The Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) Coordination Centre was established in the Indian Council of World Affairs in July 2021. Hon’ble Vice President of India, who is also the ex-officio President of the ICWA, in his address to the 19th Meeting of the ICWA Governing Council on 3 July 2021, stated that the decision would give a renewed impetus to ICWA’s ongoing work related to this multilateral forum. CSCAP Coordination Centre ensures active participation of CSCAP-India in all relevant activities including Study Group meetings. The Coordination Centre is currently headed by Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, Senior Research Fellow at ICWA.
2. The CSCAP was founded after the end of the Cold War by a group of scholars from key ASEAN countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea and the USA after consultation with regional governments to give shape to a forum for informal/unofficial discussions on regional security through cooperation and dialogue as against the confrontation of the Cold War era. India became an associate member in 1994 and a full member in 2000. Current members include the 10 countries of ASEAN, Australia, Canada, China, the EU, India, Japan, both Koreas, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia and the USA. See www.cscap.org for full details.
3. CSCAP works through linkages between designated think tanks in each of the member countries. There is a Secretariat based within the Institute of Strategic and International Studies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. CSCAP is a Track 2 network of member countries. It has, since 1993, sought to develop approaches to and ideas on regional security cooperation and feed them into Track I, especially the ASEAN Regional Forum.
4. Consequent to its full membership of CSCAP, the India Committee was established in June 2000. Since 2002, ICWA serves as the Secretariat for CSCAP-India, which is funded by MEA through D&ISA Division. Its activities include participation in all technical, expert and Study Group meetings of the CSCAP; Steering Committee meetings held twice a year and; General Conferences organised by member countries with support from CSCAP secretariat.
5. CSCAP does its work primarily through Study Groups proposed and chaired by two or more member countries. The subjects addressed have ranged from concepts and principles for security cooperation after the Cold War to maritime issues, terrorism, water security, WMD, nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear safety and cyber security. CSCAP-India has participated and facilitated participation of Indian delegates in CSCAP meetings over several years. A number of experts from diverse think-tanks and universities have participated regularly in Study Group/Expert meetings. Indian speakers have been regularly featured in the General Conferences.
6. In January 2021, CSCAP-India Committee was reconstituted in consultation with Ministry of External Affairs to give a new vigour to its activities and build closer interaction with various countries in ASEAN and the wider Indo-Pacific region. Director General of the ICWA has been nominated as ex-officio Chairperson of the Committee.