The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional grouping which promotes economic, political, and security cooperation among its members. It was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
The ASEAN Community is comprised of three pillars, the Political-Security Community, Economic Community and Socio-Cultural Community. ASEAN work with a motto of “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”. The group was expanded by adding 5 more nations which are Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam. Cambodia was the last added member of the group in 1999.
Currently ASEAN has ten members :
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR , Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.
ASEAN Headquarter : Jakarta, Indonesia
ASEAN was basically established in order to:
1. To promote the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavors in the spirit of equality and partnership in order to strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations.
2. To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries of the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
3. To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields.
4. To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational, professional, technical and administrative spheres.
5. To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilization of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade, including the study of the problems of international commodity trade, the improvement of their transportation and communications facilities and the raising of the living standards of their peoples.
6.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.
In 1976 a Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia was signed by the ASEAN member states to adopt some of the fundamental principles:
1.Mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity, and national identity of all nations.
2.The right of every State to lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion or coercion.
3.Non-interference in the internal affairs of one another.
4.Settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful manner.
The ASEAN Vision 2020, adopted by the ASEAN Leaders on the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN, agreed on a shared vision of ASEAN as a concert of Southeast Asian nations, outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies.
The 28th and 29th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit was held in Vientiane, Laos from 6th to 8th September 2016. Prime Minister of the Lao PDR H.E. Thongloun Sisoulith was Chairperson of the summit. The theme of the summit was “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community”.
ASEAN 2017 will be hosted by Philippines with a theme of :
“Partnering for change, engaging the world” – a reference to Duterte’s campaign slogan “change is coming.”
India - ASEAN Relation
For India ASEAN is a major boost for India’s look east policy and promoting its market to the eastern world. The ASEAN-India Free Trade Area has been completed with the entering into force of the ASEAN-India Agreements on Trade in Service and Investments on 1 July 2015. India is working with ASEAN group on different projects in the fields of Agriculture, Science & Technology, Space, Environment & Climate Change, Human Resource Development, Capacity Building, New and Renewable Energy, Tourism, People-to-People contacts and Connectivity etc. The 8th edition of Delhi Dialogue is being hosted by the MEA in partnership with IDSA, FICCI and other select Indian and ASEAN partners on 17-19 February 2016 in New Delhi. DD VIII has 'ASEAN-India Relations: A New Paradigm' as its theme and includes an Inaugural Business Session, a Ministerial Session, and an Academic session.
For India ASEAN is not only important for the economic purpose but also a one of the platform from where India can counter the influence of china. China is growing at a rapid pace and coordination of china with Pakistan is really a great threat for the India so in order to counter the increasing pace of china ASEAN can play a crucial role for India. South china sea dispute with Philippines and involvement of Indian company for oil exploration in the south china sea can be seen as an important point with respect of India's increasing relation with some of the ASEAN members. India can be benefited with the involvement of ASEAN members through bilateral talks and proper utilization of International organizations.