The Association

of Southeast Asian Nations

Initially established in 1967 comprising founding member nations Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore, the association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was set-up to counter the potential threat to ASEAN and promote political stability in the region, during the polarized atmosphere of the Cold War. By the early 1990s, the association had expanded to include its current 10 members: Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore.

Difficulty: 

Topic 1:  Furthering capacity building among ASEAN nations

Capacity building among the ASEAN nations has often been discussed, with the ASEAN Regional Capacity Building for Competition to create more attractive places for investment and the ASEAN Cyber Capacity Development Project to increase the technological capabilities of ASEAN nations. However, there are many other areas in which ASEAN cooperation remains sparse; economic infrastructural development is but one aspect. In exploring ways that ASEAN could further cooperation in capacity building, delegates will have to consider the interests of their own countries, and the alliances that they might have formed with other greater powers not in ASEAN.

Topic 2:  Greater economic cooperation in ASEAN post COVID-19

Economic cooperation within ASEAN has existed since the start of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), and has since progressed to encompass even more areas, most recently creating the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). However, with COVID-19 disrupting economic growth all around the world, many plans for economic development that ASEAN countries had prior to the pandemic might have been affected. As such, delegates in this council should consider how increased economic cooperation within ASEAN may be beneficial for ASEAN countries to reconstruct their economies, as well as how this economic cooperation should look like in a post-pandemic world.

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