As the deadline for achieving the ASEAN Community by 2015 approaches, it is unfortunate to see how the oldest regional organization in Southeast Asia is still struggling with “classical” problems, such as conflicts over territorial issues.
While some disputes have been settled, most of them were referred to the International Court of Justice rather than regional dispute settlement mechanisms.
On the other hand, many are still being “managed” so as not to lead to military clashes, while in fact those issues are burning coals swept under the carpet.
The ongoing series of armed conflicts between Cambodia’s and Thailand’s militaries are a crucial test for ASEAN’s credibility and commitment to become a more integrated and rule-based community and to play a significant role in the global community post-2015.
At the same time it also challenges the su...