This study involves the importance of restructuring the organizational set up of ASEAN by enhancing its political security support system to strengthen cooperation between South East Asian Nations. The research question is whether a political security support system can be developed to strengthen co-operation between south East Asian nations. The paper consists of four parts-origin of ASEAN and its goals, achievements of ASEAN, challenges, response to challenges and future of ASEAN. Each part of the paper covers these aspects to get a holistic understanding of the research question. The first part of the paper comprises of the structure of ASEAN and its objectives. Then it discusses the origin of ASEAN in detail. This section stresses on the kind of economy existing in the South East Asian countries prior to the formation of ASEAN. It also highlights the role of United States and Japan in the formation of ASEAN and the implication of the development of this organization. ASEAN has certain restriction in the achievement of its goals The reason for the limitations  to attain its goals are discussed in detail.

The second part of the paper mainly concentrates on the achievements of ASEAN. It describes in detail the role played by it in the economic and the political affairs of the South East Asian countries. The successful ASEAN strategy that has developed the economy of  India and China, the endeavor of ASEAN in the global market place and the growth rate of ASEAN countries are also highlighted in this section. The various achievements discussed in this section are the benefits of free trade, the growth of outside economic relations, technological innovations, the increasing buying potential of various countries, market unification and monetary assistance. The initiatives taken to strengthen political stability and to combat terrorism in the region is also one of the aspects discussed.

The third part of the paper deals with the kind of challenges faced by ASEAN to achieve and sustain its primary goal. Some of the challenges that ASEAN faces because of relations between member nations and concerns faced in resolving these issues are the important aspect of this section. The kind of security threats that appears in South-east Asia is mentioned in detail. The challenges due to economic development of certain south East Asian countries, the monetary crisis, and the issues due to the incorporation of new member countries in ASEAN are some of major topics, which are discussed in detail.

The fourth part of the paper stresses on the response to challenges and the future of ASEAN. ASEAN follows a certain strategy to face the challenges in future. Hence, the first part of this section concentrates on the objectives of the formation of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM). The importance of regionalism and steps taken to ensure peace in the South East Asian countries are also covered. There are suggestion put forth to face its future challenges. The various steps taken by ASEAN to eliminate the barriers of trade and the development in the infrastructure of the south East Asian countries is also discussed at length. The different strategies to enhance the dealing of trade, the technological advancements, necessity of transparent, specific rules and treaties, initiatives taken in the field of finance and planning are some of the other aspects dealt with in this section. The second part of this section ascertains the future of ASEAN. The reason for the existence of ASEAN, changes anticipated in future to ensure the security of southeast nations due to increased terrorism and the need to initiate in its financial policies are discussed. The change in role of ASEAN, some of the benefits of extending this establishment, the change in the utility of the concept of regionalism are some of the changes in the structure of ASEAN that is discussed under this section. The change in the conventional way of thinking and the future perspectives, the implementation of flexibility in rules, steps to ensure peacekeeping responsibility of ASEAN, changes in the perspective to ensure peace in the South East Asian countries, steps to ensure the security aspect of south East Asian nations and its importance is also highlighted in this section. Therefore, this section essentially highlights on the various structural and the functional changes that ASEAN requires to face the various challenges of future. The most important topic of discussion here is the requirement and benefits of enhancing the security support system of ASEAN and its member countries.


“Restructuring ASEAN -A New Approach of co-operation between South East Asian Nations” (2005), ASEAN Research paper pp: 1-54

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