ASEAN INTRODUCTION

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on August 8, 1967 through the Bangkok Declaration.

This non-political organisation was established by the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand aimed at enhancing the economic growth and maintained stability and security in Southeast Asia. Currently, ASEAN comprised all the 10 Southeast Asia countries including Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The ASEAN member countries cooperate in terms of political and security, economic and sociocultural and succeeded in maintaining regional peace and stability as well as becoming the most rapidly developed and competitive region in the world. ASEAN is recognized internationally as a body that can contribute towards global peace and prosperity.

This is evident when ASEAN Dialogue Partners announced their interest to appoint an Ambassador or Special Representative to establish closer relations with ASEAN. Malaysia as a founding member of ASEAN is very committed and constantly strives to achieve the objectives of ASEAN establishment and ASEAN Community 2015.

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OBJECTIVES AND PRINCIPLES OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ASEAN

Bangkok Declaration 1967 set a goal of ASEAN establishment that is to accelerate the economic growth, social and cultural development based on the spirit of cooperation, partnership and equality to strengthen the development of a progressive and peaceful community among ASEAN member countries.

It is also aims to establish regional peace and stability by encouraging member countries to establish intergovernmental relations with respect to justice and laws as well as to adhere to the principles of the United Nations Charter.

The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) stated that, cooperation and relation between ASEAN member countries are on the following principles:

  • Respect the independence, superiority, equality, territorial integrity and national identity of all nations.
  • The right of every country to lead, free from external interference, subversion or coercion.
  • Resolution of diferences or arguments peacefully.
  • Decline the use of military.
  • Efective cooperation between member countries.

HISTORY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ASEAN

Association of Southeast Asia(ASA)

ASEAN was established following the formation of the Association of Southeast Asia (ASA) on July 31, 1961 proposed by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj. ASA comprised of three countries, namely Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand aimed at enhancing economic, social and inancial cooperation as well as to block the spread of communist inluence in Southeast Asia.

However, ASA does not last long because of the disputes among member countries due to the issue of the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

MAPHILINDO

In 1963, MAPHILINDO was established based of friendships and desire to enhance cooperation between Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia. It also aims to resolve some disputes and confrontations between the three countries.

Continuous confrontation and conlict between the three countries and lack of achievement lead to the dissolution of MAPHILINDO.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Eforts to establish regional cooperation continuously held especially after the conclusion of the Malaysia and Indonesia’s confrontation in August 1966.

During negotiation in Bangkok in early August 1967, ive Foreign Ministers of ASEAN founding countries agreed to establish Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Finally, the ASEAN Declaration also known as the Bangkok Declaration was signed by the Foreign Ministers at that time were Tun Abdul Razak (Malaysia), Adam Malik (Indonesia), Narciso R. Ramos (Philippines), R. Rajaratnam (Singapore) and Thanat Khoman (Thailand).

This declaration set the goal and purpose of ASEAN establishment and the  membership  of  all  countries in Southeast Asia. This Declaration also proclaimed ASEAN as representing the aspirations of Southeast Asia countries based on the spirit of friendship and co- operation to contribute towards peace, progress and prosperity of the region.

ASEAN CHARTER 2007

ASEAN Charter has been agreed upon by ASEAN leaders through Singapore Declaration on November 20, 2007. The Charter makes ASEAN a legal entity that now has a stake in the guidelines to ensure efective and good governance in order to protect the rights of all parties.

ASEAN MEMBER COUNTRIES

Country Date of Admission Head of Country Head of Government Capital City Currency National Language
Brunei Darussalam 8 January 1984 His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah Bandar Seri Begawan Dolar Brunei Bahasa Melayu
Cambodia 30 April 1999 His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni Prime Minister Hun Sen Phnom Penh Riel Khmer
Indonesia 8 August 1967 President Joko Widodo Jakarta Rupiah Bahasa Indonesia
Laos 23 July 1997 President Bounnhang Vorachith Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith Vientiane Kip Laos
Malaysia 8 August 1967 His Majesty The King Almu’tasimu Billahi Muhibbuddin Tuanku Al-Haj Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah The Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak Kuala Lumpur Ringgit Malaysia Bahasa Melayu
Myanmar 23 July 1997 President U Htin Kyaw Nay Pyi Taw Myanmar Kyat Myanmar
Philippines 8 August 1967 President Rodrigo Roa Duterte Manila Peso Filipino
Singapore 8 August 1967 President Tony Tan Keng Yam Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Singapore Singapore Dollar English
Thailand 8 August 1967 His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha Bangkok Baht Thai
Vietnam 28 July 1995 President Tran Dai Quang Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc Hanoi Dong Vietnam

ASEAN ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

The ASEAN leaders created the position of ASEAN Secretary-General and the Secretariat of ASEAN
ASEAN Secretariat consists of four sections based on three pillars of the ASEAN community that are ASEAN Political- Security Community (APSC), ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), ASEAN Social-Cultural Community (ASCC) and ASEAN Community and External Relations
The main secretariat is located in Jakarta, It was established during the Bali Summit in 1976
The staffs are appointed from all ASEAN member countries.

Heads of Government (ASEAN leaders) ➙ The Minister ➙ The Senior Officer ➙ Regional Committee ➙ ASEAN Secretariat

• The highest decision makers in the ASEAN are the Heads of Government, better known as the ASEAN leaders.

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