Thailand and U.S. co-host regional WMD non-proliferation workshop

Thailand and the United States jointly hosted a two-day multilateral workshop in Bangkok on August 17-18 to strengthen WMD non-proliferation coordination in Southeast Asia.

As America’s oldest treaty ally in Asia, Thailand has a long history of working with the United States on security issues. The bilateral relationship includes annual joint military exercises and several cooperation on the fight against criminal organizations and a range of transnational crimes, including the smuggling of arms and dangerous materials, including dual-use materials.

The high volume of cross-border trade in the region, home to some of world’s busiest shipping lanes and vibrant export economies, means that local authorities must constantly be on guard against smuggling and trafficking of illicit goods.

The Proliferation Security Initiative, or PSI, was established in 2003 “to stop or impede transfers of WMD, their delivery systems, and related materials flowing to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern,” the hosts said in a statement. Currently, 106 countries have endorsed PSI.

The two-day Southeast Asia PSI workshop in Bangkok brought together civilian and military leaders from Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, the United States and Thailand.

They examined modern WMD proliferation pathways, improved their understanding of WMD interdiction obligations, explored legal frameworks and best practices, and enhanced the connections of the “Countering WMD” community in Southeast Asia.

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