ASEAN Overview


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Association of Southeast Asian Nations
ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), composed of 10 Member States, was established on 8 August 1967 to accelerate economic growth, social progress, and cultural development in the region and to promote regional peace and stability. The ASEAN Community, launched in December 2015, aims for a politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible Community and emphasizes people-oriented, people-centered, and rule-based community building efforts.

Background of founding

In response to the need to jointly address rapid changes in the international arena, such as the full-fledged Vietnam War and the spread of communism in Indochina, the alliance was officially formed on 8 August 1967, when the initial five ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, & Singapore) held a foreign minister-level meeting and announced the ASEAN Founding Declaration (Bangkok Declaration).


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ASEAN: Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience

Facts on ASEAN (2022)

Population676 million
Land area4.81 million ㎢
GDPUSD 3,621 trillion
TradeUSD 3,846 trillion
  • Export : 1,962 trillion
  • Import : 1,884 trillion

ASEAN Member States

10 countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam)

Secretary-General of ASEAN


Secretary-General of ASEAN Kao Kim Hourn

  • 2001 Ph.D. in Political Science (US)
  • 1991 M.A. in Political Science, M.A. in International Affairs (US)
  • 1989 B.A. in Asian Studies (US)

  • 2023 Secretary General of ASEAN
  • 2013 Minister Delegate Attached to the Prime Minister of Cambodia
  • 2004 Secretary of State for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperations of Cambodia
  • 2001 Undersecretary of State for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperations of Cambodia
  • 1999 Member of the Supreme National Economic Council of Cambodia
  • 1996 Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperations of Cambodia

Dialogue partners

Dialogue partners
Dialogue Partners Australia, Canada, China, EU, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, United States, UK
Non-Country Dialogue Partner United Nations
Sectoral Dialogue Partner Brazil, Morocco, Norway, Pakistan, South Africa, Switzerland, Türkiye, United Arab Emirates
Development Partner Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Peru
※ France and Italy acquired Development Partner status in September 2020 during the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

Main bodies and structure

  • Summit
    Purpose and function

    Supreme decision-making body

    • Inaugural Summit held in February 1976
    • Held twice a year following entry into force of the ASEAN Charter
  • Coordination Council
    Purpose and function

    Composed of Foreign Ministers of ASEAN Member States, the Coordinating Council coordinates the overall programs of ASEAN including key policy decisions


    Held twice a year

  • Community Councils
    Purpose and function

    Composed of Political-security Community Council, Economic Community Council, and Socio-cultural Community Council

  • Sectoral Ministerial Bodies
    Purpose and function

    42 Minister-level meetings


    Varies depending on each sector

  • Committee of Permanent Representatives, CPR
    Purpose and function

    Supports work of Community Councils and sectoral ministerial meetings


    Held both regularly and on ad-hoc basis

  • National Secretariats
    Purpose and function

    Established in the Foreign Ministry of the ASEAN Member States, the National Secretariat serves as the main channel of communication among ASEAN Member States and a national hub for ASEAN-related information

  • Committees Abroad
    Purpose and function

    Established in 21 countries including the 10 dialogue partners, the ASEAN Committee is composed of the Ambassadors of the 10 ASEAN Member States

    ※ In Korea, there is the ASEAN Committee in Seoul (ACS)
  • ASEAN Secretariat
    Purpose and function

    Coordinates and supports activities related to ASEAN’s policies and programs, organizes and prepares reports for ministerial meetings, maintains relations with external partners and publishes materials

※ Sources : Ministry of Foreign Affairs REPUBLIC OF KOREA (, ASEAN Secretariat (