ASEAN was created on August 8, 1967, in Bangkok, it was founded by Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand to promote political and economic cooperation and regional stability. On December15, 2008, ASEAN approved a new charter, giving the organization status as a legal entity.
All member countries must ratify It. The member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.
The ASEAN Community is comprised of three pillars,
(i) the Political-Security Community,
(ii) Economic Community and
(iii) Socio-Cultural Community.
Every year following the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, ASEAN holds its Post-Ministerial Conference (PMC) to which the Secretary of State is invited. In 1994, ASEAN took the lead in establishing the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which now has27 members.
AIM OF( ASEAN) ASSOICATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
1)To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavors in the spirit of equality and partnership in order to strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations;
2)To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries of the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter;
3)To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields;
4)To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational, professional, technical and administrative spheres;
5)To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilization of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade, including the study of the problems of international commodity trade, the improvement of their transportation and communications facilities and the raising of the living standards of their peoples;
6)To promote Southeast Asian studies; and
7)To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations with similar aims and purposes, and explore all avenues for even closer cooperation among themselves.
Purpose of ASEAN;
ASEAN’s purpose is to Forma common market similar to the European Union. The ASEAN Economic Community was established in 2015.Itis working toward free movement of goods and services, investment and capital, as well as skilled labor.
It also creates common standards in agriculture and financial services, intellectual property rights, and consumer protection. These are all necessary to attract foreign direct investment and promote growth. AEC(ASEAN Economic Community)has identified 611 measures it must implement to achieve its goals
Objectives of ASEAN:
The ASEAN nations came together with three main objectives in mind:
i)To promote the economic, social and cultural development of the region through cooperative programmers
ii)To safeguard the political and economic stability of the region against big power rivalry; and
iii)To serve as a forum for the resolution of intra-regional differences.
Activities of ASEAN:
ASEAN and its Member States reaffirm and adhere to the fundamental principles contained in the declarations agreements, conventions, concords, treaties and other instruments of ASEAN.ASEAN and its Member States shall act in accordance with the following Principles:
i)Respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and national identity of all ASEAN Member States;
ii)Shared commitment and collective responsibility in enhancing regional peace, security and prosperity;
iii)Renunciation of aggression and of the threat or use of force or other actions in any manner inconsistent with international law;
iv)Reliance on peaceful settlement of disputes
;v)Non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN Member States;
vi)Respect for the right of every Member State to lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion and coercion;
vii)Enhanced consultations on matters seriously affecting the common interest of ASEAN
viii)Respect for fundamental freedoms, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the promotion of social justice;
ix)Up holding the United Nations Charter and international law, including international humanitarian law, subscribed to by ASEAN Member States;
x)Abstention from participation in any policy or activity, including the use of its territory, pursued by any ASEAN Member State or non-ASEAN State or any non-State actor, which threatens the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political and economic stability of ASEAN Member States;
xi)Respect for the different cultures, languages and religions of the peoples of ASEAN, while emphasizing their common values in the spirit of unity in diversity.
Contribution of ASEAN:
i)Cooperation in Industrial Development,
ii)Cooperation in Finance and Banking,
iii)Cooperation in Investment,
iv)Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry,
v)Cooperation in Minerals,
vi)Cooperation in Energy,
vii)Cooperation in Transportation and Communications,
viii)Cooperation in Tourism,
ix)Cooperation in Services,
x)Cooperation in Intellectual Property, Private Sector.
ASEAN+3 is the term that refers to the countries of ASEAN plus China, Japan, and South Korea. Twas formed in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
The East Asia Vision Group was formed to create a vision for cooperation among all 13 countries to prevent another crisis from happening again.
Each year, ASEAN holds a summit hosted by one of its members. In 2010, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared atthe2010 ASEAN Summit that the freedom of navigation through the Sea was of national interest. Many fear that rivalry over competing claims in the South China Sea could lead to armed conflict in the region.
On February 15, 2016, President Barack Obama held a historic U.S.-ASEAN Summit. He pledged U.S. support for ASEAN rights in the South China Sea .On June 23, 2019,Bangkok hosted the 34th summit. The ASEAN leaders asked the United States and China to resolve their trade war.
They warned that U.S protectionism is not good for them or international trade in general. The trade war is a key tool in President Donald Trump’s economic policies. Members continue to be concerned about China’s threat to ASEAN countries’ maritime rights in the South China Sea.
China has been extending its reach by building islands. The South China Sea runs right through ASEAN’s territory. It is a hotly contested group of tiny islands that get 15 million barrels of oil per day and 4.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. It is also one of the richest fisheries in the world.
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Most important to the United States is the South China shipping lane. Through it goes half of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage .In addition, one-third of the world’s crude oil is also shipped through the Sea.