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Fighting Security Challenges With Regional Cooperation

Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010

This weekend, Saudi Arabia will gather Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and other Middle Eastern states to collaborate on fighting the spread of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organizations. The Saudi initiative reaffirms that regional cooperation is an emerging and powerful facet of international politics, and that regional organizations are a proven force against international security threats. This is not just hyperbole; there is ample evidence worldwide to back it up.

Regional teamwork is best illustrated by the progress made in Europe, where the European Union synchronizes policies and resources to combat security threats worldwide. The regional approach to transnational challenges is also well developed in Latin America. The Organization of American States is increasingly attempting to fight drug trafficking and small arms proliferation by seeking to coordinate judicial and enforcement systems across borders. Since the 1960s, the 10 countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have engaged in regional coordination to achieve their top priority: economic development. The African continent works regionally through the African Union, deploying troops, peacekeeping missions and conflict-resolution teams to war-torn and unstable states such as Sudan and Somalia. ...

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