The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten member states in Southeast Asia. It was formed on August 8, 1967, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (also known as the Bangkok Declaration) by Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. The organization has since expanded to include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and Vietnam.
The primary objectives of ASEAN are to promote regional peace and stability, foster cooperation and mutual assistance among member states, enhance economic growth, and promote social progress and cultural development in the region. ASEAN operates on the principles of consensus, non-interference in internal affairs, and mutual respect for sovereignty.
The organization works through various mechanisms, including regular meetings of heads of state and government, ministerial meetings, sectoral bodies, and working groups. ASEAN has established three pillars of cooperation: the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community, and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.
Over the years, ASEAN has made significant progress in regional integration, economic liberalization, and cooperation. It has implemented measures to enhance trade, investment, and connectivity among member states. ASEAN also engages in dialogue and cooperation with external partners, including dialogue partners such as China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.
ASEAN plays a vital role in addressing regional challenges, promoting peace and stability, and fostering economic development in Southeast Asia. It serves as a platform for member states to engage in diplomatic dialogue, resolve disputes, and pursue common goals for the benefit of the region as a whole.
Moreover, in a statement of 11 November 2022, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed in principle to admit East Timor into ASEAN, becoming the 11th member.
According to Wikipedia