The current member countries of ASEAN are (earliest to most recent membership):
- Founding members (August 8, 1967)
- States that joined later
New Guinea has observer status in ASEAN.
ASEAN regularly conducts dialogue meetings with other countries and an
organization, collectively known as the ASEAN dialogue partners
during the ASEAN Regional Forum.
The association includes about 8% of the world's population and in 2003
it had a combined GDP
of about US$700 billion (roughly equivalent to South
Korea) and this GDP was growing at an average rate of around 4% p.a.
The economies of member countries of ASEAN are diverse, although its major
products include electronics,
oil, and wood.
The ASEAN countries are culturally rich. It includes more Muslims
than any other geopolitical entity. About 240 million Muslims live mostly
in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Buddhism
constitutes the main religion of mainland Southeast Asia and there are
about 170 million Buddhists in Thailand,
is predominant in Philippines.
ASEAN has governments with widely differing views on governance and political
process, including practices in areas such as suffrage and representation.
It encompasses styles of government ranging from democracy to autocracy.
Comparison with other Regional blocs
The ASEAN Regional Forum
The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) is an informal multilateral dialogue
of 25 members that seeks to address security issues in the Asia-Pacific
region. The ARF met for the first time in 1994. The current participants
in the ARF are as follows: ASEAN, Australia,
New Guinea, Russia,
Timor, and the United
ASEAN was originally formed out of an organization called Maphilindo,
essentially an alliance consisting of the Philippines,
in the early 1960s. As such, Maphilindo
is considered the predecessor to ASEAN.
ASEAN itself was established on August
when foreign ministers of five countriesâ€”Indonesia,
met at the Thai Department of Foreign Affairs building in Bangkok
and signed the ASEAN Declaration (also known as the Bangkok
Declaration). The five foreign ministers, considered the organization's
Founding Fathers, were Adam
Malik of Indonesia, Narciso
R. Ramos of the Philippines, Tun
Abdul Razak of Malaysia, S.
Rajaratnam of Singapore, and Thanat
Khoman of Thailand. The founding fathers envisaged that the organization
would eventually encompass all countries in Southeast Asia.
Darussalam became the sixth member of the ASEAN when it joined on
barely a week after the country became independent on January
1. It would be a further 11 years before ASEAN expanded from its core
six members. Vietnam
became the seventh member in July
joined two years later in July
would become the first Communist member of ASEAN. Cambodia
was to have joined the ASEAN together with Laos and Myanmar, but was deferred
due to the country's internal political struggle. Cambodia later joined
following the stabilization of its government. Thus was completed the
ASEAN-10â€”the organization of all countries in Southeast Asia.
The ASEAN Summit
The organization holds annual meetings in relation to economic, and cultural
development of Southeast
The ASEAN Leaders' Formal Summit was first held in Bali,
in 1976. At first it was unscheduled due to domestic issues of member
countries. Then in 1992, leaders decided to hold meetings every three
years. It was changed in 2001 when leaders decide to hold it annually
to address urgent issues affecting the region. Member nations were assigned
to be the summit host in alphabetical order except in the case in Myanmar
where it dropped its 2006 hosting rights in 2004 due to pressure from
The formal summit are held in three days. The usual itinerary are as
- ASEAN leaders hold an internal organization meeting.
- ASEAN leaders hold a conference together with foreign ministers of
the ASEAN Regional Forum.
- Leaders of 3 ASEAN Dialogue Partners (also known as ASEAN+3) namely
Korea hold a meeting with the ASEAN leaders.
- A separate meeting is set for leaders of 2 ASEAN Dialogue Partners
(also known as ASEAN-CER) namely Australia
At the 11th ASEAN Summit in Kuala
new meetings were scheduled. These were:
Asia Summit - converging ASEAN and six dialogue partners namely
Zealand and India.
- ASEAN-Russia Summit - meeting between ASEAN leaders and the President
|ASEAN Formal Summit
23 - February
4 - August
14 - December
27 - January
14 - December
15 - December
5 - November
4 - November
7 - October
29 - November
12 - December
To address urgent regional issues, ASEAN leaders hold informal summit
meetings while formal meetings were being prepared. Leaders decided to
discontinue informal meetings in 2000 and hold formal meetings every year
|ASEAN Informal Summit
14 - December
27 - November
22 - November