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Jakarta Post

Unspoken challenges of ASEAN

Jakarta   /   Thu, February 21, 2019   /  09:06 am
Unspoken challenges of ASEAN Catching up with the neighbors: The leaders of ASEAN member states, (from left) Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, the Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and Laos’ Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, pose for a group photo at the opening ceremony of the 33rd ASEAN summit in Singapore (AFP/Jewel Samad)

According to the alphabetic rules set for the annual rotation of the ASEAN chair, Thailand is to steward the grouping through 2019 in between Singapore and Vietnam. One year is short for any country to leave a mark and produce significant impacts, especially when the institution is a regional body known to be slow in taking action. While sympathetic ASEAN observers consider the core principles of consensus and non-intervention as crucial to deliver 50 years of economic development and peaceful cooperation, more critical voices have argued they are a barrier to address present-day challenges requiring more bold and rapid intervention. To examine the challenges ahead for Thailand a public forum was organized by two leading think tanks in the region, the Institute for International and Strategic Studies (IISS) and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), on F...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.