These are the 5 Founding Countries of ASEAN and the History of Their Formation

ASEAN Founding Countries – On August 8, 1967 ASEAN was founded by five founding countries which have the same goal, namely to form cooperation between countries in Southeast Asia in the social, cultural, technical, educational, economic and other fields.

Apart from aiming to establish cooperation, these ASEAN countries also want to take part in promoting regional peace and stability through respect for justice and the rule of law and adherence to UN principles.

The establishment of ASEAN was outlined in the ASEAN declaration and in it there were five foreign ministers as representatives from five countries to sign the declaration. Then, who are the five countries that contributed to the founding of ASEAN? Check out the following explanation.

ASEAN Founding Countries

When it was founded, ASEAN initially only had five members who were also representatives as the founders of ASEAN. However, after the ASEAN declaration was signed by the representatives of the five countries, ASEAN now has 10 members and is considered one of the most successful intergovernmental organizations in developing countries. So, which countries contributed to the founding of ASEAN?

On August 8, 1967, the five founding countries of ASEAN signed the ASEAN declaration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Bangkok, Thailand. Present were five foreign ministers representing the five founding countries.

The five countries represented by Adam Malik from Indonesia, Narciso R Ramos from the Philippines, S. Rajaratnam from Singapore, Tun Abdul Razak from Malaysia and Thanat Khoman from Thailand.

After the five countries signed the Bangkok declaration, also known as the ASEAN declaration, other countries joined. On 7 January 1984 Brunei Darussalam finally decided to join then followed by Vietnam on 28 July 1995, then Laos and Myanmar on 23 July 1997 and Cambodia on 30 April 1999.

That way, ASEAN now has ten members from countries in Southeast Asia. ASEAN also has a motto, namely One Mission, One Identity, One Community.

History of the Establishment of ASEAN

As you know, ASEAN stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and is an economic and geopolitical organization specifically for countries in the Southeast Asian region. ASEAN was originally established because there were some similarities in the five founding countries and the conflicts that occurred at that time.

Then in the 1960s the countries in Southeast Asia entered the most difficult times, until several countries experienced disputes or internal and external problems. Some of these conflicts are as follows.

Southeast Asia is a strategic place, so that countries in Southeast Asia have also become areas for the bases of the western block and the eastern block, for example, the Philippines and Vietnam. Apart from being the basis of the bloc, several countries in Southeast Asia have military conflicts such as Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. Apart from internal conflicts, countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia also have bilateral problems.

These conflicts ultimately had an impact on defense and economic stability in Southeast Asian countries. Because of the similarities in these problems, the leaders of several countries have the initiative to create a new, safe and peaceful atmosphere for the countries in Southeast Asia and form the ASEAN organization.

That is the brief history of the formation of the ASEAN organization whose members consist of countries in Southeast Asia.

Background to the Establishment of ASEAN

As explained earlier, that initially ASEAN was formed because the countries in Southeast Asia felt they had something in common, one of which was the similarities because they experienced conflicts and similar problems they suffered. This is the main reason why ASEAN was formed, but apart from conflicts and disputes, there is also another background to the formation of ASEAN. Here’s an explanation.

  1. The Existence of Geographical Similarities

    Members of ASEAN are countries in the Southeast Asia region and are located between the Australian Continent and the Asian Continent mainland, and are located between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Because these countries are in the same region with the same geographic location, ASEAN is formed.
  2. Cultural Similarities

    Cultural similarities in ASEAN member countries are also the background for the formation of this organization. The inhabitants of Southeast Asia, as is well known, are descended from the Malayan and Mongoloid races. In its development, this race has received many influences from culture, such as skin color, customs, and food. The customs that influence this taste also come from India, Gujarat or Arabic and Chinese.
  3. Equality of Interests

    Of course the ASEAN organization can exist because each of its members has the same interests and wants to achieve the same goals. All ASEAN member countries have in common the desire to achieve the same goals and vision, namely peace, prosperity, security and order both in their regional and national environments.
  4. The Common Destiny

    The basic thing that underlies the formation of the ASEAN organization is because of this period, countries in Southeast Asia have the same fate and want to advance or change the destiny of their respective countries for the better. Apart from that, as it is known that most countries in Southeast Asia are developing countries.
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In addition, almost all countries in Southeast Asia have also been colonized by other countries. Like Malaysia and Singapore were colonized by the British, Indonesia was colonized by the Netherlands and Japan to the Philippines which was colonized by Spain and America and only Thailand was a country in Southeast Asia that was free from colonialism.

Those are the four backgrounds for the formation of ASEAN and the reasons for five countries other than the founding countries joining ASEAN.

The purpose of the establishment of ASEAN

Basically, ASEAN was founded because it wants to create a Southeast Asian region that is peaceful, prosperous, stable and secure. However, when referring to the ASEAN declaration approved on August 8, 1967, the following are some of the objectives of the founding of ASEAN.

  1. ASEAN was founded to accelerate social progress, cultural development and economic growth in the Southeast Asian region.
  2. ASEAN has the goal of increasing regional peace and increasing stability which can be realized by respecting justice and obeying the law in relations between countries in Southeast Asia and complying with the principles of the UN Charter, so as not to cause abuse of authority.
  3. ASEAN has the goal of increasing active cooperation and mutual assistance among ASEAN member countries to solve problems related to common interests in terms of science, social, economics, culture, administration to engineering.
  4. ASEAN was established to realize more effective cooperation as well as foster cooperation between countries in order to increase agricultural and industrial output, as well as expand trade in international commodities, improve communication and transportation facilities and infrastructure and improve the standard of living of the people of each ASEAN member country.
  5. Has a goal to be able to improve the quality of knowledge in ASEAN member countries.
  6. Each ASEAN member country is expected to be able to help each other with advice on training and research for educational, professional, administrative or technical purposes.
  7. In order to maintain good relations with international organizations that have the same goals and vision, as well as to open up opportunities to establish closer relations between ASEAN member countries.

