Association of Southeast Asian Nations
|Motto: "One Vision, One Identity, One Community""10 countries, 1 identity"|
|Anthem: "The ASEAN Way"
|Seat of Secretariat||Template:Country data Indonesia Jakarta|
|Largest city||Template:Country data Indonesia Jakarta|
|-||Secretary General||Surin Pitsuwan|
|-||Bangkok Declaration||8 August 1967|
|-||Charter||16 December 2008|
|-||Total|| 4,464,322 km2
2,772,344 sq mi
|-||2008 estimate||577 million|
|GDP (PPP)||2007 estimate|
|-||Total||US$ 3,431.2 billion|
|-||Per capita||US$ 5,962|
|GDP (nominal)||2008 estimate|
|-||Total||US$ 1,505.7 billion|
|HDI (2007)||▲ 0.742 (medium) (100th¹)|
|Time zone||ASEAN (UTC+9 to +6:30)|
|1||If considered as a single entity.|
|2||Selected key basic ASEAN indicators|
|3||Annual growth 1.6%|
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, commonly abbreviated ASEAN (generally pronounced /ˈɑːsi.ɑːn/ AH-see-ahn, occasionally /ˈɑːzi.ɑːn/ AH-zee-ahn in English, the official language of the bloc), is a geo-political and economic organisation of 10 countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, membership has expanded to include Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Its aims include the acceleration of economic growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, the protection of the peace and stability of the region, and to provide opportunities for member countries to discuss differences peacefully.
In 2005, the bloc spanned over an area of 4.46 million km2 with a combined GDP (Nominal/PPP) of about USD$896.5 billion/$2,728 billion growing at an average rate of around 5.6% per annum. Nominal GDP had grown to USD $1.4 trillion in 2008.
ASEAN was preceded by an organisation called the Association of Southeast Asia, commonly called ASA, an alliance consisting of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand that was formed in 1961. The bloc itself, however, was established on 8 August 1967, when foreign ministers of five countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand – met at the Thai Department of Foreign Affairs building in Bangkok and signed the ASEAN Declaration, more commonly known as the Bangkok Declaration. The five foreign ministers – Adam Malik of Indonesia, Narciso Ramos of the Philippines, Abdul Razak of Malaysia, S. Rajaratnam of Singapore, and Thanat Khoman of Thailand – are considered as the organisation's Founding Fathers.
The motivations for the birth of ASEAN were the desire for a stable external environment (so that its members’ governing elite could concentrate on nation building), the common fear of communism, reduced faith in or mistrust of external powers in the 1960s, as well as the aspiration for national economic development; not to mention Indonesia’s ambition to become a regional hegemon through regional cooperation and the hope on the part of Malaysia and Singapore to constrain Indonesia and bring it into a more cooperative framework. Unlike the European Union, ASEAN was designed to serve nationalism.
In 1976, the Melanesian state of Papua New Guinea was accorded observer status. Throughout the 1970s, the organisation embarked on a program of economic cooperation, following the Bali Summit of 1976. This floundered in the mid-1980s and was only revived around 1991 due to a Thai proposal for a regional free trade area. The bloc then grew when Brunei Darussalam became the sixth member after it joined on 8 January 1984, barely a week after the country became independent on 1 January.
On 21 July 1994, Vietnam became the seventh member. Laos and Burma (Myanmar) joined two years later in 23 July 1997. Cambodia was to have joined together with Laos and Myanmar, but was deferred due to the country's internal political struggle. The country later joined on 24 April 1997, following the stabilisation of its government.
During the 1990s, the bloc experienced an increase in both membership as well as in the drive for further integration. In 1990, Malaysia proposed the creation of an East Asia Economic Caucus composing the then-members of ASEAN as well as the People's Republic of China, Japan, and South Korea, with the intention of counterbalancing the growing influence of the United States in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as well as in the Asian region as a whole. This proposal, however, failed since it faced heavy opposition from Japan and the United States. Despite this failure, member states continued to work for further integration. In 1992, the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) scheme was signed as a schedule for phasing tariffs and as a goal to increase the region’s competitive advantage as a production base geared for the world market. This law would act as the framework for the ASEAN Free Trade Area. After the East Asian Financial Crisis of 1997, a revival of the Malaysian proposal was established in Chiang Mai, known as the Chiang Mai Initiative, which calls for better integration between the economies of ASEAN as well as the ASEAN Plus Three countries (China, Japan, and South Korea).
