Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, participated in a panel discussion on “The Next Phase of U.S. – Southeast Asia Nonproliferation Cooperation” with Mr. Jose Tavares, the Director of ASEAN Political and Security Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Pratap Prameswaran, the Director of Political and Security Cooperation of the ASEAN Secretariat. The panel discussion was held in the ASEAN Secretariat and moderated by Ambassador David Carden from United States Mission to ASEAN.
Countryman and the other panelists discussed at length the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty and P5 accession to the SEANWFZ Protocol. The ASEAN speakers mentioned the upcoming consultation between ASEAN Member States and the P5 to discuss possible ways forward. Ambassador Carden reiterated the United States’ and the remainder of the P5’s readiness to sign SEANWFZ as soon as possible.
Mr. Countryman spoke about U.S. efforts towards nonproliferation and disarmament globally, noting the success of the Nonproliferation Treaty in this its 40th year, while highlighting concerns the United States and the international community have about Iran and North Korea, in particular.
In attendance were over 30 people representing, other diplomatic missions, NGOs and academic institutions, as well as local and international press outlets.