On 30 April 1999, Cambodia became the tenth and, for the time being, final member of ASEAN. For ASEAN, Cambodia’s membership was a delayed completion of the ASEAN-10 vision; for Cambodia, joining ASEAN was an opportunity and a symbol that the country would irrevocably leave behind an isolationism. Accession had immense political, societal and economic implications for both the country and the region.
As the ASEAN family celebrates the 20th anniversary of this momentous accession, this RSIS seminar will examine the reciprocal impact membership expansion had on both Cambodia and ASEAN itself. How did ASEAN membership change Cambodian politics, its economy, its society and its foreign relations? And vice versa, what impact did it have on the Association? This seminar will discuss the economic and political implications for Cambodia as well as the difficulties and controversies its membership caused to the rest of ASEAN.
About the Speaker
Dr Chheang Vannarith is President of the Asian Vision Institute (AVI), an independent think tank in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Vannarith has over a decade of experience in public policy analysis and government relations. He is a geopolitical and multilateralism expert, with a focus on Southeast Asia. Vannarith is also an Adjunct Lecturer at Nanyang Technological University’s School of Social Sciences and previously served, inter alia, as Visiting Fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, China Institute of International Studies (2016), East-West Center in the United States (2010) and was the Southeast Asia Consultant at The Nippon Foundation in Japan. He was also the Executive Director of Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (2009-2013) and Technical Advisor to the Cambodian National Assembly and Assistant to Cambodia’s Defence Minister. He received his BA in International Relations from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in 2002, MA in International Relations from the International University of Japan in 2006, and PhD in Asia Pacific Studies from the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in 2009.
About the RSIS Seminar Series on Multilateralism Studies: “ASEAN and the CLMV States”
In 2019, 20 years since the – for the time being – final Southeast Asian country joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Centre for Multilateralism Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) is hosting a series of four seminars assessing the impact of ASEAN membership expansion on a country specific case-by-case basis. The goal is to gauge the impact of ASEAN membership on each one of the CLMV countries and vice versa. In what multifaceted ways did ASEAN membership change the countries, and how did their accession change the Association, its development and future prospects – those are the questions we are trying to answer over the course of the Seminars.