David Y.K. Kwok


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”) was established in 1967. The founding members of ASEAN are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Five other countries have since joined ASEAN, including Brunei, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. Today, ASEAN represents a strong economic organization which has Gross Domestic Product ranking top ten in the world. As to why the founding members decided to establish such an organization, Piris and Woon take the view that it was for the purpose of combating communism during the 1960s. In 2007, a milestone event for ASEAN was the adoption of the ASEAN Charter (“the Charter”). The Charter is ASEAN’s Constitution. According to the Charter, some of the purposes of this organization are “to maintain and enhance peace, security and … to promote ASEAN identity … to create a single market and production base …” There are a number of underlying principles including “respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and national identity of all ASEAN Member States …” The Charter also sets up a number of bureaucratic structures within ASEAN such as the ASEAN Summit, the ASEAN Coordinating Council, the ASEAN Community Councils,



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