The Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) recently co-hosted a four-day seminar with the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College (NZDF CSC) entitled “Understanding, Shaping & Adapting to the Asia-Pacific Regional Security Architecture.”

The four-day seminar, held Nov. 5-8 in Honolulu, was part of the NZDF CSC’s regional overview program. The seminar was developed to help participants understand and apply the concept of regional security architecture to analyze the complex sub-regional security dynamics in the Asia-Pacific and address key transnational security issues in the Asia-Pacific Region.

According to APCSS Academic lead, Dr. Rouben Azizian, the seminar introduced the Fellows to the concept viewing security through different lenses or Regional Security Architecture.  Through this conceptual view, Fellows discussed how regional security is influenced by the role of institutions in the Asia-Pacific; the role of major actors and their relationships, and the development of rules and norms.

According to one participant, “this week has provided us different lenses through which to view these  (transnational) issues and, in doing so, provides a broader and more in-depth understanding of these from alternate standpoints.”

“Using this method helps us to see security more broadly and the dynamics involved,” said Azizian.  “It emphasizes opportunities instead of simply focusing on challenges and issues.”

“The seminar also emphasized Security Sector Development which until recently was focused on developing nations.  It is now being widely recognized and appreciated by countries such as Australia & New Zealand who are also trying to adjust their national security sector programs,” added Azizian.

This multinational event included participation by 52 military and civilian representatives, primarily at 04-06 levels, as well as warrant officers.  While the majority of participants were from New Zealand, other participants included officers from Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States.

In addition, a special half-day NZ/U.S. Warrant Officer and Senior Enlisted Leader forum was held with several on-island Senior Enlisted Leaders.

This is the second time in two years that the New Zealand Defence Forces’ Command and Staff College collaborated on a special seminar with the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.   According to Azizian, “coming to Hawaii is more than just a trip to the U.S. for these Fellows.  It’s part of a general region orientation. Here, they get the U.S. experience, a chance to visit U.S. Pacific Command, and gain a broader security perspective by coming to the Asia-Pacific Center. It is also a valuable opportunity for the U.S. and New Zealand to strengthen security cooperation.”