Aside from improving each member state's economies, the bloc also focused on peace and stability in the region. On 15 December 1995, the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty was signed with the intention of turning Southeast Asia into a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. The treaty took effect on 28 March 1997 after all but one of the member states have ratified it. It became fully effective on 21 June 2001, after the Philippines ratified it, effectively banning all nuclear weapons in the region.
At the turn of the 21st century, issues shifted to involve a more environmental prospective. The organisation started to discuss environmental agreements. These included the signing of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution in 2002 as an attempt to control haze pollution in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, this was unsuccessful due to the outbreaks of the 2005 Malaysian haze and the 2006 Southeast Asian haze. Other environmental treaties introduced by the organisation include the Cebu Declaration on East Asian Energy Security, the ASEAN-Wildlife Enforcement Network in 2005, and the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, both of which are responses to Global Warming and the negative effects of climate change.
Through the Bali Concord II in 2003, ASEAN has subscribed to the notion of democratic peace, which means all member countries believe democratic processes will promote regional peace and stability. Also, the non-democratic members all agreed that it was something all member states should aspire to.
The leaders of each country, particularly Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia, also felt the need to further integrate the region. Beginning in 1997, the bloc began creating organisations within its framework with the intention of achieving this goal. ASEAN Plus Three was the first of these and was created to improve existing ties with the People's Republic of China, Japan, and South Korea. This was followed by the even larger East Asia Summit, which included these countries as well as India, Australia, and New Zealand. This new grouping acted as a prerequisite for the planned East Asia Community, which was supposedly patterned after the now-defunct European Community. The ASEAN Eminent Persons Group was created to study the possible successes and failures of this policy as well as the possibility of drafting an ASEAN Charter.
In 2006, ASEAN was given observer status at the United Nations General Assembly. As a response, the organisation awarded the status of "dialogue partner" to the United Nations. Furthermore, on 23 July that year, José Ramos-Horta, then Prime Minister of East Timor, signed a formal request for membership and expected the accession process to last at least five years before the then-observer state became a full member.
In 2007, ASEAN celebrated its 40th anniversary since its inception, and 30 years of diplomatic relations with the United States. On 26 August 2007, ASEAN stated that it aims to complete all its free trade agreements with China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand by 2013, in line with the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. In November 2007 the ASEAN members signed the ASEAN Charter, a constitution governing relations among the ASEAN members and establishing ASEAN itself as an international legal entity. During the same year, the Cebu Declaration on East Asian Energy Security in Cebu on 15 January 2007, by ASEAN and the other members of the EAS (Australia, People's Republic of China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea), which promotes energy security by finding energy alternatives to conventional fuels.
On February 27, 2009 a Free Trade Agreement with the ASEAN regional block of 10 countries and New Zealand and its close partner Australia was signed, it is estimated that this FTA would boost aggregate GDP across the 12 countries by more than US$48 billion over the period 2000-2020.
In the 1960s, the push for decolonisation promoted the sovereignty of Indonesia and Malaysia among others. Since nation building is often messy and vulnerable to foreign intervention, the governing elite wanted to be free to implement independent policies with the knowledge that neighbors would refrain from interfering in their domestic affairs. Territorially small members such as Singapore and Brunei were consciously fearful of force and coercive measures from much bigger neighbors like Indonesia and Malaysia. As a result, non-interference, consensus, non-use of force and non-confrontation became the key principles of the organisation.
On the surface, the process of consultations and consensus is supposed to be a democratic approach to decision making, but the ASEAN process has been managed through close interpersonal contacts among the top leaders only, who often share a reluctance to institutionalise and legalise co-operation which can undermine their regime's control over the conduct of regional co-operation.
All of these features, namely non-interference, informality, minimal institutionalisation, consultation and consensus, non-use of force and non-confrontation have constituted what is called the ASEAN Way.
Since the late 1990s, many scholars have argued that the principle of non-interference has blunted ASEAN efforts in handling the problem of Myanmar, human rights abuses and haze pollution in the region. Meanwhile, with the consensus-based approach, every member in fact has a veto and decisions are usually reduced to the lowest common denominator. There has been a widespread belief that ASEAN members should have a less rigid view on these two cardinal principles when they wish to be seen as a cohesive and relevant community.
