Backgrounder: ASEAN Community’s buildingprocess
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, April 23 (Xinhua) — The 22nd Association of SoutheastAsian Nations (ASEAN) Summit is due to open here on Wednesday under the theme”Our People, Our Future Together”, bringing the bloc one step closer to an ASEANCommunity.
The community building process started in 2003 when the heads of ASEAN memberstates agreed at the 9th ASEAN Summit that an ASEAN Community shall beestablished.
At the 12th ASEAN Summit held in January 2007 in Cebu of the Philippines, the leadersaffirmed their strong commitment to facilitating the establishment of an ASEANCommunity by the end of 2015 and signed the Cebu Declaration on the Acceleration ofthe Establishment of an ASEAN Community by 2015.
The ASEAN Community comprises three pillars, namely the ASEAN Political-SecurityCommunity, the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-CulturalCommunity. Each pillar has its own blueprint, and, together with the Initiative for ASEANIntegration (IAI) Strategic Framework and IAI Work Plan Phase II (2009-2015), they formthe Roadmap for an ASEAN Community (2009-2015).
The ASEAN Charter, which entered into force in 2008, serves as a firm foundation anda significant milestone in achieving the ASEAN Community goal by providing legalstatus and institutional framework for it. It also codifies ASEAN norms, rules and values,sets clear targets for ASEAN, and presents accountability and compliance.
To gear up capacity building, ASEAN has set up the ASEAN Coordinating Council andthree ASEAN Community Councils, including the ASEAN Political-Security CommunityCouncil, the ASEAN Economic Community Council and the ASEAN Socio-CulturalCommunity Council.
At the 19th ASEAN Summit held in Bali, Indonesia, in November 2011, the ASEANleaders adopted the Bali Declaration on ASEAN Community in a Global Community ofNations, or the Bali Concord III, a historic outcome document which is widely expectedto increase ASEAN’s active role in addressing global issues and to map out the road forASEAN’s interaction with the global community.
ASEAN leaders also affirmed their commitment to adopt a more coordinated, cohesiveand coherent ASEAN position on global issues of common concern which would furtherraise ASEAN’s common voice in relevant multilateral fora, and to develop an enhancedASEAN capacity to contribute and respond to key global issues of common interestwhich would benefit all ASEAN member states and their peoples.
At the 21st ASEAN Summit held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, last year, ASEAN leadersagreed to sign, adopt, and note different documents including the Phnom PenhStatement on the Adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, the ASEAN HumanRights Declaration (AHRD), the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the Establishment of anASEAN Regional Mine Action Center, the Bali Concord III Plan of Action (2013-2017).They also launched the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation while pledging tobring the ASEAN common platform on global issues into reality by 2020.
ASEAN, established in 1967, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia,Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.