Established in 1967, the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is rapidly growing as a major regional organisation.
The ASEAN Vision 2020 was adopted in Kuala Lumpur in 1997 by the member states. The following are its key components:
a) By 2020, the member states have pledged to make the ASEAN region a ‘Zone of Peace’, by encouraging negotiations over conflicts.
b) To strive for peace and stability in the Southeast Asian region, where every nation will be at peace with one another. Negotiations and peaceful resolution of conflicts will be encouraged in order to maintain peace. For example, the ASEAN played a mediatory role in bringing about an end to the Cambodian conflict.
c. To make the South Asian region a ‘Nuclear-free’ zone, further contributing to peace in the region.
d) By 2020, the ASEAN shall enhance economic cooperation through development strategies and emphasise on sustainable and equitable growth.
e) The ASEAN countries shall be committed to economic integration, along with enhancing trade through multilateral trade agreements and achieve global competitiveness. Vision 2020 aims to create a prosperous, stable and competitive economic region, where there is free flow of goods, services and capital.
f) Vision 2020 also aims to provide the people of South Asia equitable access to opportunities for their individual development without any discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, language and cultural background.
g. Most importantly, the ASEAN Vision 2020 aims to encourage responsibility among the South Asian countries towards environmental pollution and degradation.
Thus, Vision 2020 envisages an outward-looking ASEAN, playing an important role in the international forum.