Ever since ASEAN established in 1967 based on Bangkok declaration. ASEAN has been an important part for Southeast Asia countries. ASEAN shows a remarkable progress over the year. Here are some of ASEAN Achievements :
Picture Source : Brink News
Back in 1970, all ASEAN’s country members combined GNP was only $95 billion, but thanks to the shared vision and the spirit of cooperation of all members, in 2017 ASEAN’s combined GNP reaches $2.5 trillion. Which means, the increasing economic can be said more than 20 times of increase. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also mentions that Indonesia experiencing 5.2 % economic growth while Vietnam also has an increase by 5.9%. The country like Cambodia and Laos have experienced the increase by 7 % and 7.1 % while Myanmar by 8.2%. In the investment field, ASEAN successfully gains 120 Billion US Dollar foreign direct investment which 62.1 % of them is in the service sector.
Peace Political Environment
Picture Source : Asian Correspondent
ASEAN consists of 10 members which each country has their own culture. That being said, ASEAN has a very diverse member. They have different economic growth and political situation. However, for all differences, ASEAN successfully put all members into one vision. Some expert predicted that there will be a ‘balkanization’ which led to a big conflict in intern of ASEAN. However, the prediction never happens. If we looking back to ASEAN members history, actually there are many conflicts among the member, for instance the conflict between Indonesia – Malaysia, Singapore- Malaysia, Vietnam – Cambodia and Thailand – Cambodia. ASEAN successfully creating a platform to maintain the peace environment among the member such as ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and East Asia Summit (EAS).
Picture Source : If Only Singaporeans Stopped to Think
In the end of 2015, all ASEAN member states has agreed to implement ASEAN Community until 2025 which ASEAN Community itself has 3 important pillars, the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC). ASEAN Community has aim to increase he economic cooperation, maintaining the peace among the members and creating harmony in one vision. Therefore the tagline for ASEAN Community is ‘one vision, one identity one community)
Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ)
Picture Source : Carnegie-Tsinghua Center
In 1995 there all ASEAN member states has agreed to create ASEAN territory as non nuclear zone which means all members shall not develop any kind of nuclear weapons nor testing nuclear weapon. In article 3 of SEANWFZ , Basic Understanding poin 2 mentioned ;
“Each State Party also undertakes not to allow, in its territory, any other State to:
(a) develop, manufacture or otherwise acquire, possess or have control over nuclear weapons;
(b) station nuclear weapons; or
(c) test or use nuclear weapons.”
This is the reason why nuclear weapon in ASEAN does not even exist and people of ASEAN can live without worrying about nuclear war among the ASEAN members
All in all, ASEAN is now reaching 50 years and there are many challenges to face in the future. We as ASEAN citizen should appreciate what ASEAN has achieved and continue the struggle of ASEAN to create such a harmony and positive environment.
ASEANAPOL firstly initiated in Manila, the Philippines in the formal meeting of the chiefs (1981). In its preliminary time of establishment, the members of ASEANAPOL were originally Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, but since 2000, all ASEAN members have been officially in. ASEANAPOL was urged by the needs to enhance the professionalism of police, forging stronger regional cooperation in policing as well as promoting lasting friendship amongst police officers of member countries.
Its basic aim is to discuss matters of law enforcement and crime control among member as evoked in the tagline, “Together we keep this region safe”. The Secretariat made on a rotational basis with member countries taking turns to host the ASEANAPOL Conference and automatically assume the role of the secretariat for the current year. Within the permanent secretariat, the executive director is elected for 2 years of service tenure along with two directors for 2-3 years. Since 2010, ASEANAPOL’s office was addressed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The annual conference is held also on the rotational basis and attended by the chiefs of police of each member countries. The latest conference (37th) was apparently held in Singapore at September 2017
Collaborating Partners and Observers
ASEANAPOL has been collaborating with international police bases beyond the region. As it evoked in the official website, there are several institutions such as International Association of Police Academia (INTERPA), Pacific Island Chiefs of Police (PICP) ; with international security agencies such as United Nations Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UN CTED), Freeland, The Asia Pacific Medico Legal Agencies (APMLA), The World Border Organization, Canada (BORDEPOL), Central ASEAN Regional Information and Coordination Center for Combating the Illicit Drug (CARICC), Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITIES), Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC). Beside the permanent members, there some agencies also taking part as observers and dialogue which are accepted by following criteria(s) and procedure(s) drafted in the guideline. The dialogue partners consist of Australia, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Federation of Russia, Turkey, ASEAN Secretariat, and INTERPOL. The observers are Timor Leste National Police, National Crime Agency (UK), Europol, ASEAN WEN-Wildlife Enforcement Network, International Association Chief of Police (IACP), and ICRC. Indeed, a broaden collaboration is purposed to enhance regional police cooperation towards preventing and combating transnational crime and in matters of common interest.
During 37 years of its operational, ASEANAPOL has been actively engaged in both its member countries or international activities and events related to security and safety. In November 2017, ASEANAPOL Secretariat, represented by the Director for Police Services participated lice Senior Superintendent Ferdinand Realtor P Bartolome, participated on the Third Regional Police Conference on the Use of Practical-Based Training for Police Officers jointly Hosted by the Indonesian Police Academy (AKPOL) in Indonesia. Yet during this year, ASEANAPOL also participated in 8th APTCM hosted by Singapore Police Force. The two days meeting were attended by 10 ASEANAPOL member countries, dialogue partners, and observes examined the annual training progress, encountered challenges and future plans on training cooperation. With the regard to maritime security, the working group meeting on Maritime Security for Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam was conducted in Vietnam, in October 2017. The meeting aimed to enhance national and regional maritime law enforcement cooperation. ASEANAPOL attended along with 25 representatives coming from countries, also Canada in the meeting that hosted by INTERPOL.
Furthermore, in the latest conference – 37th which was hosted in Singapore this September, resulting in the Joint Communique: evoking the collaboration on transnational crime countermeasures and capacity building. The capacity building worked on the issues of illicit drugs trafficking, terrorism, arms smuggling, trafficking in persons, wildlife crime, maritime fraud, commercial crime, bank offences and credit card fraud, cybercrime, fraudulent travel documents, transnational fraud, electronic ASEANAPOL database system (e-ADS), mutual assistance in criminal matters, exchange of personnel and training programs amongst ASEAN police forces and ASEAN forensic network (APFSN). Also, it is evoked that ASEANAPOL conference is subtly accommodating bilateral meeting amongst member countries to deal with current issues may be arisen.
Writer : Atina Rosydiana