The first session of the ASEM6 Summit in Helsinki was entitled “Strengthening

multilateralism and addressing security threats”. This not only highlights the

importance of these two items on the ASEM agenda, but also illustrates the

linkage between multilateralism and the tackling of security threats. Multilateralist

principles are on the one hand part of the security goal. ASEM security is about

security of states and their citizens. Unilateralist dominance would compromise the

independence of ASEM states and ASEM state citizens, who would be left with

a weak state instrument to protect them. However, multilateralism is primarily

related to the principles of security promotion. ASEM is a security instrument that

is based on international law and the primacy of the United Nations. It is therefore

an instrument that honors member states and the participating continents as equal

partners. This is the foundation of ASEM’s search for security.