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1.1. Establishment:

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on the 8th August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the founding members  of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Phillippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Brunei Darussalam joined in 1984. Viet Nam became the 7th member on the 28th July 1995. Lao DPR and Myanmar entered ASEAN on the 23rd July 1997. Cambodia became the 10th member of ASEAN on the 30th April 1999, fulfilling the dream of ASEAN that includes all Southeast Asian countries.

  1.  Objectives and Purposes:

1.2.1 As set out in the ASEAN Declaration (or Bangkok Declaration) in 1967, the objectives and purposes of ASEAN are:

  • To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavours in the spirit of equality and partnership in order to strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations;
  • To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries of the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter;
  • To promote active collaboration and  mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields;
  • To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research  facilities in the educational, professional, technical and administrative spheres;
  • To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilization of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of trade, including the study of the problems of international commodity trade, the improvement of their transportation and communication facilities and the raising of the living standards of their peoples;
  • To promote Southeast Asian studies; and
  • To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes, and explore all avenues for even closer cooperation among themselves.

1.2.2. ASEAN Charter, an important legal documents of ASEAN in 2008 reaffirms the above aims and purposes and adds 15 new objectives( in line with the situation.

  1.  Fundamental principles:

Article 2 in the ASEAN Charter reaffirms the fundamental principles, as contained in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) of 1976 while incorporates new principles ).

  1. ASEAN development timeline:


Foundation of ASEAN with 5 member states


The 1st ASEAN Summit


Accession of Brunei


Establishment of ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)


Signing of Agreement Frameworks on strengthening ASEAN economic cooperation and ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA)


Accession of Viet Nam


Laos and Myanmar to join ASEAN


The 1st ASEAN+3 Summit


Accession of Cambodia


The 1st East Asia Summit (EAS)


Launch of ASEAN Charter


Formation of ASEAN Community