What is ASEAN?
- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional organization which was established to promote political and social stability amid rising tensions among the Asia-Pacific’s post-colonial states.
- The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
- 8th August is observed as ASEAN Day.
ASEAN Secretariat – Indonesia, Jakarta.
- To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations.
- To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
- To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields.
- To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilisation of agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade, the improvement of transportation and communications facilities and the raising of the living standards of peoples.
- To promote Southeast Asian studies.
- To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations.
The ASEAN fundamental principles, as contained in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) of 1976
- Mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity, and national identity of all nations.
- The right of every State to lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion or coercion.
- Non-interference in the internal affairs of one another.
- Settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful manner.
- Renunciation of the threat or use of force.
- Effective cooperation among themselves.
- Regional imbalances in the economic and social status of its individual markets.
- Gap between rich and poor ASEAN member states remains very large and they have a mixed record on income inequality.
- While Singapore boasts the highest GDP per capita—nearly $53,000 (2016), Cambodia’s per capita GDP is the lowest at less than $1,300.
- Many regional initiatives were not able to be incorporated into national plans, as the less developed countries faced resource constraints to implement the regional commitments.
- The members’ political systems are equally mixed with democracies, communist, and authoritarian states.
- While the South China Sea is the main issue exposing the organization’s rifts.
- ASEAN has been divided over major issues of human rights. For example, crackdowns in Myanmar against the Rohingyas.
- Inability to negotiate a unified approach with regards to China, particularly in response to its widespread maritime claims in the South China Sea.
- The emphasis on consensus sometimes becomes the a chief drawback – difficult problems have been avoided rather than confronted.
- There is no central mechanism to enforce compliance.
- Inefficient dispute-settlement mechanism, whether it be in the economic or political spheres.
India and ASEAN
- India’s relationship with ASEAN is a key pillar of her foreign policy and the foundation of Act East Policy.
- India has a separate Mission to ASEAN and the EAS in Jakarta.
- India and ASEAN already has 25 years of Dialogue Partnership, 15 years of Summit Level interaction and 5 years of Strategic Partnership with ASEAN.
SOURCE: THE ECONOMIC TIMES ,MINT