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ASEAN was born on 8 August 1967 when its founders - Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand – signed the ASEAN Declaration in Bangkok, Thailand and formally established the association. Brunei joined in 1984 followed by Viet Nam in 1995. Lao and Myanmar became ASEAN members in 1997 while Cambodia was recognized as a member in 1999.
Four and a half decades after its establishment, ASEAN continuous to be guided by its fundamental principles of mutual respect for independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity, and national identity of all nation; non-interference in one another’s internal affairs; peaceful settlement of disputes; renunciation of use of force; and effective cooperation.
ASEAN has individual free trade agreements with China, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and India. Together, these countries are collectively known as ASEAN+6.
See www.asean.org for more information.
ASEAN envisions being “a concert of Southeast Asian nations, outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies.”
At the 9th ASEAN Summit in 2003, the ASEAN leaders agreed to establish the ASEAN Community comprised of three pillars, namely the ASEAN Political-Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community, and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.
In January 2007, at the 12th ASEAN Summit, the leaders of ASEAN committed to accelerate the establishment of the ASEAN Community by 2015 and signed the Cebu Declaration on the Acceleration of the Establishment of an ASEAN Community by 2015.