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55th anniversary of ASEAN

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    9th Aug, 2022


Recently, ASEAN marked an important occasion of the 55th anniversary of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

  • It is a political and economic organization aimed primarily at promoting economic growth and regional stability among its members.
  • It was founded in 1967 by the five South-East Asian nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
    • Brunei Darussalam joined in 1984, Vietnam in 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar in 1997, and Cambodia in 1999, making up ten Member States of ASEAN.

Current members

  • Current members: ASEAN include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • ASEAN Plus Three: It is a forum that functions as a coordinator of co-operation between the ASEAN and the three East Asian nations of China, South Korea, and Japan.
  • ASEAN Plus Six: The group includes ASEAN Plus Three as well as India, Australia, and New Zealand. 

About ASEAN Summit

  • It is the highest policy-making body in ASEAN comprising the Head of States or Government of ASEAN Member States.
  • Summit is held twice annually.
  • The First ASEAN Summit was held in Bali, Indonesia in 1976.

ASEAN - India Relations

  • Multi-level interaction: Engagement with ASEAN is a multi-level interaction process. 
    • At the apex is the annual summit “ASEAN-India Summit”.
    • Summits are supported by meetings at the Foreign Minister level “ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers Meeting”-AIFMM.
  • India shares a deep connection with ASEAN and has continued its active engagement in many areas contributing to regional peace and stability, particularly through ASEAN-led mechanisms, such as:
    • East Asia Summit.
    • ASEAN Regional Forum.
    • ADMM-Plus. 
      • The ADMM Plus is an annual meeting of Defence Ministers of 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries and eight dialogue partner countries - Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.
  • Delhi Dialogue: The ‘Delhi Dialogue’ (DD) mechanism hosted by India annually.
    • It is traditionally inaugurated jointly by India and ASEAN at the Foreign Minister’s level.
    • It serves as the main Track 1.5mechanism for our engagement. 
      • The DD-mechanism allows the participation of think tanks, academics and prominent civil society persons from both India and the ASEAN region. 
      • In addition to government representatives, with the objective of contributing ideas and perspectives to furthering the India-ASEAN strategic partnership.
    • The XIIth edition of the Delhi Dialogue was held in June, 2022.
  • Act East Policy & Indo-Pacific: Indo-Pacific is an interconnected geography where ASEAN is at its core. 
    • Both ASEAN and India believe that openness, inclusiveness, rules-based order, freedom of navigation and peaceful settlement of disputes lie at the very core of the Indo-Pacific. 
  • Maritime Connectivity & Security: India is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and ASEAN Countries have borders with Indo-Pacific waters. 
    • This opens up plenty of opportunities for India and other countries to work on maritime security, trade, and better supply chain networks.
    • India is consciously working with ASEAN towards a vision of an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific in tandem with initiatives such as-
      • The Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI)
      • To ensure Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)
    • India and some of the ASEAN countries are also members of the recently launched Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).
  • Checks Chinese Dominance: Maritime cooperation in terms of connectivity, safety and security has gained high attention in the backdrop of China's advancements in the South China Sea. 
    • India will gain better positioning against China's increasing dominating presence in the area.

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