Basic Facts About ASEAN

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• THE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS (ASEAN) groups Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

• ASEAN was established on August 8, 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, by five countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

• Brunei joined the group in January 1984, followed by Vietnam in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997 and Cambodia in 1999.

• The region has a combined population of about 537 million, and an area of around 4.5 million sq. kms.

• The ASEAN Vision 2020, adopted by the ASEAN leaders during the group’s 30th anniversary, agrees on a shared vision of ASEAN as a concert of Southeast Asian nations, outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies.

• In 2003, the ASEAN leaders resolved that an ASEAN Community shall be established comprising three pillars: ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community, and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

• ASEAN’s highest decision-making body is the ASEAN Summit.

• The secretary-general of ASEAN is appointed on merit and accorded ministerial status. The secretary-general, who has a five-year term, is mandated to initiate, advise, coordinate and implement ASEAN activities. (Xinhua)