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ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967, through the signing of the Bangkok Declaration (ASEAN Declaration) by the five founding members of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Later in 1984, Brunei Darussalam be part of this regional family followed by Vietnam (1995), Lao PDR and Myanmar (1997) as well as Cambodia (1999). This has raised the number of ASEAN Member States to 10 countries.

The purposes of ASEAN, as stated in the ASEAN Charter, include among others;

  • To maintain and enhance peace, security and stability and further strengthen peace-oriented values in the region;
  • To enhance regional resilience by promoting greater political, security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation;
  • To ensure that the peoples and Member States of ASEAN live in peace with the world at large in a just, democratic and harmonious environment;
  • To alleviate poverty and narrow the development gap within ASEAN through mutual assistance and cooperation;
  • To strengthen democracy, enhance good governance and the rule of law, and to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, with due regards to the rights and responsibilities of the Member State of ASEAN;
  • To develop human resources through closer cooperation in education and life-long learning, and in science and technology, for the empowerment of the peoples of ASEAN and for the strengthening of the ASEAN Community;
  • To enhance the well-being and livelihood of the peoples of ASEAN by providing them with equitable access to opportunities for human development, social welfare and justice;
  • To promote a people-oriented ASEAN in which all sectors of society are encouraged to participate in, and benefit from, the process of ASEAN integration and community building; and
  • To promote an ASEAN identity through the fostering of greater awareness of the diverse culture and heritage of the region.


The ASEAN Charter came into effect in 2008 and has therefore provided legal status and institutional framework for ASEAN. Codifying ASEAN norms, rules and values, the Charter also ensures accountability and compliance and sets clear targets for ASEAN.

ASEAN has committed itself to establish an ASEAN Community by 2015, and has adopted a Roadmap towards the ASEAN Community 2015. This Community will be supported by the three Community Pillars, along with their respective Blueprints. They are; the ASEAN political-Security Community (APSC) Blueprint, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint, and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint. Each community has its own Community Council which coordinates the work of the different sectors under the Community Pillars.

Read 36148 times Last modified on Monday, 09 March 2015 10:46

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