20th ASEAN Regional Forum takes place

The 20th ASEAN Regional Forum, which took place on Tuesday, highlighted the successes the ARF has had and the challenges the Asia-Pacific region still faces in the quest for peace.

The forum took place in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. Secretary of State John Kerry was in attendance to represent the United States, which has played a large role in helping the region reach its goals of regional security, peace and stability.

ARF is the largest forum held for discussing security in the Asia-Pacific region. Twenty-five events are held annually by the organization covering a breadth of challenges the region faces.

The ARF 2013 covered the topics of preventive diplomacy, counter-terrorism, transnational crime, disaster relief, maritime security, non-proliferation, disarmament and space security. The U.S. is working with nations in the region on various projects related to these topics.

The U.S. has partnered with China, Brunei and New Zealand to help establish preventative diplomacy and conflict resolution in the region. The U.S. has also partnered with Australia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines to organize conferences on counter-terrorism and transnational crime, including how to respond to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents, countering illegal drug trafficking and responding to major natural disasters, which happen regularly in the region.