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Thursday, May 1, 2014

The ASEAN Declaration (In my own words) Part 2

Part 2 of The ASEAN Declaration looks at the what was actually declared on August 8th, 1967 with the very first point being...."ASEAN is established."

Point number 2 was a bit more detailed with 7 different aims and purposes of ASEAN.

  1. ASEAN wanted what every country wants which is to peacefully accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development. However, different from just one country, they wanted to start this with the combined efforts of the original 5 countries which are Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore also know as TI-PMS. Remember, at the time, peace was a concept that seemed foreign to this part of the world. 
  2. Peace was so important, it is mentioned again but this time in the framework of the already established United Nations Charter. Respect for justice and the rule of law between the ASEAN founding fathers seemed like the only way to promote regional peace and stability. This definitely falls under more of an aim than a purpose. However, whoever had the power, made the laws and this was extremely evident over the following years in the Philippines with the 21 year reign of Ferdinand Marcos.
  3. Promoting collaboration and mutual assistance in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields opened the doors for all the progress that was made at the summits after this event. I think these were long range plans they wanted to tackle in the long run. Seems like the first 10 years they spent learning to trust each other.
  4. Promises to help each other in the form of training and research facilities in education, professional, technical and admin areas. At this point in time, these areas seem like seeds for the Asean University Network (www.aunsec.org) as well as some of the current agreements they have in trade in services. 
  5. To work together better to get more output of their agriculture and industries (zero tariffs), expansion of trade, reduce barriers to trade and improve infrastructure in order to move products from one country to the next.
  6. To promote South-East Asian studies is a good one because I think most Thai people don't have a clue about their history unless they lived through it. In the USA or Europe, most people can tell you the date their country became a nation. Not in Thailand. However, I'm not sure if this is the case across ASEAN. 
  7. This had to do with  create agreements with other countries like the did with ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+6. 
The third point laid out a schedule of when meetings would happen and who would chair it. It also laid out the reason to create teams of people working on similar projects such as agriculture or tourism. 

The fourth point made it possible for other countries in Southeast Asia to join ASEAN. Later Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam joined ASEAN.

The fifth point said we are making this agreement because we want this and we will make this happen for the good of everyone in ASEAN.

After this, the document was dated  and signed by TI-PMS and ASEAN was born. 

Thanks for reading