Apart from consultations and consensus, ASEAN’s agenda-setting and decision-making processes can be usefully understood in terms of the so-called Track I and Track II. Track I refers to the practice of diplomacy among government channels. The participants stand as representatives of their respective states and reflect the official positions of their governments during negotiations and discussions. All official decisions are made in Track I. Track II on the other hand refers to diplomatic activities that are unofficial and includes participants from both government and non-government institutions such as the academic, economic communities and NGOs. This track enables governments to discuss controversial issues and test new ideas without making official statements or binding commitments, and, if necessary, backtrack on positions.
Although Track II dialogues are sometimes cited as examples of the involvement of civil society in regional decision-making process by governments and other second track actors, NGOs have rarely got access to this track, meanwhile participants from the academic community are a dozen think-tanks. However, these think-tanks are, in most cases, very much linked to their respective governments, and dependent on government funding for their academic and policy-relevant activities. Their recommendations, especially in economic integration, are often closer to ASEAN’s decisions than the rest of civil society’s positions.
The track that acts as a forum for civil society in Southeast Asia is called Track III, which is essentially people-to-people diplomacy undertaken mainly by CSOs. Track III networks claim to represent communities and people who are largely marginalised from political power centers and unable to achieve positive change without outside assistance. This track tries to influence government policies indirectly by lobbying, generating pressure through the media. Third-track actors also organise and/or attend meetings as well as conferences to get access to Track I officials.
While Track II meetings and interactions with Track I actors have increased and intensified, rarely has the rest of civil society had the opportunity to interface with Track II. Those with Track I have been even rarer. In other words, the participation of the big majority of CSOs has been excluded from ASEAN’s agenda-setting and decision-making.
Looking at the three tracks, it is clear that until now, ASEAN has been run by government officials who, as far as ASEAN matters are concerned, are accountable only to their governments and not the people. In a lecture on the occasion of ASEAN’s 38th anniversary, the incumbent Indonesian President Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono admitted:
“All the decisions about treaties and free trade areas, about declarations and plans of action, are made by Heads of Government, ministers and senior officials. And the fact that among the masses, there is little knowledge, let alone appreciation, of the large initiatives that ASEAN is taking on their behalf.”
The organisation holds meetings, known as the ASEAN Summit, where heads of government of each member meet to discuss and resolve regional issues, as well as to conduct other meetings with other countries outside of the bloc with the intention of promoting external relations.
The ASEAN Leaders' Formal Summit was first held in Bali, Indonesia in 1976. Its third meeting was held in Manila in 1987 and during this meeting, it was decided that the leaders would meet every five years. Consequently, the fourth meeting was held in Singapore in 1992 where the leaders again agreed to meet more frequently, deciding to hold the summit every three years. In 2001, it was decided to meet annually to address urgent issues affecting the region. Member nations were assigned to be the summit host in alphabetical order except in the case of Myanmar which dropped its 2006 hosting rights in 2004 due to pressure from the United States and the European Union.
By December 2008, the ASEAN Charter came into force and with it, the ASEAN Summit will be held twice in a year.
The formal summit meets for three days. The usual itinerary is as follows:
|ASEAN Formal Summits|
|1st||23–24 February, 1976||Template:Country data Indonesia||Bali|
|2nd||4–5 August, 1977||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur|
|3rd||14–15 December, 1987||Philippines||Manila|
|4th||27‒29 January, 1992||Singapore||Singapore|
|5th||14‒15 December, 1995||Thailand||Bangkok|
|6th||15‒16 December, 1998||Vietnam||Hanoi|
|7th||5‒6 November, 2001||Brunei||Bandar Seri Begawan|
|8th||4‒5 November, 2002||Cambodia||Phnom Penh|
|9th||7‒8 October, 2003||Template:Country data Indonesia||Bali|
|10th||29‒30 November, 2004||Laos||Vientiane|
|11th||12‒14 December, 2005||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur|
|12th||11‒14 January, 20071||Philippines2||Cebu|
|13th||18‒22 November, 2007||Singapore||Singapore|
|14th3|| 27 February - 1 March, 2009|
10-11 April 2009
|Thailand|| Cha Am, Hua Hin|
|1 Postponed from 10‒14 December, 2006 due to Typhoon Seniang.|
|2 hosted the summit because Myanmar backed out due to enormous pressure from US and EU|
| 3 This summit consisted of two parts.|
The first part was moved from 12‒17 December, 2008 due to the 2008 Thai political crisis.