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ASEAN Charter

ASEAN has a charter that is valid until December 15, 2008, after this validity period ASEAN will continue to operate under the new legal framework and establish a number of new organs to improve the process of community building.

The ASEAN Charter has been fully ratified by the 10 ASEAN member countries, both the founding countries and the five member countries. Singapore became the first country to deposit instruments of ratification to the Secretary General of ASEAN on 7 January 2008, then Thailand became the last country to provide instruments of ratification on 15 November 2008.

The ASEAN Charter has basically become a form of agreement between member countries that are legally bound. The Charter will also be registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations or the United Nations in accordance with Article 102, Paragraph 1 of the United Nations Charter.

So, why is the ASEAN Charter considered important for member countries? Here’s the context.

  • With the ASEAN Charter, member countries can see new political commitments at the top level.
  • ASEAN Charter as a new and enhanced commitment.
  • The ASEAN Charter as a new legal framework with legal personality.
  • Establishing a new ASEAN body.
  • Open recruitment of two DSGs.
  • More ASEAN meetings were held.
  • More role of ASEAN Foreign Ministers.
  • Establishing a new and enhanced role of the ASEAN secretariat general.
  • Other new initiatives and changes.
  • What has been set will not change.
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Meanwhile, the ASEAN Charter also calls for new political commitments for ASEAN member countries, along with the intended political commitments.

  • United under one vision, one identity and one community of caring and sharing.
  • Building an ASEAN community consisting of the following
  • ASEAN political and security community
  • ASEAN Economic Community
  • ASEAN social and cultural community

The Principles of ASEAN

With the establishment of the ASEAN organization, member countries also need to adhere to the organizational principles that have been agreed upon and formed in such a way. The following are the ASEAN principles.

  1. Respect the sovereignty, independence, equality, integrity of each national territory and the national identity of each country.
  2. Every country has the right to be able to lead a national presence that is free from interference, as well as coercion or subversion from outside parties.
  3. The principle of not interfering in the internal affairs of fellow ASEAN member countries.
  4. Resolving differences and debates in a peaceful way.
  5. Refuse to use force and lethal things.
  6. Effective cooperation of each member country.

ASEAN Basic Principles

There are also basic principles of ASEAN, here are some of them.

  1. Respect the independence, equality, sovereignty, national identity and territorial integrity of all ASEAN member countries
  2. Share commitment and responsibility collectively in enhancing regional security, peace and prosperity
  3. Rejecting the occurrence of regression and the threat or use of force and other actions in a way that is not in accordance with international law
  4. Reliance on the peaceful settlement of disputes
  5. Non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN member countries
  6. Respect each member country’s rights to maintain its national existence free from external interference, coercion or subversion
  7. Consultations are increased regarding matters that are serious in nature and can affect the common interests of each ASEAN member country
  8. Compliance with the rule of law, democratic principles, good governance to constitutional government
  9. Respect for basic freedoms, protection of human rights, promotion to the advancement of social justice
  10. Uphold the United Nations Charter and international law, including international humanitarian laws that have been approved by ASEAN member countries
  11. Not participating in policies or activities including the use of its territory and being pursued by ASEAN member countries and non-ASEAN or non-ASEAN actors that can threaten the sovereignty, as well as territorial integrity and political and economic stability of ASEAN countries
  12. Respect the differences in language, culture and religion of the people of ASEAN member countries, while emphasizing the value of togetherness in the spirit of unity in diversity.
  13. ASEAN’s centrality in political, social and cultural relations, external economy while being actively involved, outward-looking, non-discriminatory, and inclusive
  14. Adherence to all multilateral trade rules and regulations based on ASEAN regimes for the effective implementation and economic commitment as well as progressive reduction towards the removal of all obstacles for the integrity of the regional economy in the market economy drive.

Some ASEAN Cooperation

ASEAN has conducted several meetings to establish energy security cooperation. This collaboration was carried out by ASEAN 3+ to ratify the activities of the Energy Security Forum, Oil Market Forum, Natural Gas Forum, Oil Stockpiling Forum and the Renewable Energy Forum. ASEAN has collaborated with three partner countries, namely Japan, India and China.

When cooperating with Japan, ASEAN hopes that Japan can play a role in taking an increasingly assertive economic position. This is because Japan is considered passive in its role in terms of political and military power because there is still a strong rival, namely the PRC.

In addition, ASEAN has also formed cooperation with China. The collaboration with the PRC was formed because the contours of dementia are becoming more complex every year. Thus, requiring each ASEAN member country to be adaptive to the geopolitical dynamics and geostrategy of the region. As is the case with the PRC’s increased military capability which America sees as a threat.

ASEAN also forms cooperation with India which has become a full dialogue partner for ASEAN at the fifth ASEAN Summit in Bangkok. Leaders from ASEAN member countries as well as India’s leaders have emphasized that both have a commitment to enhance cooperation in the fields of trade, development, investment, human resources, technology to science and information technology.

That is an explanation of the five founding countries of ASEAN as well as additional material regarding ASEAN starting from additional members, history and cooperation formed by ASEAN with three other countries.