After the food price crisis in 2008, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) endorsed the establishment of a long-term mechanism for the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR). There is sound theoretical basis to justify emergency food reserves as a regional public good, particularly for rice, a major staple throughout Asia. However, in practice, international food reserves have not lived up to their promise. APTERR could be one of several policy instruments to manage food security risks within the context of effective regional cooperation. To play this role, it must address various sets of issues: (i) technical issues regarding the volumes and timing of storage and release of emergency stocks; (ii) financial sustainability; and (iii) institutional issues, such as appropriate organization structure and linkages with other agencies and organizations, whether public or private, and at the national and international levels.