Oct 112014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/10/05MANILA4901.html

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA4901
2005-10-16 09:16
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 004901

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, INR/EAP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER ECON PHUM SOCI XB XC RP
SUBJECT: EMBASSY MANILA HOSTS SOUTHEAST ASIA REGIONAL
CONFERENCE AIMED AT IMPROVING REPORTING

REF: MANILA 3415

¶1. (U) Embassy Manila hosted the 2005 Southeast Asia
Reporting Officers Conference, October 13-14. Thirty-eight
participants from Missions in Southeast Asia and other posts
in EAP, as well as from the Department and Pentagon,
participated in the two-day event. A full list of
participants is included in Para 7.

¶2. (U) After Charge d’Affaires Paul W. Jones opened the
conference with introductory remarks, participants engaged
in lively panel discussions on a wide range of political,
economic and public health issues. The overarching goal of
the eight panels was to stimulate debate on current issues
and trends of critical interest to U.S. foreign policy in
Southeast Asia, and to share ideas and best practices to
make regional reporting more effective and relevant for the
end-user.

¶3. (U) Panels on political-related issues included
discussion of the following topics:

— Counterterrorism: Participants reviewed the seriousness
of the threat posed by Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in Southeast
Asia, with specific focus on Indonesia, Malaysia, and the
Philippines, and the means by which various host governments
have responded to the threat. S/CT briefed participants on
ways USG counterterrorism funds can be used to help host
governments address these threats.

— Regional Organizations: Participants discussed the
evolving roles of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC),
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and
other regional fora, such as the East Asia Summit (EAS).
Participants also proposed strategies on managing relations
with host governments and publics in the face of
increasingly strong engagement by the Chinese government.

— Domestic Politics: Using examples based on recent
Philippine politics, the panel addressed ways to improve
communication between Missions and Washington during
domestic political turbulence in order to keep reporting
focused on key issues. A panelist from Bangkok shared
lessons learned from the response to the December 2004
tsunami, particularly on ways to improve inter-agency

SIPDIS
coordination. The panel also examined unions as a political
force.

¶4. (U) Panels focused on economic-related issues included
discussion of the following topics:

— Trade and Investment: Panelists discussed ways to more
effectively report on non-tariff barriers to trade and how
to apply lessons learned from the recent Free Trade
Agreement (FTA) with Singapore to future trade-focused
negotiations in the region.

— Financial Economy Issues: Participants proposed ways to
more accurately assess local investment climates and
discussed how to prepare for possible scenarios such as
further oil price rises.

¶5. (U) Other sessions addressed the following issues:

— Trafficking in Persons (TIP): Participants discussed the
scope of the transnational trafficking problem in the region
and shared best practices to encourage stronger host
government and NGO action to combat TIP.

— Public Health: Experts on the panel debated the
effectiveness of the regional response to avian influenza
and assessed preparations by Missions if there is a major
outbreak in the region. Washington participants suggested
possible sources of funding for local public health
initiatives.

— Making Reporting Even More Relevant: Participants shared
knowledge of how to improve reporting in all areas such as:
making the best use of FSNs; communicating with peers in
Washington in order to keep reporting focused and relevant;
and utilizing officers in all cones to support advocacy and
outreach activities.

¶6. (U) Mission truly enjoyed the opportunity of hosting a
broad cross-section of colleagues from Southeast Asian
posts, other EAP posts, and from Washington, and to showcase
the beauty and history of the Chancery property in Manila.
The Political Section in Manila offered to serve as a
clearinghouse for other Missions who may wish to host the
function in 2006.

¶7. (U) Participants in the 2005 SE Asia Reporting Officers
Conference October 13-14:

Southeast Asian Posts:

Colin Crosby (Bangkok)
Jeremy Nathan (Bangkok)
Peter Thorin (Bangkok)
Trent Wilson (Bangkok)
Beatrice Camp (Chiang Mai)
Elizabeth Wharton (Dili)
Benjamin Moeling (Hanoi)
Janet Speck (Hanoi)
Ruth Hall (Jakarta)
Lissa McAtee (Jakarta)
Henry Rector (Jakarta)
John Finkbeiner (Kuala Lumpur)
Jeffrey Hilsgen (Kuala Lumpur)
Brian Phipps (Kuala Lumpur)
Cleveland Charles (Manila)
Timothy Cipullo (Manila)
John Groch (Manila)
Robert Ludan (Manila)
David Maness (Manila)
Joseph L. Novak (Manila)
Paul O’Friel (Manila)
Machut Shishak (Manila)
Aye Aye Thwin (Manila)
Steve Worobec (Manila)
Jennifer Spande (Phnom Penh)
Teresa Manlowe (Rangoon)
Paul Horowitz (Singapore)
Christopher Kavanagh (Singapore)

Micronesia:

Stephen Druzak (Kolonia)
Darlene Korok (Majuro)

Australia:

John Warner (Canberra)
Antoinette Hurtado (Canberra)

Washington, DC:

LTC Russell Bailey (OSD, Pentagon)
Karen Chandler (S/CT)
Nathaniel “Chip” Dean (EAP/MTS)
Brian McFeeters (EAP/MTS)
CDR Cynthia Thebaud (Joint Staff, Pentagon)
Andrew Vincent (INR/EAP)

   

 

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