18.1e Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
As China became communist, its neighboring countries especially those in the South East Asia were highly influenced. This led to considerable tension among these countries. Vietnam experienced a severe civil war, with one of the supporting parties being communist China. A threat was perceived that after the Communists had overrun Vietnam, they would begin a systematic invasion of the other countries of the region. This ‘Domino Theory’ spread by the Americans was caused great concern to the people in the lands of South East Asia. Hence the countries of the region decided to form an association: the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The ASEAN came into existence with the Bangkok Declaration, by the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand in 1967. Brunei joined it later in 1984.
(i) Constituent Institutions
The Ministerial Council: which comprises of the Foreign Ministers
of the member nations. They meet every year and consider issues
of common interests and formulate policies.
The Standing Committee: is in charge of conducting the regular
matters of the association. It consists of the Foreign Minister
of the country hosting the Ministerial Meeting in that particular
year along with the acknowledged ambassadors of the other
The Central Secretariat: has a Secretary General as a chief.
This designation is shared every three years by different
member nations and they assume the post in alphabetical order.
The main objectives of ASEAN are:
The enhancement of economic growth, social and cultural development
of the region.
The promotion of active collaboration and mutual assistance
among nations on matters of common interest.
Insuring the stability of the South East Asian region.
The promotion of economic co-operation and development through
trade, combined research and technological projects.
The encouragement of tourism and South East Asian studies.
The maintenance of close co-operation with other international
and regional organizations having similar aims.
Recently, there has been expressed a concern to eliminate both tariff as well as non-tariff restrictions. Further, the ASEAN countries are realizing the need for bridging the gap with the non-ASEAN nations.
18.1 Regional Organizations
18.2 International Organizations
b. The Commonwealth
18.3 Dates & Events