The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration)by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Brunei Darussalam then joined on 8 January 1984, Viet Nam on 28 July 1995, Laos PDR and Myanmar on23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999, making up what is today the ten Member States of ASEAN.
On 8 August 1967, five leaders - the Foreign Ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, thePhilippines, Singapore and Thailand - sat down together in the main hall of the Department of Foreign Affairs building in Bangkok, Thailand and signed a document. By virtue of that document, theAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was born. The five Foreign Ministers who signed it - Adam Malik of Indonesia, Narciso R. Ramos of the Philippines, Tun Abdul Razak of Malaysia, S. Rajaratnam ofSingapore, and Thanat Khoman of Thailand - would subsequently be hailed as the Founding Fathers of probably the most successful inter-governmental organization in the developing world today. And thedocument that they signed would be known as the ASEAN Declaration.
It was a short, simply-worded document containing just five articles. It declared the establishment of an Association for RegionalCooperation among the Countries of Southeast Asia to be known as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and spelled out the aims and purposes of that Association. These aims and purposeswere about cooperation in the economic, social, cultural, technical, educational and other fields, and in the promotion of regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the ruleof law and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter. It stipulated that the Association would be open for participation by all States in the Southeast Asian region subscribing to its...