The 2021 East Asia SSG Forum took place from 2 to 4 June. As COVID-19 obstructed a physical gathering, it took place online. Representatives from China, Japan, Mongolia, South Korea and Taiwan gathered to discuss the state of SSG/R at home, as well as to discuss potential shared activities, needs, and good practices.
This year's forum was organised over six sessions. The forum offered an opportunity to reflect on the topics discussed in the the national working group meetings, and other activities organised by the network - notably the workshops. The regional SSG associates updated on the activities in their respective regions, and provided a general update on current activities. The forum was a catalyst for many new ideas for SSG/R activities and projects, as well as brainstorming about ways to implement these.
Each of the representatives gave detailed updates on recent changes in their security environments. Examples of this on the first day included cybersecurity and vaccinations in South Korea, public interest in new security challenges and security cooperation in Japan, Covid-19 management and the SSR backgrounder translation in China, discussions on SSG and healthcare and promoting SSG/R knowledge in Taiwan, and gender and security in Mongolia.
Sessions were held on topics that included regional SSG challenges and priority concerns in East Asia, including country-based discussions; stocktaking of national SSG/R challenges, efforts, and development (again including break-out country-based discussions and subsequent presentations); and a discussion on future strategies for the East Asia Network. The latter included a platform for representatives to mention new initiatives, including new SSR events, joint research projects, more events, joint workshops, and joint research-oriented outputs. This was followed by a closing session that looked back at the workshop and summarised some of the main ideas going forward.
A detailed summary report will follow later.