History of the Establishment of ASEAN – ASEAN was founded in Bangkok on August 8, 1967 by 5 countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand through the Bangkok Declaration. PERBARA (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) which is better known as ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is a geopolitical and economic organization of countries in the Southeast Asian region. This organization aims to promote economic growth, social progress, and cultural development of its member countries, as well as promote peace at the regional level. ASEAN received a new member on January 7, 1984, namely Brunei Darussalam, followed by Vietnam as the seventh new ASEAN member on July 28, 1995 and until now, ASEAN members are all countries in Southeast Asia,
Core Principles of ASEAN
* Respect the independence, sovereignty, equality, national territorial integrity and national identity of each country
* The right of every state to preside over its national presence free from outside interference, subversion or coercion
* Do not interfere in the internal affairs of fellow member countries
* Settlement of differences or debates peacefully
* Refusal to use lethal force
* Effective cooperation between members
ASEAN was founded by five initiating countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand in Bangkok through the Bangkok Declaration. The foreign ministers who signed the Bangkok Declaration at that time were Adam Malik (Indonesia), Narciso Ramos (Philippines), Tun Abdul Razak (Malaysia), S. Rajaratnam (Singapore), and Thanat Khoman (Thailand).
The contents of the Bangkok Declaration are as follows:
* Accelerating economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the Southeast Asian region
* Enhance regional peace and stability
* Increase cooperation and mutual assistance for common interests in the economic, social, technical, scientific, and administrative fields
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* Enhancing cooperation to advance education, training, and research in the Southeast Asia region
Brunei Darussalam became the first member of ASEAN outside of the five initiating countries. Brunei Darussalam joined ASEAN as a member on January 7, 1984 (exactly a week after commemorating its independence day). Eleven years later, ASEAN again received a new member, namely Vietnam which became the seventh member on July 28, 1995. Two years later, Laos and Myanmar joined ASEAN as members, namely on July 23, 1997. Although Cambodia plans to join as a member ASEAN together with Myanmar and Laos, the plan had to be postponed due to domestic political problems in Cambodia. Even so, two years later Cambodia finally joined as a member of ASEAN, namely on December 16, 1998.
The new country of Timor Leste, which was a Portuguese colony then annexed by Indonesia, now has observer status in ASEAN, after drawing protests from various ASEAN countries that did not support Timor-Leste's entry into ASEAN, out of respect for Indonesia. Initially, Myanmar opposed granting observer status to Timor-Leste because of Timor-Leste's support for Myanmar's pro-democracy fighter Aung San Suu Kyi.
Since the restoration of Timor-Leste's independence in May 2002, ASEAN has been helping Timor-Leste a lot. Timor-Leste has been invited to attend several ASEAN meetings. Even so, Timor-Leste still has observer status. The former Timor Leste Minister of Foreign Affairs who is now President, Ramos Horta, once stated that he was not interested in becoming a member of ASEAN, because Timor-Leste is not considered an Asian (Southeast) country, but a Pacific or Australian country. In contrast to his colleague Xanana Gusmao who stated that it would be more profitable for Timor Leste to be affiliated with ASEAN compared to joining the Pacific Islands Forum.
Recent developments indicate that Timor-Leste is very interested in becoming a member of ASEAN. Even the Government of Timor-Leste through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs has targeted that Timor-Leste will become a member of ASEAN in 2012, this is very much supported by the Indonesian government as well as other ASEAN member countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and others. . It can be seen that the Government of Timor-Leste has also opened the ASEAN National Secretariat in Dili in early February 2009, where this secretariat will serve to prepare the stages for becoming ASEAN membership.
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