The second part was aborted on April 11 due to protesters entering the summit venue.
During the fifth Summit in Bangkok, the leaders decided to meet "informally" between each formal summit:
|ASEAN Informal Summits|
|1st||30 November 1996||Template:Country data Indonesia||Jakarta|
|2nd||14‒16 December, 1997||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur|
|3rd||27‒28 November, 1999||Philippines||Manila|
|4th||22‒25 November, 2000||Singapore||Singapore|
The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a pan-Asian forum held annually by the leaders of 16 countries in East Asia and the region, with ASEAN in a leadership position. The summit has discussed issues including trade, energy and security and the summit has a role in regional community building.
The members of the summit are all 10 members of ASEAN together with China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand who combined represent almost half of the world's population. Russia has applied for membership of the summit and in 2005 was a guest for the First EAS at the invitation of the host - Malaysia.
The first summit was held in Kuala Lumpur on 14 December 2005 and subsequent meetings have been held after the annual ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting.
|First EAS||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur||14 December 2005||Russia attended as a guest.|
|Second EAS||Philippines||Cebu City||15 January 2007|| Rescheduled from 13 December 2006.|
|Third EAS||Singapore||Singapore||21 November 2007|| Singapore Declaration on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment|
Agreed to establish Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia
|Fourth EAS||Thailand||Phuket||October 2009||The Summit was scheduled to be hosted by Thailand. The date and location of the venue was rescheduled several times, and then a Summit scheduled for 12 April 2009 at Pattaya, Thailand was cancelled when protesters stormed the venue. The Summit has been rescheduled for October 2009 in Phuket.|
A commemorative summit is a summit hosted by a non-ASEAN country to mark a milestone anniversary of the establishment of relations between ASEAN and the host country. The host country invites the heads of government of ASEAN member countries to discuss future cooperation and partnership.
|ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit||Template:Country data Japan||Tokyo||11, 12 December 2003||To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of relations between ASEAN and Japan. The summit was also notable as the first ASEAN summit held between ASEAN and a non-ASEAN country outside the region.|
|ASEAN-China Commemorative Summit||File:Flag of the People' China||Nanning||30, 31 October 2006||To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of relations between ASEAN and China|
|ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit||Template:Country data South Korea||Jeju-do||1, 2 June 2009||To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of relations between ASEAN and Republic of Korea|
The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) is a formal, official, multilateral dialogue in Asia Pacific region. As of July 2007, it is consisted of 27 participants. ARF objectives are to foster dialogue and consultation, and promote confidence-building and preventive diplomacy in the region. The ARF met for the first time in 1994. The current participants in the ARF are as follows: all the ASEAN members, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, the People's Republic of China, the European Union, India, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Timor-Leste, United States and Sri Lanka. The Republic of China (also known as Taiwan) has been excluded since the establishment of the ARF, and issues regarding the Taiwan Strait is neither discussed at the ARF meetings nor stated in the ARF Chairman's Statements.
Aside from the ones above, other regular meetings are also held. These include the annual ASEAN Ministerial Meeting as well as other smaller committees, such as the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center. Meetings mostly focus on specific topics, such as defense or the environment, and are attended by Ministers, instead of heads of government.
The ASEAN Plus Three is a meeting between ASEAN, China, Japan, and South Korea, and is primarily held during each ASEAN Summit.
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an informal dialogue process initiated in 1996 with the intention of strengthening cooperation between the countries of Europe and Asia, especially members of the European Union and ASEAN in particular. ASEAN, represented by its Secretariat, is one of the 45 ASEM partners. It also appoints a representative to sit on the governing board of Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), a socio-cultural organisation associated with the Meeting.
The ASEAN-Russia Summit is an annual meeting between leaders of member states and the President of Russia.
ASEAN has emphasised regional cooperation in the “three pillars” of security, sociocultural and economic integration. The regional grouping has made the most progress in economic integration, aiming to create an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015. The AEC would have a combined population of over 560 million and total trade exceeding US$ 1,400 billion.
