33 Facts About ASEAN


Creation of ASEAN was initially motivated by the desire to contain communism.

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However, the local member states of ASEAN group achieved greater cohesion in the mid-1970s following a change in the balance of power after the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War in April 1975 and the decline of SEATO.

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In 2006, ASEAN was given observer status at the United Nations General Assembly.

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President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated: "This is a momentous development when ASEAN is consolidating, integrating, and transforming itself into a community.

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Since 2017, political, military and ethnic affairs in Myanmar have posed unusual challenges for ASEAN, creating precedent-breaking situations and threatening the traditions and unity of the group, and its global standing—with ASEAN responses indicating possible fundamental change in the nature of the organization.

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Rohingya genocide erupting in Myanmar in August 2017—killing thousands of Rohingya people in Myanmar, driving most into neighboring Bangladesh, and continuing for months—created a global outcry demanding ASEAN take action against the civilian-military coalition government of Myanmar, which had long discriminated against the Rohingya, and had launched the 2017 attacks upon them.

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Myanmar's civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, reportedly asked ASEAN for help with the Rohingya crisis, in March 2018, but was rebuffed by ASEAN's chair, who said it was an "internal matter.

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Internal and international pressure mounted for ASEAN to take a firmer stance on the Rohingya crisis, and by late 2018, the group's global credibility was threatened by its inaction.

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In mid-2019, ASEAN was heavily criticized by human rights organizations for a report, which ASEAN commissioned, which turned out to praise Myanmar's work on Rohingya repatriation, while glossing over atrocities and abuses against the Rohingya.

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June 2019 ASEAN summit was shaken by the Malaysian foreign minister's declaration that persons responsible for the abuses of the Rohingya be prosecuted and punished—conduct unusually undiplomatic at ASEAN summits.

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The UNGA consulted with ASEAN and integrated most of ASEAN's 5-point consensus into the resolution.

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Nor did ASEAN invite a representative of Myanmar's underground National Unity Government, saying it would consider inviting a non-political representative of the country, instead,.

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The largest urban area in the ASEAN is Jakarta followed by Manila, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, Bandung, Hanoi, Surabaya, Yangon, and Singapore, all with an urban population of over 5 million.

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The vision aimed to "see an outward-looking ASEAN playing a pivotal role in the international fora, and advancing ASEAN's common interests".

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Three major pillars of a single ASEAN community were established: Political-Security Community, Economic Community (AEC) and Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).

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Furthermore, by 2050, ASEAN is expected to be the fourth-largest economy in the world.

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In regards to a common currency, ASEAN leaders agreed in November 1999 to create the establishment of currency swaps and repurchase agreements as a credit line against future financial shocks.

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Part of the aim of ASEAN integration is to achieve food security collectively via trade in rice and maize.

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The new member states have not fully met AFTA's obligations, but are officially considered part of the agreement as they were required to sign it upon entry into ASEAN, and were given longer time frames to meet AFTA's tariff reduction obligations.

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Since 2007, ASEAN countries have gradually lowered their import duties to member states, with a target of zero import duties by 2016.

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In 2018, eight of the ASEAN members are among the world's outperforming economies, with positive long-term prospect for the region.

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Until the end of 2010, intra-ASEAN trade was still low as trade involved mainly exports to countries outside the region, with the exception of Laos and Myanmar, whose foreign trade was ASEAN-oriented.

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Free trade initiatives in ASEAN are spearheaded by the implementation of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement and the Agreement on Customs.

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On 26 August 2007, ASEAN stated its aim of completing free trade agreements with China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, and New Zealand by 2013, which is in line with the start of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.

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In November 2007, ASEAN states signed the ASEAN Charter, a constitution governing relations among member states and establishing the group itself as an international legal entity.

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Taiwan has expressed interest in an agreement with ASEAN but needs to overcome diplomatic objections from China.

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Cross-border electricity trade in ASEAN has been limited, despite efforts since 1997 to establish an ASEAN Power Grid and associated trade.

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Tourism has been one of the key growth sectors in ASEAN and has proven resilient amid global economic challenges.

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In December 2008, the ASEAN Charter came into force and with it, the ASEAN Summit will be held twice a year.

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Since ASEAN's founding, a number of songs have been written for the regional alliance:.

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Main sporting event of ASEAN is the Southeast Asian Games, a biennial meet of athletes from the ten member-states.

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The report stated that the goals of the AEC 2025 would not be accomplished if ASEAN fails to address the issues of non-tariff measures and eliminate non-tariff barriers in the region.

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Accordingly, ASEAN has embraced the idea of cooperative security which means that ASEAN's approach to security issues is through confidence-building measures and transparency for reducing the tension and conflict between its members.

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