ASEAN and the World By Sebastian Steven, Tom Park and Pascal Girard
ASEAN’s role in its member nations • ASEAN is not a governing body, in the sense it does not rule its member nations. • ASEAN is more like a student council, in modern terms, as apposed to say, an empire. Ideas and issues are brought to the council, and are discussed with representatives of each nation present. • As a result of this, ASEAN becomes more of a guiding force than an actual government. • When nations join ASEAN, they are acquiring more of a mentor and a helper, rather than a ruling force.
Benefits of joining ASEAN • When joining ASEAN, countries are not giving up their sovereignty (independence; become ruled/conquered). • As a result, ASEAN becomes a place where countries can discuss present issues and ways to resolve them. • ASEAN provides financial support, a safe place to bring up problems, and generally helps and protects its member nations. • ASEAN also holds annual and semi annual conferences, to help countries keep up to date with issues.
Effectiveness of ASEAN • If it was a single nation, ASEAN would be the 9th largest economy in the world • Avoids wars and protects member states • ASEAN has great goal setting skills and good agreement skills as well • ASEAN has also made strong efforts to protect the region’s environment.
Difficulties in ASEAN • Sometimes, there is inter-conflict (ex: Cambodia and Thailand land disputes) • Each nation on its own is not very good financially • Yet, ASEAN has the 9th largest economy in the World, so are good together, but not separately. • Human rights in its member nations is not monitored well and has become problematic. This should be changed.
Conclusion • ASEAN is a great organization, but can be tweaked in a couple of areas. • ASEAN should enforce human rights laws to make their area a better place. There is too much poverty in the region and people are not being treated fairly • The fighting inside ASEAN should be dealt with. Thailand and Cambodia are a prime example, with their bickering of land disputes • And finally, ASEAN should work on keeping a better eye on its nations financial situations. Individually, a lot ASEAN’s nations are not doing well, and this is a problem that should be fixed as soon as possible.
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