The Association of South East Asian nation (ASEAN) is an Organisation formed by the East Asian nations in 1967. These nations include Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand which were the first five members state that formed the Association and later were joined by other smaller and weaker states such as; Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. This association is framed basically not to look at security matter and prefer to avoid also controversial political issues living it to national actions and multinational corporations through other channels. This means that other ASEAN member that joined the association is very weak state and is in process to building up their states. They purposely joined the Organisation just to increase their sovereignty and being able to dance in the international arena. This will enable them to be criticized on what they do; action on humanity, trade and other activities from their fellow members which might create tension that the Organisation cannot resolve will surely create disunity which will undermine the influence of ASEAN.
In this paper the author will give the reader a clear overview of what ASEA and discuss the structure, the mission, the objective and the operation in short analysis, the areas of concentration, the SWOT analysis and the major criticisms it got from the members and other international organizations. “I won’t give you a text book approach since you can always read the books. Instead, you will see Southeast Asia through my eyes.” (Kantahi, 2009) 1. Brief Overview of the Organisation
ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration or Bangkok Declaration by the five founding fathers and of ASEAN. These five founding fathers were Foreign Ministers, Adam Malik of Indonesia, Narciso R. Ramos of the Philippines, Tun Abdul Razak of Malaysia, S. Rajaratnam of Singapore, and Thanat Khoman of Thailand – would then be hailed as the Founding Fathers. This association would be seen as an association for Regional Corporation among other countries in the south East Asian region
The association had its aims and purposes as to follow and also adopted some fundamental principles under the treaty of Amity and corporation in South East Asia of 1976 to recognized their relations and work towards achieving the vision of the founding fathers (Association of South East Asian Nation, 2009). 2. ASEAN Structure
According to the online dictionary, a structure is to give form or arrangements to something. In this case is the Organisation (ASEAN). The Chair of ASEAN is rotated among the ASEAN countries on an annual basis, and acts as host of the Summit and key ministerial meetings. The Chair of ASEAN for 2013 is Brunei and later next year in Myanmar in 2014, alphabetically respectfully. The ASEAN Secretariat is based in Jakarta, Indonesia and coordinates do recruits and implements ASEAN activities. He is termed for a five-year term and given official prominence. Alongside ASEAN with its specialized bodies they help to implement inter-governmental cooperation in various fields, such as the ASEAN Agricultural Development Planning Centre and the ASEAN Centre for Energy. In addition, ASEAN encourages negotiation and talks with professional and business organizations, such as the ASEAN-Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the ASEAN Business Forum. These talks and negotiation are made by the ASEAN Technical advisor under the authority of the General Secretary of ASEAN who does all the communication with other delegates and even foreign diplomats. A number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have formal memberships with ASEAN. (Australian government Department of Foreign Affairs, 2013). 3. Mission
A mission is a special assignment given to a person or group to make sure that they accomplish it successfully or unsuccessfully. As ASEAN is an organized group of people forming the Association of the South Easter Asian Nations, they had a part into obtain the associations’ goal and that is their mission. In the 12th Asian summit the chairman’s mission was “to steer ASEAN into the implementation of any program for the social promotion and protection of the rights of venerable sectors of the community so that it will help ease poverty and allow project implementation with other partners and supporters in the region and externally” (12th ASEAN Summit, 2006). So once he has finished, he’s minister and leader policy and works must reflect the theme of the ASEA Summit, The Caring and Sharing Community. This theme also accompanied by other obligations such as working with the people to build a community and give them a clear sense of what Being in a member of ASEAN would worth. It will also look at regional peace and security for its region and it will create awareness within its region on their heritage and in that case it will bring them goo understanding on their grounds and be
active in the commitment of ASEAN. 4. Objectives
Objectives are the aims and purposes of an individual, group or Association. The main aims and purposes of ASEAN are to speed up the economic growth within the region and make a social progress and cultural development in the South East Asian region, socio- cultural corporation. It also exercises regional peace, stability and prosperity through following and respecting the rule of law in relationship with other regions within south East Asian region for a harmonious environment an environment of peace with the world. And if any commotion occurs, its objective is to respond to the commotion before it becomes a threat to the surround communities and humans within it. in this manner it is trying to protect and promote human rights living in the community and say no to violence and other destructive forces to human life. It is a way to regional awareness and securing a better safer environment for the present generation and the generation, yet to come. 5. Operation