The foundation of the AEC is the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), a common external preferential tariff scheme to promote the free flow of goods within ASEAN. The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) is an agreement by the member nations of ASEAN concerning local manufacturing in all ASEAN countries. The AFTA agreement was signed on 28 January 1992 in Singapore. When the AFTA agreement was originally signed, ASEAN had six members, namely, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Vietnam joined in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997, and Cambodia in 1999. The latecomers have not fully met the AFTA's obligations, but they are officially considered part of the AFTA as they were required to sign the agreement upon entry into ASEAN, and were given longer time frames in which to meet AFTA's tariff reduction obligations.
The ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Area (ACIA) will encourage the free flow of investment within ASEAN. The main principles of the ACIA are as follows
Full realisation of the ACIA with the removal of temporary exclusion lists in manufacturing agriculture, fisheries, forestry and mining is scheduled by 2010 for most ASEAN members and by 2015 for the CLMV (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam) countries.
An ASEAN Framework Agreement on Trade in Services was adopted at the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok in December 1995. Under AFAS, ASEAN Member States enter into successive rounds of negotiations to liberalise trade in services with the aim of submitting increasingly higher levels of commitments. The negotiations result in commitments that are set forth in schedules of specific commitments annexed to the Framework Agreement. These schedules are often referred to as packages of services commitments. At present, ASEAN has concluded seven packages of commitments under AFAS.
The ASEAN Single Aviation Market (SAM), proposed by the ASEAN Air Transport Working Group, supported by the ASEAN Senior Transport Officials Meeting, and endorsed by the ASEAN Transport Ministers, will introduce an open-sky arrangement to the region by 2015. The ASEAN SAM will be expected to fully liberalise air travel between its member states, allowing ASEAN to directly benefit from the growth in air travel around the world, and also freeing up tourism, trade, investment and services flows between member states. Beginning 1 December 2008, restrictions on the third and fourth freedoms of the air between capital cities of member states for air passengers services will be removed, while from 1 January 2009, there will be full liberalisation of air freight services in the region, while By 1 January 2011, there will be liberalisation of fifth freedom traffic rights between all capital cities.
ASEAN has concluded free trade agreements with China, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, it is currently negotiating free trade agreement with India (conclusion expected in April 2009) and with the European Union. Taiwan has also expressed interest in an agreement with ASEAN but needs to overcome diplomatic objections from China.
On 15 December 2008 the members of ASEAN met in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to launch a charter, signed in November 2007, with the aim of moving closer to "an EU-style community". The charter turns ASEAN into a legal entity and aims to create a single free-trade area for the region encompassing 500 million people. President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated that "This is a momentous development when ASEAN is consolidating, integrating and transforming itself into a community. It is achieved while ASEAN seeks a more vigorous role in Asian and global affairs at a time when the international system is experiencing a seismic shift," he added, referring to climate change and economic upheaval. Southeast Asia is no longer the bitterly divided, war-torn region it was in the 1960s and 1970s." The charter's aims included:
However, the ongoing global financial crisis was stated as being a threat to the goals envisioned by the charter, and also set forth the idea of a proposed human rights body to be discussed at a future summit in February 2009. This proposition caused controversy, as the body would not have the power to impose sanctions or punish countries who violate citizens' rights and would therefore be limited in effectiveness.
The organisation hosts cultural activities in an attempt to further integrate the region. These include sports and educational activities as well as writing awards. Examples of these include the ASEAN University Network, the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, the ASEAN Outstanding Scientist and Technologist Award, and the Singapore-sponsored ASEAN Scholarship.
The S.E.A. Write Award is a literary award given to Southeast Asian poets and writers annually since 1979. The award is either given for a specific work or as a recognition of an author's lifetime achievement. Works that are honored vary and have included poetry, short stories, novels, plays, folklore as well as scholarly and religious works. Ceremonies are held in Bangkok and are presided by a member of the Thai royal family.
ASAIHL or the Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning is a non-governmental organisation founded in 1956 that strives to strengthen higher learning institutions, espescially in teaching, research, and public service, with the intention of cultivating a sense of regional identity and interdependence.
