Presentation by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Quang Minh


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Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Quang Minh, Dean, International Studies Department, University of Social Science Humanities, Vietnam National University

“Looking Towards ASEAN community 2015: Constraints, Obstacles and Opportunities” seminar on 21 April 2011 at Chulalongkorn University

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Presentation by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Quang Minh

  1. 1. ASEAN Communities: A perspective from Vietnam Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Quang Minh International Studies Department University of Social Sciences and Humanities, VNU-Hanoi Email: [email_address] Bangkok, Chulalongkorn University, April 21, 2011
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>1. Why are ASEAN communities necessary? </li></ul><ul><li>2. How challenging are ASEAN communities? </li></ul><ul><li>3. What should be done? </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1. Why are ASEAN communities necessary? <ul><li>S Rajaratnam (Singapore FM, 1967): “ If we don’t hang together, we will be hung separately .” </li></ul><ul><li>ASEAN Concord II (Bali 2003): </li></ul><ul><li>countries in the region live at peace with one another </li></ul><ul><li>establish ASEAN as a a single market and production base </li></ul><ul><li>envisages a Southeast Asia bonded together in partnership as a community of caring societies. </li></ul>
  4. 4. 1. Why are ASEAN communities necessary? <ul><li>Regional peace and security are not self-generating </li></ul><ul><li>To encourage economic competitiveness </li></ul><ul><li>To reduce material disparities between member states </li></ul><ul><li>No government can assure complete human security for all its people </li></ul><ul><li>ASCC could bring the Association’s diverse people closer together, make them more aware of belonging to one regional family </li></ul><ul><li>will be more cohesive, and thus better able to develop relations between SEA and the world. </li></ul>
  5. 5. 2. How are ASEAN communities challenging? <ul><li>APSC: </li></ul><ul><li>Because of their political diversity, the member states have wanted neither to engage in collective defense nor to forge a common foreign policy </li></ul><ul><li>No consensus on sensitive questions like disputes in the South China Sea, human rights, fundamental freedoms, the rule of law and good governance </li></ul><ul><li>ASEAN Charter’s mandate to establish an “ASEAN human rights body” </li></ul><ul><li>France, Russia, UK, US still had objection to sign the Treaty on SEANWFZ </li></ul><ul><li>Difference among members on the rights of foreign ships and aircraft to move through the Zone and to visit ports and airfields within it </li></ul>
  6. 6. 2. How are ASEAN communities challenging? <ul><li>AEC : No central authority is directly responsible for building the AEC </li></ul><ul><li>No plan in ASEAN to integrate the economic agencies of the respective member governments, nor to transfer power over economic matters to any central authority, </li></ul><ul><li>no intension of erecting a “SEA Commission”, nor is a customs union planned (because of free-port status of Singapore and Brunei) </li></ul><ul><li>Not yet ready to strive for any common external tariff </li></ul><ul><li>Not a monetary union </li></ul><ul><li>No clear mandate for any ASEAN body to tackle issues that cut across two or more of priority sectors </li></ul><ul><li>The eagerness of some members to develop ASEAN’s external economic linkages to fast and too soon </li></ul>
  7. 7. 2. How are ASEAN communities challenging? <ul><li>ASCC : </li></ul><ul><li>ASEAN as an organization has few resources to share </li></ul><ul><li>ASEAN’s profile and activities remain largely unknown to most of people in its region </li></ul><ul><li>Low level of public awareness means a lack of public interests </li></ul><ul><li>The choice of English as the only working language in ASEAN limits the Association’s ability to communicate with its people </li></ul><ul><li>Without public awareness it is hard to promote a “we-feeling” throughout Southeast Asia </li></ul>
  8. 8. 3. What should be done? <ul><li>To bring ASEAN Charter into effect </li></ul><ul><li>ASEAN will have a legal personality as an intergovernmental organization </li></ul><ul><li>The Charter establishes a council for each of the three communities </li></ul><ul><li>Foreign ministers of member states to form an ASEAN Coordinating Council </li></ul><ul><li>To enhance the roles of Secretary General </li></ul><ul><li>To promote the coordination between ministerial meeting </li></ul><ul><li>To create a development bank to mobilize funds for all ASEAN organizations extensions </li></ul><ul><li>To develop the responsibility to cooperate/culture of compliance </li></ul><ul><li>To create a court of justice or regional commission to enforce Charter and other agreements </li></ul>
  9. 9. 3. What should be done? <ul><li>ASEAN has to speak with one voice on global issues (working on it) </li></ul><ul><li>ASEAN has to be more broad-based </li></ul><ul><li>ASEAN has to engage with major powers with international norms and standard </li></ul><ul><li>ASEAN has to be open, transparent, democratic (Indonesia’s model) </li></ul><ul><li>ASEAN must incorporate civil society at all levels </li></ul>