On Thursday, November 17, leaders of the 10 Association of Southeast Nations signed the Bali Concord III accord, the road map outlining strategies to strengthen the ASEAN community’s three pillars in security, the economy, and in the social-cultural field.
The declaration also mentions details on how ASEAN member countries could bolster cooperation in conflict resolution, fight transnational crimes, fight corruption, and strive towards nuclear disarmament.
As part of the group’s goal to become an integrated economic community by 2015, the declaration also calls for the adoption of regionwide production standards, a distribution system for commodities, increased openness, technological progress, and energy diversification, reported the Jakarta Globe.
Among social-cultural issues were: natural disaster relief and prevention, climate change, health, education, and culture.
Additional agreements concluded in Bali also addressed the establishment of a coordinating center for humanitarian relief in the management of disasters (AHA Center) and another agreement for solidarity in the defense and promotion of ASEAN cultural diversity.
Opening the ASEAN Summit, President Yudhoyono, this year’s chair of ASEAN, said that “Bali has a special historic significance in ASEAN cooperation, because it is here that a number of important agreements have been made towards the growth of ASEAN.”
In 1976, Bali witnessed the birth of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), also known as Concord I, where member countries agreed that among ASEAN nations, each will not use force but will seek peaceful solutions in resolving conflicts.
In 2003, the island of Bali again witnessed the signing of Bali Concord II, when ASEAN countries resolved to build a regional community based on the three pillars of: politics, the economy, and in the social-cultural field. Bali Concord II was further developed into the ASEAN Charter, strengthening ASEAN as a rule-based organization, said President Yudhoyono.
At this 19th ASEAN Summit, Bali Concord III was signed by the 10 heads of state/government. They were: Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, Sultan Hasanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong of Laos, President Thein Sein of Myanmar, Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak of Malaysia, President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of Thailand, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dun of Vietnam, and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
According to 2010 ASEAN data, the 10 ASEAN countries, comprising Cambodia, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam together count a total population of 598.5 million people or 8.8 percent of the world’s total population. The region has an average per capita income of US$3,092.50 and an average economic growth rate of 7.4 percent.