The Political Ambitions of Southeast Asia

| April 19, 2015

The economy is what drives a nation forward, but the key to that grow lies in the political stability and security of that nation. In Southeast Asia, some of the fastest growth rates have been recorded for their economies. One of the most inspiring countries in their reach for political stability has been Indonesia. As a result the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) nations 2015 is being held in Jakarta. Its a chance for the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) to showcase their commitment to lending and growth by chairing a public forum and seminar.

ASEAN member countries

ASEAN member countries

Jakarta

There are a few disputes in the region, but it does overall remain politically steady. There are arguments among politicians when it comes to agendas, perspectives, and historical records, but there over the recent years there has been dramatic cooperation seen on all fronts too. This is especially true in Jakarta, which has undergone positive change going forward. Its this positive growth and security that means Jakarta will be integrating with the ASEAN community program. The exact date of the proposal is 31 December 2015. This will give Jakarta access to the community that is made up of 3 pillars. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which is the most widely known, and there is also the Political-Security Community, and the Socio-cultural Community.

Commitment to Women

ASEAN doesn’t just focus on the political structures of countries in the region, they are also promoting the elimination of sexual violence, and attempting to improve the role that women play in regional peace processes and international and regional security. Its due to some of the conflict that happens in the Southeast Asian that this sexual violence takes place. Its this prevention of these armed conflicts that is being promoted said the Vietnamese diplomat Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga. She stated that conflict prevention mechanisms must be promoted, while political reconciliations, and the rule of law, along with socio-economic development foundation were put in place. Its these foundations she said that promote gender equality, and give sustainable opportunities for girls and women.

ASEAN Agendas

The ASEAN Political-Security Community provides a wide range of agenda, starting with the promotion of good governance, and combating corruption within government and organizations. They also take an interest in the protection of human rights to very specific defence issues such as ensuring that there is a dedicated Southeast Asian nuclear weapon free zone. Asean is considered to be more of a think tank than an actual organization designed to provide a regional peacekeeping force. They are committed towards a security alliance to promote peace and stability in the area.

Military Cooperation

Due to the economic disparity among members, and the size and power of their military forces being considerably different, multilateral military operations are not very popular or really feasible, especially with some of the more sophisticated members of the region. There have been a handful of exercises and cooperation that have been considered a success. An example of this is the Malacca Straits Patrol (MSP), who are tasked with reducing the incidents of piracy that take place of the Straits of Malacca. Its proven to be a lasting agreement between nations since its establishment in 2004.

Peacekeeping Force

Before any type of ASEAN peacekeeping force is setup, there looks like there will be an ASEAN security council setup in the region. The council would be like a miniature version of the United Nations security council, and their responsibilities will be for peace and security in the region. Although they might not yet have a peacekeeping force they would measure threats to peace, and suggest appropriate countermeasures to regain stability. The council would act as a mediator between conflicting parties, and encourage a peaceful resolution to conflict before it begins to get out of control. Sanctions will be at their disposal for nations that misbehave.

The ASEAN Political Security Community is a step in the right direction for peace and stability, and with the integration date approaching for Jakarta, we can only hope that more economic growth and prosperity is brought to all countries in the region. With this roadmap already looking very positive, it will encourage more regions in the area to join and promote their own economic growth faster with a positive template from provided by Jakarta.

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