Cablegate: Asean Leaders Sign Charter
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHGH RUEHHM RUEHNH RUEHVC
DE RUEHGP #2085/01 3241116
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201116Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4451
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2038
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1875
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4140
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 5759
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1379
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0123
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 14 SINGAPORE 002085
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM SN ASEAN
SUBJECT: ASEAN LEADERS SIGN CHARTER
REFS: (A) Singapore 2075; (B) Singapore 2052
1. (U) Summary: Following is the text, as issued by the Singapore
MFA, of the ASEAN Charter signed by ASEAN leaders in Singapore on
November 20. The Charter identifies "democracy," "the rule of law,"
and "human rights" as principles of ASEAN, in addition to familiar
ASEAN principles like "sovereignty," non-interference" and
"consensus." The document creates a human rights body but does not
specify what authority it will have. It calls for the establishment
of ASEAN Community Councils covering political/security, economic,
and socio-cultural issues. It states that there will be four Deputy
Secretaries General to assist the ASEAN Secretary General. It
specifies that ASEAN member states will appoint Jakarta-based
permanent representatives to ASEAN with ambassadorial rank. It
indicates that unresolved disputes are to be referred to the ASEAN
Summit for decision. It calls for holding two Summits annually to
increase the time available to discuss internal ASEAN issues. End
2. BEGIN TEXT:
CHARTER OF THE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
WE, THE PEOPLES of the Member States of the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN), as represented by the Heads of State or
Government of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the
Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic,
Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the
Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist
Republic of Viet Nam:
NOTING with satisfaction the significant achievements and expansion
of ASEAN since its establishment in Bangkok through the promulgation
of The ASEAN Declaration;
RECALLING the decisions to establish an ASEAN Charter in the
Vientiane Action Programme, the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the
Establishment of the ASEAN Charter and the Cebu Declaration on the
Blueprint of the ASEAN Charter;
MINDFUL of the existence of mutual interests and interdependence
among the peoples and Member States of ASEAN which are bound by
geography, common objectives and shared destiny;
INSPIRED by and united under One Vision, One Identity and One Caring
and Sharing Community;
UNITED by a common desire and collective will to live in a region of
lasting peace, security and stability, sustained economic growth,
shared prosperity and social progress, and to promote our vital
interests, ideals and aspirations;
the fundamental importance of amity and cooperation, and the
principles of sovereignty, equality,
territorial integrity, non-interference, consensus and unity in
ADHERING to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good
governance, respect for and protection of human rights and
RESOLVED to ensure sustainable development for the benefit of
present and future generations and to place the well-being,
livelihood and welfare of the peoples at the centre of the ASEAN
community building process;
CONVINCED of the need to strengthen existing bonds of regional
solidarity to realise an ASEAN Community that is politically
cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible in order
to effectively respond to current and future challenges and
COMMITTED to intensifying community building through enhanced
regional cooperation and integration, in particular by establishing
an ASEAN Community comprising the ASEAN Security Community, the
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ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, as
provided for in the Bali Declaration of ASEAN Concord II;
HEREBY DECIDE to establish, through this Charter, the legal and
institutional framework for ASEAN,
AND TO THIS END, the Heads of State or Government of the Member
States of ASEAN, assembled in Singapore on the historic occasion of
the 40th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN, have agreed to this
PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES
The Purposes of ASEAN are:
1. To maintain and enhance peace, security and stability and further
strengthen peace-oriented values in the region;
2. To enhance regional resilience by promoting greater political,
security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation;
3. To preserve Southeast Asia as a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone and free
of all other weapons of mass destruction;
4. To ensure that the peoples and Member States of ASEAN live in
peace with the world at large in a just, democratic and harmonious
5. To create a single market and production base which is stable,
prosperous, highly competitive and economically integrated with
effective facilitation for trade and investment in which there is
free flow of goods, services and investment; facilitated movement of
business persons, professionals, talents and labour; and freer flow
6. To alleviate poverty and narrow the development gap within ASEAN
through mutual assistance and cooperation;
7. To strengthen democracy, enhance good governance and the rule of
law, and to promote and protect human rights and fundamental
freedoms, with due regard to the rights and responsibilities of the
Member States of ASEAN;
8. To respond effectively, in accordance with the principle of
comprehensive security, to all forms of threats, transnational
crimes and transboundary challenges;
9. To promote sustainable development so as to ensure the protection
of the region's environment, the sustainability of its natural
resources, the preservation of its cultural heritage and the high
quality of life of its peoples;
10. To develop human resources through closer cooperation in
education and life-long learning, and in science and technology, for
the empowerment of the peoples of ASEAN and for the strengthening of
the ASEAN Community;
11. To enhance the well-being and livelihood of the peoples of ASEAN
by providing them with equitable access to opportunities for human
development, social welfare and justice;
12. To strengthen cooperation in building a safe, secure and
drug-free environment for the peoples of ASEAN;
13. To promote a people-oriented ASEAN in which all sectors of
society are encouraged to participate in, and benefit from, the
process of ASEAN integration and community building;
14. To promote an ASEAN identity through the fostering of greater
awareness of the diverse culture and heritage of the region; and
15. To maintain the centrality and proactive role of ASEAN as the
primary driving force in its relations and cooperation with its
external partners in a regional architecture that is open,
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transparent and inclusive.
