ASEAN between Aspirations and Realities
The most important legal instrument of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations __ the ASEAN Charter __ entered into force on December 15, 2008 and bestowed a legal personality for this regional organization. The ASEAN Charter has given root to a new ASEAN.
In this original framework, the ASEAN meetings of 2009 and in particular the October 23-25, 2009, ASEAN Summit hosted in Thailand were conceived to herald a new phase in ASEAN’s life.
By their results, the 2009 ASEAN Summits will have a special place in the history of this regional institution because they managed to consider in a constructive way and to find workable solutions on how to give tangibility to three communities: “A Community of Action”; “A Community of Connectivity”; “A Community of Peoples”.
This article contains an analysis from a diplomatic perspective of the most significant documents adopted at the ASEAN Leaders’ level.
A fundamental question is: can ASEAN successfully cope with future predictable and unpredictable challenges (global or regional)? In this regard, is ASEAN able and equipped to take the lead in genuine institution building in the East Asia region?
The general conclusion is that ASEAN can play a more important role in its area and at global level, only if its members cooperate more closely in all fields.