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ASEAN and its role in the international platform

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The ASEAN or the Association of Southeast Nations was created on August 8, 1967 in Bangkok. On this date, it comprised member states such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined the association in 1984, Vietnam in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997 and Kampuchea in 1999. The ASEAN has gathered 500 million inhabitants and extends to 4,5 million sq km. Its GDP is 737 billion dollars and the trade figures stand at 720 billion dollars annually. The ASEAN is a new entrant today on the international scene which the great powers must take into account: its economic growth potential, its natural resources and its geo-strategic position (the Malayan straits open the way towards China and the Pacific) make it a key organizational with its vast landscape of the 21st century. Born from the fear of Communism and the platform of the powers in Southeast Asia, the association is characterized by a consensual decision-making process and socialization ?with small steps?. However, the recent evolutions of international environment have posed some questions to its identity.

The Bangkok Declaration of ASEAN in 1967 founded the fixed goal of the association "acceleration of economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through a joint effort with the aim of/to strengthen the foundations for a prosperous and peaceful community among the nations of southeast Asia, and to promote peace and regional stability through constant respect of justice and the law in relations between the countries of the region and adherence to the principle of the UN Charter. ". This text is not a treaty but a declaration of intent by the Foreign Ministers of nationals and therefore there is no legal obligation.

Tags: ASEAN; role on the international platform; economic growth potential;

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