The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Brunei Darussalam then joined on 7 January 1984, Viet Nam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999, making up what is today the ten Member States of ASEAN.
The five foreign ministers – Adam Malik of Indonesia,Narciso Ramos of the Philippines, Abdul Razak of Malaysia, S. Rajaratnam of Singapore, and Thanat Khoman of Thailand – are considered the organisation's Founding Fathers.
The motivations for the birth of ASEAN were so that its members’ governing elite could concentrate on nation building, the common fear of communism, reduced faith in or mistrust of external powers in the 1960s, and a desire for economic development.
Cambodia was to have joined together with Laos and Burma, but was deferred due to the country's internal political struggle. The country later joined on 30 April 1999, following the stabilisation of its government. Now there are ten members of ASEAN community.
As set out in the ASEAN Declaration, the aims and purposes of ASEAN are:
1. To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavours 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 organizations with similar aims and purposes, and explore all avenues for even closer cooperation among themselves.
The ASEAN Emblem shall be the official emblem of ASEAN.
- The ASEAN Emblem represents a stable, peaceful, united and dynamic ASEAN. The colours of the Emblem -- blue, red, white and yellow -- represent the main colours of the state crests of all the ASEAN Member States.
- The blue represents peace and stability. Red depicts courage and dynamism, white shows purity and yellow symbolises prosperity.
- The stalks of padi in the centre of the Emblem represent the dream of ASEAN's Founding Fathers for an ASEAN comprising all the countries in Southeast Asia, bound together in friendship and solidarity.
- The circle represents the unity of ASEAN.
- The ASEAN Emblem is the reserved copyright of ASEAN.
ASEAN has emphasised regional cooperation in the “three pillars”, which are security, sociocultural integration, and economic integration. The regional grouping has made the most progress in economic integration by creating an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.
The ASEAN Community Councils comprise Council of all the three pillars of ASEAN. Under their purview is the relevant ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies.
1. Composition of the ASEAN Political-Security Community Council
2. Composition of the ASEAN Economic Community Council
3. Composition of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council
ASEAN Political - Security Community
To build on what has been constructed over the years in the field of political and security cooperation, the ASEAN Leaders have agreed to establish the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC). The APSC shall aim to ensure that countries in the region live at peace with one another and with the world in a just, democratic and harmonious environment.
The members of the Community pledge to rely exclusively on peaceful processes in the settlement of intra-regional differences and regard their security as fundamentally linked to one another and bound by geographic location, common vision and objectives. It has the following components: political development; shaping and sharing of norms; conflict prevention; conflict resolution; post-conflict peace building; and implementing mechanisms.
The APSC Blueprint envisages ASEAN to be a rules-based Community of shared values and norms; a cohesive, peaceful, stable and resilient region with shared responsibility for comprehensive security; as well as a dynamic and outward-looking region in an increasingly integrated and interdependent world.
The APSC Blueprint is guided by the ASEAN Charter and the principles and purposes contained therein. It provides a roadmap and timetable to establish the APSC by 2015. It also leaves room for flexibility to continue programmes/activities beyond 2015 in order to retain its significance and have an enduring quality.
The APSC Blueprint was adopted by the ASEAN Leaders at the 14th ASEAN Summit on 1 March 2009 in Cha-am/Hua Hin, Thailand.
ASEAN Economic Community
The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) shall be the goal of regional economic integration by 2015. AEC envisages the following key characteristics: (a) a single market and production base, (b) a highly competitive economic region, (c) a region of equitable economic development, and (d) a region fully integrated into the global economy
The AEC areas of cooperation include human resources development and capacity building; recognition of professional qualifications; closer consultation on macroeconomic and financial policies; trade financing measures; enhanced infrastructure and communications connectivity; development of electronic transactions through e-ASEAN; integrating industries across the region to promote regional sourcing; and enhancing private sector involvement for the building of the AEC. In short, the AEC will transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital.
ASEAN Socio - Cultural
The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community aims to contribute to realising an ASEAN Community that is people-oriented and socially responsible with a view to achieving enduring solidarity and unity among the peoples and Member States of ASEAN. It seeks to forge a common identity and build a caring and sharing society which is inclusive and where the well-being, livelihood, and welfare of the peoples are enhanced.
ASCC is focused on nurturing the human, cultural and natural resources for sustained development in a harmonious and people-oriented ASEAN
ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint
The ASCC Blueprint represents the human dimension of ASEAN cooperation and upholds ASEAN commitment to address the region's aspiration to lift the quality of life of its peoples. The goals of the ASCC are envisaged to be achieved by implementing concrete and productive actions that are people-centred and socially responsible. This set of cooperative activities has been developed based on the assumption that the three pillars of the ASEAN Community are interdependent and interrelated and that linkages are imperative to ensure complementarity and unity of purpose.
The motto of ASEAN is "One Vision, One Identity, One Community".
The ASEAN Way is the official regional anthem of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The lyrics were written by PayomValaiphatchra and the music composed by KittikhunSodprasert and SampowTriudom , the winning entry out of 99 finalists from all ten Asean Nations.
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