Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

  • HQ at Jakarta (Indonesia); Established in 1967 in Bangkok via Bangkok Declaration
  • Founding Fathers of ASEAN Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand
  • Since then, membership has expanded to include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam


ASEAN follows the principle of “ASEAN way” viz.
  • Musyawarah And Mufakat [Consultation and Agreement]
  • Don’t use force / confrontation
  • Don’t interfere in the internal matters of states
  • Informal discussion
  • Minimal institutionalization


To achieve “ASEAN way”, Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) was signed, to which India also acceded in 2003 viz.


  • They’ll not interfere in the internal affairs of one another,
  • They’ll not use threat or use of force to settle differences / disputes
  • They’ll settle of differences or disputes by peaceful means,
  • They’ll effectively cooperate among themselves.
  • They’ll mutually respect each other’s’ independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and national identity
  • Every State has right lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion or coercion


Evolution of ASEAN
1967 Establishment of ASEAN
1994 ASEAN regional forum (ARF) (India became its member in 1996)
1997 ASEAN + 3 is formed (China + Japan + South Korea) to increase regional cooperation
  • Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) – a currency swap agreement among ASEAN + 3
  • Provides emergency liquidity to economies during crises
  • ASEAN Community Plan- Similar to European Union, which will have three pillars viz.
  • ASEAN Political Security Community
  • ASEAN Economic Community
  • ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community


Timeline of India – ASEAN Relations

1990 India starts engaging with ASEAN, part of Look East Policy.
1992 India becomes a sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN
1996 India becomes full dialogue partner of ASEAN
2002 India starts having annual summits with ASEAN
2003 India accedes to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) India signs counter-terrorism declaration with ASEAN.
  • FTA in goods signed
  • This established Free Trade Area established between India-ASEAN.
2010 FTA in goods becomes effective
  • 20thAnniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue.
  • ASEAN – India Commemorative Summit is held.
  • Now India becomes a strategic partner of ASEAN
  • FTA in services and investment- talks concluded
2014 FTA in services and investment signed- by all ASEAN nations with India except Philippines.


ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) – 1994

  • Dialogue platform between the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and its full dialogue partners
  • To provide diplomatic solutions to regional problems.


ARF has total 27 member states
ASEAN Countries (10) Dialogue Partners (10) Other nations (7)
  1. Brunei Darussalam
  2. Cambodia
  3. Indonesia
  4. Laos
  5. Malaysia
  6. Myanmar
  7. Philippines
  8. Singapore
  9. Thailand
  10. Vietnam
  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. China
  4. EU
  5. India
  6. Japan
  7. ROK
  8. New Zealand
  9. Russia
  10. United States
  1. Bangladesh
  2. DPRK
  3. Mongolia
  4. Pakistan
  5. Papua New Guinea
  6. Timor Leste
  7. Sri Lanka


ARF Procedure
  • Annual ARF meeting at the level of Ministers
  • Track-1 Diplomacy – ARF Senior Officials’ Meeting discussing security measures
  • Track-2 Diplomacy – Seminars of scholars and officials from member states
  • Annual inter-sessional meetings on Confidence Building Measures and Preventive Diplomacy


ARF Vision 2020
  • Regional security challenges & measures
  • Confidence building and cooperation


Hanoi Plan of Action (POA) to implement Vision 2020 involving concrete and practical actions in the fields of:

  • Disaster relief
  • Maritime security
  • Non-proliferation and Disarmament
  • Counter-terrorism
  • Peacekeeping


India and ARF

  • Member of the ARF since 1996
  • Our participation is consistent with our “Look East” policy, and development of closer links with the ASEAN as a full-dialogue partner.
  • We’ve co-chaired ARF Inter-sessional Support Group (ARF-ISG) on CBMs  and Preventive Diplomacy
  • We’ve organized several seminars, workshops and training programmes for ARF Members viz.


  • UN Peacekeeping course at Delhi
  • Maritime security training course at Chennai
  • Anti-piracy training at Mumbai by Coast Guard
  • Cyber security
India Yearbook English India Yearbook Hindi Economic Survey 2017

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