) level since inauguration of CSCAP.

Dr Ron Huisken

Dr. Ron Huisken is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre. He has had a distinguished career in foreign affairs working as a Research Fellow at SIPRI (1968-70...

Mr. Angus Macdonald

Angus had an extensive career extending over more than 30 years with AusAID and DFAT, serving in Asia, Europe and the Pacific, culminating at Head of Mission level.

Upon retirement, Angus...

Emeritus Prof Anthony Milner

Tony Milner is an historian specializing on Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia and Indonesia, and on regional relations. After having been a member of the Department Of History in the Faculty...

ric smith

Ric Smith AO PSM

Richard Campbell (Ric) Smith AO PSM was born in Perth and educated at State Schools and the University of Western Australia, from which he graduated BA, B Ed. He taught in country high schools for...

The Hon. Julie Bishop at the CSCAP meeting in Perth in November 2018.

Australian ambitions – regional reactions

As America becomes relatively weaker and more ambivalent about the value of allies, it makes sense for Australia to work hard on its other regional partnerships.

Is the Indo-Pacific just a geographic region, or something more?

The Australian Government’s use of the terms ‘Indo-pacific’ and ‘rules-based-order’ have come under question at the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) meeting held recentl

25th ASEAN Regional Forum Retreat in August 2018. Singapore (Photo: US Department of State/Flickr)

ASEAN Regional Forum: less might be more


CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2016 cover

CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2016

Established in 1993, the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) is the premier Track Two organization in the Asia Pacific region and counterpart to the Track One processes dealing with security...

CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2017 cover.

CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2017

Established in 1993, the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) is the premier Track Two organization in the Asia Pacific region and counterpart to the Track One processes dealing with security...

CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2015

The Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) is the region’s leading Track Two (non-official) organisation for promoting cooperation and dialogue on regional security issues. CSCAP was established...

CSCAP Publications

The ideas and suggestions expressed by individuals from CSCAP member committees throughout the region at study group meetings are often published and circulated to regional decision and policy makers; particularly in the ARF, to provide a stimulus for further consideration and possible implementation.

The outcomes and recommendations of the various study groups, which are provided for Track 1 consideration, are summarised in the various CSCAP Memoranda.

Aus-CSCAP Publications

  1. Greg Raymond, Prospects for the Rules-Based Global Order, 2017
  2. Tony Milner & Ron Huisken, Smaller, but enmeshed: Why Australia needs to make ASEAN an even stronger priority, 2017
  3. Asia’s Trend and Temperature
  4. ‘Australia in the Asian Century-Strategic Implications’, March 2013, Australian National University
  5. On a track to regional peace WITH CSCAP
  6. From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific: Rising Powers, Emerging Regions and Transformations in Governance’ Sept 2012 Adeilaide University (Meeting Booklet PDF 627KB)
  7. ‘Strategic Regional Architecture’, March 2012 Australian National University Meeting Booklet PDF 337KB; Record PDF 121KB)
  8. ‘Indo-Pacific seen from Western Australia’, Curtin University, Perth, West Australia, Nov 2012 (Meeting Booklet PDF 81KB; Record PDF 116KB)

Study groups

CSCAP’s Study Groups and Experts Groups are the primary mechanism for CSCAP activity. These groups serve as a region-wide multilateral fora for consensus-building and problem solving and often address specific issues and problems that are too sensitive for official dialogue.

Study Groups generally meet twice per year and produce policy oriented reports of each meeting. At the completion of their term the Study Groups produce a Memorandum that outlines practical policy-oriented responses for consideration at the Track One (official) level.

Through these Study Groups CSCAP’s research and analyses support and complement the efforts of regional governments and official multilateral dialogue mechanisms, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which routinely brings together senior foreign ministry and defense officials from throughout the Asia-Pacific to discuss regional security issues and concerns.

On-going Study Groups and sub-groups, to which AusCSCAP regularly sends representatives-

Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Study Group:
Nuclear Energy Experts Study Group;
Preventative Diplomacy Study Group;
Energy Security in Asia Study Group;
Harmonisation of Search and Rescue in Asia Study Group;
Marine Environment Protection Study Group;
United Nations Peacekeeping Operations Study Group

Mr Angus Macdonald
Executive Administrator
Strategic & Defence Studies Centre ANU College of Asia & the Pacific
T 61 2 6125 9979
F 61 2 6125 9926

Aus-CSCAP Co-Chairs

Mr Ric Smith AO, PSM

Professor Anthony Milner
Basham Professor of Asian History
ANU School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific
The Australian National University

CSCAP Regional Security Outlook (CRSO) Editor

Assoc. Professor Ron Huisken
Strategic & Defence Studies Centre
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
The Australian National University

Updated:  23 March 2016/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team