一九九七年十二月，「亞太安全合作理事會」以「第四號備忘錄」的形式公布了一份「區域海事合作綱領」。該綱領所列內容十分廣泛，不但具體呈現出「東協區域論壇概念文件」中關於海事安全合作的基本精神，同時也強烈符合了一九八二年聯合國海洋法公約的各項有關規定與國家實踐。因此可以說，「綱領」為亞太地區未來的海事安全合作立下了良好的指標與基礎。 In December 1997, the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) issued a document titled “Guidelines for Regional Maritime Cooperation.”The Guidelines are a set of fundamental, non-binding principles to guide regional maritime cooperation and to ensure a common understanding and approach to maritime issues in the region. The Guidelines adopt a comprehensive approach to regional security. They cover maritime confidence, security building, and preventive diplomacy measures identified by the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and reflect the strong support in the region for the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Guidelines are consistent with the aforementioned Convention and have been influenced by current State practice with regard to developments in oceans management and international law. The importance of the Guidelines flows from the nature and complexity of the regional geographical environment, the significance of maritime issues in the region, and the propensity for illegal activities and disputes to occur at sea. Maritime cooperation will contribute to regional stability by easing tensions and reducing the risks of conflict.