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ASEAN: The Association of South-East Asian Nation

The Association of South-East Asian Nations, or ASEAN, is a political and economic organisation that was established on August 8, 1967, in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration).

When individualism and closed economies were the norms in Asia in the mid-1960s, the South-East Asian countries were among the first to recognise the benefits of cooperation and were instrumental in the formation of ASEAN.

South-East Asia has reaped the rewards of its openness and foresight, though no one anticipated the magnitude of the benefits. All paths now appear to lead through ASEAN, which has benefited greatly from strong ties within and among its neighbours.


  • In order to create a prosperous and peaceful community, Southeast Asian nations must accelerate their economic growth, social progress, and cultural development.

  • Upholding the rule of law and adhering to the principles of the United Nations Charter to promote regional peace and stability.

  • Encourage active cooperation and mutual aid in areas of common economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific, and administrative interest.

  • To work together more effectively to maximise agricultural and industrial utilisation, expand trade, improve transportation and communication infrastructure, and raise people's living standards.

  • To advance Southeast Asian research.

  • Maintaining strong, mutually beneficial relationships with established international and regional organisations

Look East Policy

India's Look East Policy launched a new era of political, strategic, and economic cooperation between India and Southeast Asia.

The policy resulted in increased cooperation across the board, from comprehensive economic cooperation to terrorism prevention and maritime security in the region.

India's Look East Policy, which emphasises the importance of countries to India's east, such as Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific Island States, is a central tenet of its foreign policy.

As a result, India's policy has emphasised the importance of ASEAN in forming the East Asia community, which currently includes ten members: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

Organizational Structure

The chairmanship of ASEAN changes every year, based on the alphabetical order of member states' English names.

Summit: The Summit, as ASEAN's highest level of authority, sets the tone for the organization's policies and goals.

The Summit is required by the Charter to meet twice a year.

ASEAN Councils

The Charter established four new ministerial bodies to assist the Summit.

  • Coordinating Council of ASEAN (ACC)

  • ASEAN Political-Security Community Council

  • ASEAN Economic Community Council

  • ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council

Consultation and consensus are the most common modes of decision-making in ASEAN.

ASEAN X: The Charter, on the other hand, enshrines this principle, which states that if all member states agree, a formula for flexible participation can be used so that those who are ready can go ahead, while those who need more time can use a flexible timeline.

ASEAN Regional Forum

The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was founded in 1993 to promote regional cooperation on political and security issues, as well as regional confidence-building and preventive diplomacy.

ASEAN Plus three is a consultative group, founded in 1997, brings together ASEAN's ten members, as well as China, Japan, and South Korea.

East Asia Summit

It was founded in 2005 with the goal of promoting regional security and prosperity.

The heads of state of ASEAN, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, and the United States are usually present. The role of ASEAN in setting the agenda is crucial.


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