New Delhi (ABC Live):ASEAN One Community Concept : The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on 8 August 1967. The Member States are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. The ASEAN Secretariat is based in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The ASEAN is celebrating it Golden Jubilee in Year 2017
The ASEAN Community 2015 is a community of opportunities under three community pillars: Political- Security Community, Economic Community, and Socio-Cultural Community. Its launch in 2015 is a historic milestone and a culmination of ASEAN’s resilience and dynamism throughout a journey of nearly half a century, and signals to the world how far and how well the ASEAN Member States have achieved in coming together as one community.
The ASEAN Community ascertains that the goal of ASEAN’s founding fathers of improving the lives of its people is reflected on the region’s economic and cultural development, social progress, regional peace and security, collaboration, mutual assistance in training and research, improvement of living standards, promotion of Southeast Asian studies and cooperation with regional and international organisations. The organisation recognises the importance of ensuring the safety of its citizens from such threats as climate change,pandemics, natural disasters and transnational crimes, offering new opportunities to the region and the world of peace and stability, of bigger, more open and rules-based market for business, of better health and education; and of sustainable development. Recognising the twin visions of peace and prosperity, ASEAN sustains peace in Southeast Asia by integrating harmonious inter-state relations through the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) for ASEAN Member States and more than 20 external parties, the Declaration on the 2002 Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) that guide ASEAN and China to exercise self-restraint, refrain from the use of force, undertake practical maritime cooperation, and promote peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea.
Southeast Asia is free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction through the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) that also protects the region from environmental pollution and the hazards of radioactive and toxic waste materials.
The ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism (ACCT) is ASEAN’s regional cooperation framework to counter, prevent and suppress terrorism and deepen counter-terrorism cooperation.
Defence and military cooperation is gearing up with the establishment of the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and the ADMM-Plus that provide Member States with counterterrorism, maritime security and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises, fostering understanding and improving capability and readiness.
The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), set up in 2009, set the momentum and recorded progress in human rights promotion and protection in ASEAN.
The ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD), which was adopted in November 2012, further embodies the commitment of the Governments of the ASEAN Member States to safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of ASEAN. Already an international organisation by virtue of the ASEAN Charter in 2008, ASEAN has built and strengthened its institutional frameworks towards greater effectiveness, efficiency, better synergy and coordination, paving the way for a rules-based and comprehensive institutional infrastructure commensurate with the needs of regional integration and community building. The implementation of ASEAN economic integration measures has led to the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which provides ASEAN people with an open and integrated market where there are more product choices at competitive costs.
The AEC initiatives have also supported businesses to explore markets and extend their market reach at reduced costs through simplified cross-border trading processes and improved investment climate.
At the same time, ASEAN economic integration is pursued not only through internal integration but also integration to the global economy; the latter is anchored on forward-looking free trade and comprehensive economic partnership agreements and initiatives to enhance global value chain participation.
The AEC has also put in place frameworks and legal structures on competition, consumer protection and intellectual property as well as improved transportation and infrastructure networks, contributing to an improved environment for business.
Last but not least, the AEC also strives to be a community that is inclusive and equitable, with focused efforts to facilitate and support the active and gainful participation of small and medium enterprises and newer ASEAN Member States in the economic community.
The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community has put efforts to lift the quality of life of ASEAN peoples through cooperative activities that are peopleoriented, people-centred, environmentally friendly, and that foster inter-cultural understanding and mutual respect.
The ASCC’s activities have resulted in a deepening of the sense of ASEAN identity, and collectively accelerating socio-cultural growth and progress by:
- lowering the proportion of people living on less than $1.25/ day–from 1 in 2 to 1 in 8 persons over the last two decades;
- reducing maternal mortality per 100,000 live births from 371.2 in 1990 to 103.7 in 2012;
- reducing proportion of urban slum populations from 40% in 2000 to 31% in 2012;
- increasing net enrolment rate for primary school children from 92% in 1999 to 94% in 2012;
- increasing proportion of seats held by women in parliaments from 12% in 2000 to 18.5% in 2012 and
- enlisting 38 ASEAN natural heritage parks and 24 UNESCO cultural heritage sites in the ASEAN region as of 2015.
The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre) is at the forefront of ASEAN’s strategy to instill resilience and face its vulnerabilities through a systematised regional disaster risk management and climate change adaptation that is harmonised with national and local policies and laws.
It embodies the “One ASEAN, One Response” declaration by harnessing the individual and collective strengths of different sectors and stakeholders in ASEAN to effectively respond to disasters inside and outside the region.
ASEAN Connectivity aims to complement and support integration by strengthening the foundational support to achieve the politicalsecurity, economic, and socio-cultural pillars of an integrated ASEAN Community.
The vision for the ASEAN Connectivity 2025 is to achieve a seamlessly and comprehensively connected and integrated ASEAN that will promote competitiveness, inclusiveness, and a greater sense of Community.
To achieve such vision, ASEAN Connectivity 2025 focuses on five strategic areas, namely Sustainable Infrastructure, Digital Innovation, Seamless Logistics, Regulatory Excellence and People Mobility.
As the regional grouping marks its 50th anniversary in 2017, entering the next phase of consolidation, further integration and stronger cohesiveness as a Community, ASEAN will.