ASEAN Heritage Parks is a list of nature parks launched 1984 and relaunched in 2004. It aims to protect the region's natural treasures. There are now 35 such protected areas, including the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park and the Kinabalu National Park.
|ASEAN Heritage Sites|
|Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park||Myanmar||Ao Phang-nga Marine National Park||Thailand|
|Apo Natural Park||Philippines||Ba Be National Park||Vietnam|
|Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park||Template:Country data Indonesia||Gunung Leuser National Park||Template:Country data Indonesia|
|Gunung Mulu National Park||Malaysia||Ha Long Bay||Vietnam|
|Hoang Lien Sa Pa National Park||Vietnam||Iglit-Baco National Park||Philippines|
|Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary||Myanmar||Inlé Lake Wildlife Sanctuary||Myanmar|
|Kaeng Krachan National Park||Thailand||Kerinci Seblat National Park||Template:Country data Indonesia|
|Khakaborazi National Park||Myanmar||Khao Yai National Park||Thailand|
|Kinabalu National Park||Malaysia||Komodo National Park||Template:Country data Indonesia|
|Kon Ka Kinh National Park||Vietnam||Lampi Marine National Park||Myanmar|
|Lorentz National Park||Template:Country data Indonesia||Meinmhala Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary||Myanmar|
|Mu Ko Surin-Mu Ko Similan Marine National Park||Thailand||Nam Ha Protected Area||Laos|
|Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park||Vietnam||Preah Monivong (Bokor) National Park||Cambodia|
|Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park||Philippines||Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve||Singapore|
|Taman Negara National Park||Malaysia||Tarutao Marine National Park||Thailand|
|Tasek Merimbun Wildlife Sanctuary||Brunei||Thung Yai-Huay Kha Khaeng National Park||Thailand|
|Tubbataha Reef Marine Park||Philippines||Ujung Kulon National Park||Template:Country data Indonesia|
|Virachey National Park||Cambodia||Keraton Yogyakarta||Template:Country data Indonesia|
The ASEAN Scholarship is a scholarship program offered by Singapore to the 9 other member states for secondary school, junior college, and university education. It covers accommodation, food, medical benefits & accident insurance, school fees, and examination fees.
The ASEAN University Network (AUN) is a consortium of Southeast Asian universities. It was originally founded in November 1995 by 11 universities within the member states. Currently AUN comprises 21 Participating Universities.
The Southeast Asian Games, commonly known as the SEA Games, is a biennial multi-sport event involving participants from the current 11 countries of Southeast Asia. The games is under regulation of the Southeast Asian Games Federation with supervision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Council of Asia.
The ASEAN Para Games is a biennial multi-sport event held after every Southeast Asian Games for athletes with physical disabilities. The games are participated by the 11 countries located in Southeast Asia. The Games, patterned after the Paralympic Games, are played by physically-challenged athletes with mobility disabilities, visual disabilities, who are amputees and those with cerebral palsy.
The FESPIC Games, also known as the Far East and South Pacific Games for the persons with disability, was the biggest multi-sports games in Asia and South Pacific region. The FESPIC Games were held nine times and bowed out, a success in December 2006 in the 9th FESPIC Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Games re-emerges as the 2010 Asian Para Games in Guangzhou, China. The 2010 Asian Para Games will debut shortly after the conclusion of the 16th Asian Games, using the same facilities and venue made disability-accessible. The inaugural Asian Para Games, the parallel event for athletes with physical disabilities, is a multi-sport event held every four years after every Asian Games.
The ASEAN Football Championship is a biennial soccer competition organised by the ASEAN Football Federation, accredited by FIFA and contested by the national teams of Southeast Asia nations. It was inaugurated in 1996 as Tiger Cup, but after Asia Pacific Breweries terminated the sponsorship deal, "Tiger" was renamed "ASEAN".
Western countries have criticised ASEAN for being too soft in its approach to promoting human rights and democracy in the junta-led Myanmar. Despite global outrage at the military crack-down on peaceful protesters in Yangon, ASEAN has refused to suspend Myanmar as a member and also rejects proposals for economic sanctions. This has caused concern as the European Union, a potential trade partner, has refused to conduct free trade negotiations at a regional level for these political reasons. International observers view it as a "talk shop", which implies that the organisation is "big on words but small on action".
During the 12th ASEAN Summit in Cebu, several activist groups staged anti-globalisation and anti-Arroyo rallies. According to the activists, the agenda of economic integration would negatively affect industries in the Philippines and would cause thousands of Filipinos to lose their jobs. They also viewed the organisation as imperialistic that threatens the country's sovereignty. A human rights lawyer from New Zealand was also present to protest about the human rights situation in the region in general.
ASEAN has agreed to an ASEAN human rights body which will come into force in 2009. The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand want this body to have an enforcement capacity, however Singapore, Vietnam, Burma, Laos and Cambodia do not.