The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
【Date of Establishment】
On August 7-8,1967, the Foreign Ministers of Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand and Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia met in Bangkok and issued the Bangkok Declaration, which formally proclaimed the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN in abbreviation).
【Aims and Purposes】
(1) To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavors in the spirit of equality and partnership.
(2) To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the norms governing international relations and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
(3) To promote collaboration and mutual assistance on matters in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and etc. fields.
(4) To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational, professional, technical and administration spheres.
(5) To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilization of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade including the improvement of their transportation and communication facilities and the raising of the living standards of their peoples.
(6) To promote Southeast Asian studies.
(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.
By 1999 the Association comprises 10 member countries, namely: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand as 5 original member countries. Brunei Darusalam joined ASEAN soon after it gained its independence in 1984. In 1995 Vietnam joined the Association and were followed by Myanmar and Laos in 1997. Cambodia became the 10th member of ASEAN in April 1999. The ASEAN region has a total area of 4.50 million square kilometers and total population of 530 million by 1998 statistics.
【The Organization Structure and Activities】
The structure consists of the ASEAN Summit, ASEAN Ministerial Meeting(AMM), Post-Ministerial Conference(PMC), ASEAN Standing Committee(ASC), ASEAN Economic Ministers(AEM) and other ASEAN Ministers meetings, ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Select Committees as well as a number of official and unofficial bodies. Up to 2000, ASEAN has held 6 summits and 4 informal summits. In 2001, ASEAN countries convened the seventh summit meeting in Brunei. From this meeting on, ASEAN summit meetings were no longer classified into formal ones and informal ones.
【The ASEAN Secretariat】
The ASEAN Secretariat is seated in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, which is vested with communicating information, coordinating activities of the various ASEAN bodies, explaining directives issued by ASC, providing advice to ASC as well as handling routine business under the mandate of AMM and ASC.
The Chairmanship of ASEAN Standing Committee (ASC) is held by the Foreign Minister of the country hosting the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) on the year, the office term period as one year. The Secretary-General of ASEAN (Ministerial Status) is appointed on merit and seniority with the recommendation by ASEAN member countries, the office term being two years. The current ASEAN Secretary-General is Mr. Seveniro, whose nationality is the Philippines.
The ASEAN Secretariat is in charge of editing and publishing "The Report of the ASEAN Standing Committee" and "The ASEAN Bulletin", a special web site is also established on the Internet to provide information about ASEAN and its activities.