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Jakarta Post

After the 18th ASEAN Summit: Time to work harder

  • Rizal Sukma

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 12 2011   /  08:00 am

When Indonesia hosted the ninth ASEAN Summit in October 2003, it changed the regional grouping in an important way. It was at that summit that ASEAN agreed to transform itself into a Community. Even more important was the agreement to adopt the Indonesian proposal on the ASEAN Security Community as a new platform for political-security cooperation, albeit in a much watered down form than what was originally proposed. Within that framework Indonesia also persuaded other ASEAN member states that the Association should start working together on two new agendas previously considered taboo: democracy and human rights.

Indeed, the impacts of the ninth summit on the evolution of ASEAN have been commendable. For one, it served as the beginning of a series of changes that soon followed, including an increase in the participation of civil society in ASEAN affairs, the adoption of the ASEAN ...