27 August 2015
Southeast Asia looks set to usher in a new era of cooperation and stability following the ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in early August. But significant challenges to regional integration remain and the risk is that ambitious claims may outstrip the capacity to deliver.
Foreign ministers affirmed the commitment to establish the ASEAN Community by the end of the year, to be formalised by the ASEAN Heads of Government in November. The ASEAN Community will comprise the three pillars of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the Political-Security Community (APSC) and Social-Cultural Community (ASCC), which were envisaged by the ASEAN Summits of 2003 and 2005.
The establishment of the ASEAN Community will represent the culmination of steps towards regional cooperation among the 10 member states of ASEAN that has been ongoing over the past several decades. From fragile beginnings in 1967, ASEAN has become a shining example of regional cooperation worthy of emulation.
… Barry Desker is a distinguished fellow and Bakrie professor of Southeast Asia Policy, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
This article appeared earlier in The Straits Times and here as a RSIS Commentary.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 27/08/2015