The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)… a regional organization to improve security and economy was founded with sports shirts | Encyclopedia

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a political and economic organization, and it is the seventh largest economy in the world. It was established in Bangkok in 1967 with the aim of cooperation between member countries in the economic, social, cultural, technical and educational fields, and to promote regional peace and stability in the region.

The association was first established by 5 countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, and later joined by the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, Myanmar and Vietnam, and aims to accelerate the growth of member countries , to avoid armed gunmen. conflicts, and establish a free trade zone.

Origin and settlement

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) laid its foundations on August 8, 1967 in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, where the foreign ministers of 5 countries met to sign the Bangkok Declaration From the Philippines, Rajaratnam of Singapore and Thanat Khuman of Thailand.

The idea started when Thailand mediated reconciliation between Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia due to some disputes, and during the reconciliation meeting, the countries saw the need for regional cooperation among them, as the Prime Minister of Thailand Khoman the Prime Minister of Indonesia Adam suggested. Malik with the idea of ​​forming a cooperative organization, and Malik reluctantly agreed and asked to talk to his government before announcing normalization with Malaysia.

Accordingly, Thailand began preparing a draft charter for the new institution, and it took several months to prepare it. It then called Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia to a meeting in Bangkok, and Singapore sent its foreign minister, Rajaratnam, to study the possibility of the country joining the new formation.

In early August 1967, the foreign ministers spent 4 days in the coastal town of Pang Saen, less than 100 km southeast of Bangkok, where they negotiated that document in an informal manner, later called “sport shirt diplomacy”. They have the terms of the document while you are playing golf.

And after a while, Indonesia fully restored its diplomatic relations with Malaysia, and soon after with Singapore, but differences broke out between the Philippines and Malaysia over the issue of sovereignty over the city of Sabah.

Bangkok Declaration

Under the Bangkok Declaration document, which contained 5 articles, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations emerged, whose goals revolved around cooperation between member states in economic, social, cultural, technical, educational and other fields.

In addition to promoting regional peace and stability by respecting justice, the rule of law and the observance of the principles of the United Nations Charter, the document also stated that the Association is open to the participation of all countries in the Southeast Asian region.

The countries declared that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations represents the collective will of the countries of Southeast Asia, and the common efforts and sacrifices among them to build a relationship of friendship and cooperation, using natural resources and human power, the preservation of the independence of states and non-interference in their internal policies, in order to ensure peace, freedom and prosperity for the human region and its future generations.

The ministers agreed that in order to achieve the desired goals, countries must free themselves from material obstacles represented in ignorance, disease and hunger, and that this cannot be achieved through individual action. They formulated security considerations as follows:

  • Resolving disputes peacefully.
  • Non-interference in the internal affairs of member states.
  • Respect for independence and territorial integrity.
  • Refrain from seeking help from external powers to intervene in the region’s conflicts.

Association objectives:

  • Accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development of the Association’s members.
  • Promotion of regional peace and stability by committing to respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship between the countries of the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
  • Promote active cooperation and mutual assistance on issues of common interest in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields.
  • Providing assistance to member states in the fields of education, research, technology and professions.
  • Cooperation to encourage growth in the sectors of agriculture, industry and commerce to raise the living standards of the people of the Association.
  • Maintain close and beneficial cooperation with international and regional organizations with similar goals and purposes, and explore all possible avenues for closer cooperation with them.

obligations of member states

Political: (supervised by the Political Council of the League)

  • Adherence to mutual interests and interdependence among the peoples of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
  • Focus on common goals and destination.
  • Member States shall take all necessary measures, including the enactment of appropriate domestic legislation, to effectively implement the provisions of the Act.
  • Compliance with all membership obligations.
  • Commitment to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance.
  • Respect, protect and promote human rights.
  • Adherence to peace-oriented values.
  • Work to rid Southeast Asia of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.
  • Shared commitment and collective responsibility to promote regional peace, security and prosperity.
  • Promote consultations on matters seriously affecting the common interest of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Economic (supervised by the Economic Council)

  • economic integration.
  • Comply with the rules of multilateral trade.
  • Work to remove all obstacles to regional economic integration.

social (supervised by the socio-cultural council)

  • People central to the ASEAN community building process?
  • Work to strengthen the people-oriented Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in which all sectors of society are encouraged to participate in the Association’s integration process and build and benefit from local communities.


The ASEAN Summit is the highest policy-making body of the association, bringing together the heads of state and government of the member countries.

The Summit of Heads of State and Government of the League is held twice a year, and a special summit can be held when necessary, and it can be held outside the region for renewal.

The General Secretariat is the central body of the League, and the Secretary-General selects a magazine from the member countries in alphabetical order every 3 years, and the Secretary-General has two deputies, who are allowed to work for 3 years.

The Association also consists of a coordinating council of the ministers of foreign affairs of the member countries, which prepares for the summit conference, implements the conference’s agreements and decisions, and the ministers meet annually periodically, and 3 councils emerge from it: the political, the economic, and the socio-cultural.

There is also a Committee of Permanent Representatives, consisting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country hosting the meeting and ambassadors of member countries, and its headquarters are in Jakarta.

In addition to 5 committees managed by the ministers of economic affairs, namely: trade and tourism, industry and mining, energy and transport, finance and banking, food, agriculture and forests.

In addition to other special committees, including the Permanent Representatives Committee, the Culture and Information Committee, the Science and Technology Committee, the Development Committee and the Human Rights Commission of the League.

There is a legal team consisting of 10 high-level experts from each member state, which follows all legal issues arising from the Charter, including the legal personality of the Association, dispute resolution, privileges and immunities.

The most prominent stations:

  • In the early nineties of the last century, the Association decided to strengthen cooperation with the major economies in Asia, and it was known as “ASEAN 3”, and it included China, Japan and South Korea.
  • The association took a legally binding approach and established several treaties. Including the 1976 Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and the 1995 Treaty on the Establishment of a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone in Southeast Asia.
  • The first ASEAN Summit was held on February 23-24, 1976 in Bali, Indonesia, and the members signed the ASEAN Treaty.
  • The General Secretariat was established in 1976 in Jakarta, Indonesia, and special committees in the industrial, mining and energy fields were formed in 1977.
  • Brunei Darussalam joined on 7 January 1984, Vietnam on 28 July 1995, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar on 23 July 1997 and Cambodia on 30 April 1999.
  • On 15 December 2008, the ASEAN Charter entered into force, and the association began to operate under a new legal framework.
  • Singapore was the first to ratify the Charter with the ASEAN Secretary-General on 7 January 2008; The last one was on November 15, 2008 in Thailand.


The original logo started with 5 bundles of brown rice sticks, symbolizing the founding countries, with the word ASEAN in blue, surrounded by a yellow background.

On the 30th anniversary of the founding of the association in 1997, the rice sheaves on the logo increased to 10 with the accession of the rest of the countries, and the color of the logo changed to reflect the colors of the member countries’ flags. to close , so that blue symbolized peace and stability, red symbolized courage and dynamism, white symbolized purity and yellow symbolized prosperity. The circle containing the rice bundles means the binding unit.

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