During the operation of ASEAN it went through quite some experience to be an Organisation of associated region who serve to promote peace and security in the region and promote also economic growth in the region and works together with its citizens to build their nation but first and foremost its human resources first. These are some of its works in its operations. Asian has to make sure that its policy of seeking the peaceful settlement of conflict in the common territorial disputes has to be addressed and find ways in solving the conflict. Example in the south china dispute, ASEAN knows what was coming; he knows that if the conflict escalates it will create a region of tension and instability. Without delay, in 1992 the association called on every region to who had conflicts to resolve it internally as it might affect peace and stability in the region after issuing the Manila declaration. ASEAN made a statement urging all parties involved in the conflict to solve it in a way that will not involve the use of force. However in regard to the East Timor and the shocking violence the ASEAN members agreed on using force on east Timor. It also provided humanitarian aid but it also limits it in one way or the other as he didn’t want them also to feel special and get special offers from he’s effort. During the
invasion ASEAN was divided. Myanmar who opposed ASEAN intervention to East Timor In 2000 ASEAN joined the North Korean which is his neighbor. North Korean also participates in the Asian Regional Forum (ARF) for the first time in 2000. It also help North Korean and South Korea in their historic summit held in Pyongyang on 13th to 15th June 2000 (Tavares, 2010). 6. SWOT Analysis
The strength, weaknesses, objectives and threats of ASIAN are outlined on the table below. This is an overall collective reading and analysis and an inclusion of the original analysis done by other researchers. The analysis is based an analytical framework stating the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threat of a member ASEAN country on the agricultural development for the economic prosperity in to achieving the aims and vision of ASEAN. It is working its way into promoting the growth and alleviating poverty so that it will give space for development including at least some form of infrastructural service to the region. The SWOT analysis is closer view of a bigger picture and that is ASEAN. ASIAN and its policies in place are getting countries within the region to be actively involved in the Socio and Agro- cultural development. Below are some analysis put up to be considered and acted upon to prosper in it visions. (ASEAN SWOT Analysis Analytical Framework, n.d)
* ASEAN as a large association of country has a large land mass full of abundant resources.| * High cost for farm inputs (such as Fertilizers)| * And are the largest rice consumer and grower heavily involved in intensive cultivation of rice.| * Unattractive production price and no ownership of farms.| * Provides food security and foreign exchange earnings from export.| * No good infrastructure basic services| | |
* It is a major player in the exportation of rice| * Ignores the price distortions which can lead to reduce the good growth and harvest of the plant.| * It creates more employment opportunities and more participation of the private sector.| * Change in climate would affect
the activities for the development of its agricultural economic sector.| * Investment in small infrastructure and electricity will lead to very little influence.| * Natural resources degradation|
7. Some major Criticism of the Organisation.
These are some of the criticisms from the civil society to the ASEAN in the summit * Market-oriented language, they lack the knowledge of the universal language of communication * Does not acknowledge the centrality of redistribution and economic solidarity to the goals of poverty eradication, social justice and lasting peace * Non-participatory drafting process, all drafting process is done only by the members and minister in ASEAN * Codifies past agreements
* All about governments and not interaction with the people, negotiations were done only with the government and the government is the people. People where voiceless. * Unclear spaces of how civil society can participate
* Lack of disciplinary and dispute resolution mechanisms, example the East Timor conflicts in which ASEAN agree to use force. This was against it policy of secure and harmonious community. For ASEAN to be criticized by the civil society on the areas that they think it is poorly carried out. ASEAN should stand on that and see it as a stepping stone and maneuver on those criticisms to grow stronger and as it will know which areas he is lacking and need improvement on. (ASEAN summit held amid protest, criticism from civil society, 2008) 8. Conclusion & Recommendations
The association of the south East Asian Nation (ASEAN) is an association of all the 10 region of Asia who are members to these Organisation for shelter or security and recognition from other states, internally and externally to gain recognition for their sovereignty. They also joined hands into addressing some of the development issues within the region and try to work towards solving them. But the problem lies is that negotiation are done with governments and not heavily involving the people to have their say on the policies it is doing. However in order for ASEAN to be Successful in the future it has to Allow for the Citizens to have a say in its affairs because
they are the ones caring out the policy and will know better if the policy is function or it is just a policy without a vision. It must also prove to the people in region that it can solve violent issues without the use of force but resettlement in negotiation and better understanding.
ASEAN SWOT Analysis Analytical Framework. (n.d) About strength, weakness, opportunities and threats. Retrieved august 25th, 2013, from http://www.adbi.org/files/2013.02.22.cpp.day5.ses3.3.final.policy.options.myanmar.pdf ASEAN summit held amid protest, criticism from civil society. (2008) retrieved august 25, 2013, from http://www.11.be/11/111111-english/artikel/detail/detail/asean_summit_held_amid_protests_criticisms_from_civil_society,102149 Global Institutions. (2010). Regional Security, The capacity of international organizations. USA and Canada: Global Institution. The Association of The South East Asian Nation. (n.d) About the overview of the association. Retrieved August 25, 2013, from http://www.asean.org/asean/about-asean The 12th ASEAN summit. (2006) retrieved August 25th 2013, from http://www.12thaseansummit.org.ph/asean_visionmission.asp