Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia raised an interesting and far reaching proposal by calling for nations of Asia and the Pacific to envision their own version of the European Union. He noted how the EU has enabled nations that formerly were enemies to come together in friendship and cooperation. “I believe it is time we started to think about
where we want to be with our regional architecture in 2020. We need to have a vision for an Asian-Pacific community.” Rudd noted that by 2020, Asian and Pacific nations would have 4.6 billon of the Earth’s 7.7 billion people.
Russ emphasized there were revolutionary changes occurring in the region, particularly with the economic, political and military rise of India, China and Japan. Rudd thought terrorism would continue being a problem for years and it was best handled as part of a regional approach.
In his vision of a Pacific-Asian community, the Australian prime minister included the United States. Rudd hopes a planning group can begin the process of exploring his idea.