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Introduction of ASEAN

Establishment of ASEAN

1. Name Association of Southeast Asian Nations
2.  Establishment On August 8, 1967 in Bangkok
3. Basis of Establishment Declaration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(Bangkok Declaration)
4. Membership Membership Map
(1)Original members
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand

(2)New members
Brunei Darussalam (January 8, 1984)
Vietnam (July 28, 1995)
Laos and Myanmar (July 23, 1997)
Cambodia (April 30, 1999)

*Member States join the followings :
●Bangkok Declaration
●Declaration of the ASEAN Concord
●Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Southeast Asia
●Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) Declaration
●Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ)
●Agreement on the Establishment of the ASEAN Secretariat

5. Objectives (1)Accelerating the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region.

(2)Promoting political and economic stability in the region.

(3)Resolving various issues in the region.

6. Background (1) Before the establishment of ASEAN, Southeast Asia had the Association of Southeast Asia (ASA), formed in 1961 by Thailand, the Philippines and the Federation of Malaya under the initiative of the then Prime Minister Rahman of Malaya.

(2) The Vietnam War encouraged active regional cooperation. While the ASA remained dormant due to the political disputes between member nations, there emerged a fresh movement to form a new regional body encompassing Indonesia and Singapore as well.

(3) On August 5, 1967, foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand gathered in Bangkok. On August 8, they adopted the Bangkok Declaration, declaring the establishment of ASEAN. This dissolved the previous ASA.

7. Formation of the ASEAN 10 (1) The 1967 Bangkok Declaration stipulated that ASEAN was open to all Southeast Asian countries. Yet, it specified no particular procedures for membership expansion that can be applied for the formation of the ASEAN 10.

(2) In November 1971, foreign ministers from member states met and adopted the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality Declaration, in view of new situations surrounding the region, including the U.S. policy to scale down its Asian presence based on the Nixon Doctrine, President Nixon’s visit to China and China’s membership in the United Nations. The Declaration states that ASEAN nations “are determined to exert initially necessary efforts to secure the recognition of, and respect for, Southeast Asia as a Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality, free from any form or manner of interference by outside Powers”.

(3) Following the January 1973 signing of the Vietnam Peace Accord, foreign ministers from ASEAN nations met in February to discuss the region’s post-Vietnam peace and stability as well as regional cooperation led by ASEAN. They embraced the “ASEAN 10” vision and expressed support for the redevelopment of Indochina.

(4) In February 1976, leaders of ASEAN nations met for the first summit talks. The meeting expressed ASEAN’s readiness to establish friendly ties with Indo-Chinese nations, and emphasized its openness toward them as expressed in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia adopted in the meeting.

(5) Following its full independence from British rule in 1984, Brunei Darussalam joined ASEAN on January 8 of that year as the sixth member of ASEAN.

(6) In the late 1980s, Southeast Asia regained its regional stability and made remarkable economic development, following the end to the Cold War, full withdrawal of Vietnamese troops from Cambodia and the signing of Cambodian peace accord. With regional stability, prominent economic growth and intra-region cooperation, ASEAN exercised active diplomatic initiatives such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and promoted intra-region cooperation as seen in the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) agreement. Amidst the regional stability and prosperity, Vietnam ended its previous confrontation and joined ASEAN as its seventh member on July 28, 1995.

(7) In December 1995, leaders of 10 Southeast Asian countries held a summit talk for the first time in Bangkok. The Bangkok Summit Declaration states that “ASEAN shall work towards the speedy realization of an ASEAN comprising all Southeast Asian countries”.

(8) In the informal meeting of ASEAN leaders in November 1996, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar were unofficially accepted into ASEAN, although the date of the formal joining was left undecided.
In July 1997, military clashes developed in Cambodia, suspending the country’s entry to ASEAN. Laos and Myanmar, on the other hand, formally joined ASEAN as the eighth and ninth members.
In December 1998, the ASEAN Summit meeting formally approved Cambodia’s membership with ASEAN. The nation joined ASEAN on April 30, 1999, which completed the vision of the “ASEAN 10”, covering all Southeast Asian nations, after over 30 years of ASEAN history.