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What is ASEAN?

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 13:36 IST

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a political and economic organisation of countries located in Southeast Asia.

It was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member Countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. 

Brunei Darussalam joined on 8 January 1984, Vietnam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999.

The ASEAN region has a population of about 500 million, a total area of 4.5 million square kilometers, a combined gross domestic product of almost US$ 700 billion, and a total trade of about US$ 850 billion.

Objectives

The ASEAN Declaration states that the aims and purposes of the Association are:

• To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and;

• To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries in the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.

The ASEAN Vision 2020, adopted by the ASEAN Leaders on the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN, agreed on a shared vision of ASEAN as a concert of Southeast Asian nations, outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies.

In 2003, the ASEAN Leaders resolved that an ASEAN Community shall be established comprising three pillars, namely, ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

Members

Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam

Fundamental principles

ASEAN Member Countries have adopted the following fundamental principles in their relations with one another, as contained in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC):

Mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity, and national identity of all nations;

The right of every State to lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion or coercion;

Non-interference in the internal affairs of one another;

Settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful manner;

Renunciation of the threat or use of force; and

Effective cooperation among themselves.

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