ASPAC 1990 -- A Conference for Disarmament, Security and Co-operation in the Asia-Pacific Region

Melbourne, 4-8 July 1990

ASPAC 1990 was the most important peace conference held in Australia for the past 30 years. The conference dealt with the growing arms race in the Asia-Pacific region and with threats to regional security by human rights abuses, widespread poverty, accelerating environmental damage, and conflicts over indigenous and ethnic rights.

The aim of ASPAC 1990 was

  • to place these issues firmly on the political agenda,

  • to foester a comprehensive approach to security that connects all these issues,

  • to bring togwether activists, researchers and policy-makers throughout the region and help build the networks that will translate ideas and analysis into effective strategies for change.

The conference discussed the following major topics:

  • militarism: the nature and extent of the problem,

  • how to resolve regional conflicts,

  • new approaches to security and demilitarization,

  • self-determination of indigenous peoples and human rights,

  • security, ecology, justice and the economy,

  • networking and campaigning in the region: the role of social movements.

More than 700 delegates representing over 200 organizations from the Asia-Pacific region attended the conference on the campus of Melbourne University. Mr. Brian McKinlay, member of the Executive Board, led the delegation of the International Progress Organization.

The focal points of the ASPAC debates and recommendations were taken up by the I.P.O. in its later activities on globalization and international democracy (1999).