International Org. | Part 9 | East Asia Summit (EAS)

Why is EAS important?



East Asia Summit is a unique Leaders-led forum of 18 countries of the Asia-Pacific region formed to further the objectives of regional peace, security and prosperity.

Why is EAS important?

10 East Asia Summits have been held so far. India has been a part of this process since its inception in 2005. Think of it this way –

  • EAS has held its annual meetings without fail since its inception
  • As members – it has 10 ASEAN nations + 8 strategic partners including US, China, India, Japan
  • This is what our PM said in the 9th EAS – “No other forum brings together such a large collective weight of global population, youth, economy and military strength. Nor is any other forum is so critical for peace, stability and prosperity in Asia-Pacific and the world.”

6 priority areas of regional cooperation within the framework of the EAS

  1. Environment and Energy,
  2. Education,
  3. Finance,
  4. Global Health Issues and Pandemic Diseases,
  5. Natural Disaster Management, and
  6. ASEAN Connectivity

India’s involvement in regional collaboration in these 6 priority areas

#1. Education

At the 4th East Asia Summit (EAS), held in Thailand on 24-25 October 2009, the EAS Leaders endorsed the proposal for the revival of Nalanda University.

  • Nalanda was a renowned Buddhist centre of learning, in Ancient India. It taught students in medicine, mathematics, astronomy and politics
  • The University envisages seven schools located at its campus in Rajgir
  • Ministry of External Affairs has offered 6 scholarships to students from Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao PDR and Vietnam to pursue higher studies at Nalanda University
  • In news – Amartya Sen quits Nalanda University

#2. Global Health Issues and Pandemic Diseases

  • Australia and India are co-chairs of the Task Force for Access to Quality Medicines and other Technologies Task Force (AQMTF)
  • India has also hosted a Round table on Trauma Care and Nursing on 15-16 October 2015, in New Delhi

#3. Natural Disaster Management

  • 2012: India hosted an ‘EAS-India Workshop 2012: Building Regional Framework for Earthquake Risk Management’ in New Delhi
  • 2014: India also hosted the first Meeting of the 24×7 Points of Contact among the National Disaster Response Agencies of East Asia Summit (EAS) countries
  • Launch of Virtual Knowledge Portal (VKP). What is this?

The Virtual Knowledge Portal (VKP), a web based tool to share knowledge and best practices related to natural disaster risk assessment, mitigation and response among EAS countries. It is hosted by Natural Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi.

#4. Launch of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

At the 7th EAS in November 2012, the Leaders of 16 EAS participating countries launched the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

What is RCEP?

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the 10 member states of the ASEAN and the six states with which ASEAN has existing FTAs (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).



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