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Thursday, 10 August 2023 14:23

ASEAN 56 Years

Written by  Rahma
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Today 56 years ago on August 8, 1967, countries in the Southeast Asian region established a unity in a meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. 5 regional countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand signed the Bangkok Declaration towards the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). These five countries can be called the founders of ASEAN.

At the age of 56, on August 8, 2023, the number of ASEAN countries increased to 10 countries by adding Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam.

The history of ASEAN was due to the confusion of the regional countries over the global situation, which at that time, was full of conflicts between countries and affected the struggle for the influence of the ideology of the major countries. According to the 5 founding countries, if the situation was allowed to continue, it would clearly disrupt regional stability, thereby hampering economic growth and development.

Initially, ASEAN was looked down upon by the major powers and the international community. But over time, ASEAN's position has played an important role in the global situation. The fall of the Warsaw Pact with the dissolution of the Eastern bloc and the Soviet Union turned the world's political map upside down. The fears of nuclear war that were built by Western and Eastern powers are now gradually decreasing. However, what plays an important role in the current situation is natural resources, instead of an ideology.

The ASEAN region is an area that has a lot of natural resources, and potential human resources ranging from renewable energy to the agricultural and plantation economy as well as an educated population. In addition, ASEAN's strategic position is in the trajectory of world trade where the maritime trajectory has extraordinary economic potential.

This is the focus and target of the major countries. If the ASEAN countries cannot keep up with the rhythm and forget the original purpose of the founding of ASEAN, then the Southeast Asian region will suffer. With the symbol of the grains of rice on the ASEAN logo, it shows that ASEAN's strength is to maintain not only regional stability, but also cognate countries and common goals.

Hopefully on this 56th anniversary, ASEAN will be stronger even though there are internal conflicts among its members. In the case of Myanmar, the 9 member countries have remained firm and continued to uphold their initial commitment to unite, and not be divided. Moreover, the global situation, which is entering a period of global crisis as a result of the wars between Ukraine and Russia, and seeking to ask for support, can be elegantly handled by the ASEAN leaders.

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