12 August 2015
South-east Asia will usher in a new era of cooperation and stability, following last week’s conclusion of the Asean foreign ministers’ meeting in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
They affirmed the commitment to establish the Asean Community (AC) by the end of this year, to be formalised by the Asean heads of government in November.
The AC 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 AC represents the highest form of regional cooperation among the 10 member states of Asean, and can be seen as the culmination of a few decades of Asean’s role in fostering positive inter-state relations. That has helped develop rapport and facilitated the habit of cooperation among their leaders and people.
From fragile beginnings in 1967, Asean has become a shining example of regional cooperation worthy of emulation. Credit for this change should be given to President Suharto of Indonesia (1966 to 1998) and the other Asean leaders, who had recognised the need for Asean to work together to enhance their capabilities and grow their potential in a rapidly changing globalised world.
… The writer is Distinguished Fellow and Bakrie Professor of Southeast Asia Policy, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 12/08/2015