1. In pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, ASEAN and its
Member States reaffirm and adhere to the fundamental principles
contained in the declarations, agreements, conventions, concords,
treaties and other instruments of ASEAN.
2. ASEAN and its Member States shall act in accordance with the
(a) respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial
integrity and national identity of all ASEAN Member States;
(b) shared commitment and collective responsibility in enhancing
regional peace, security and prosperity;
(c) renunciation of aggression and of the threat or use of force or
other actions in any manner inconsistent with international law;
(d) reliance on peaceful settlement of disputes;
(e) non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN Member
(f) respect for the right of every Member State to lead its national
existence free from external interference, subversion and coercion;
(g) enhanced consultations on matters seriously affecting the common
interest of ASEAN;
(h) adherence to the rule of law, good governance, the principles of
democracy and constitutional government;
(i) respect for fundamental freedoms, the promotion and protection
of human rights, and the promotion of social justice;
(j) upholding the United Nations Charter and international law,
including international humanitarian law, subscribed to by ASEAN
(k) abstention from participation in any policy or activity,
including the use of its territory, pursued by any ASEAN Member
State or non-ASEAN State or any non-State actor, which threatens the
sovereignty, territorial integrity or political and economic
stability of ASEAN Member States;
(l) respect for the different cultures, languages and religions of
the peoples of ASEAN, while emphasising their common values in the
spirit of unity in diversity;
(m) the centrality of ASEAN in external political, economic, social
and cultural relations while remaining actively engaged,
outward-looking, inclusive and non-discriminatory; and
(n) adherence to multilateral trade rules and ASEAN's rules-based
regimes for effective implementation of economic commitments and
progressive reduction towards elimination of all barriers to
regional economic integration, in a market-driven economy.
LEGAL PERSONALITY OF ASEAN
ASEAN, as an inter-governmental organisation, is hereby conferred
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The Member States of ASEAN are Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of
Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic
Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the
Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and
the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS
1. Member States shall have equal rights and obligations under this
2. Member States shall take all necessary measures, including the
enactment of appropriate domestic legislation, to effectively
implement the provisions of this Charter and to comply with all
obligations of membership.
3. In the case of a serious breach of the Charter or non-compliance,
the matter shall be referred to Article 20.
ADMISSION OF NEW MEMBERS
1. The procedure for application and admission to ASEAN shall be
prescribed by the ASEAN Coordinating Council.
2. Admission shall be based on the following criteria:
(a) location in the recognised geographical region of Southeast
(b) recognition by all ASEAN Member States;
(c) agreement to be bound and to abide by the Charter; and
(d) ability and willingness to carry out the obligations of
3. Admission shall be decided by consensus by the ASEAN Summit, upon
the recommendation of the ASEAN Coordinating Council.
4. An applicant State shall be admitted to ASEAN upon signing an
Instrument of Accession to the Charter.
1. The ASEAN Summit shall comprise the Heads of State or Government
of the Member States.
2. The ASEAN Summit shall:
(a) be the supreme policy-making body of ASEAN;
(b) deliberate, provide policy guidance and take decisions on key
issues pertaining to the realisation of the objectives of ASEAN,
important matters of interest to Member States and all issues
referred to it by the ASEAN Coordinating Council, the ASEAN
Community Councils and ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies;
(c) instruct the relevant Ministers in each of the Councils
concerned to hold ad hoc inter-Ministerial meetings, and address
important issues concerning ASEAN that cut across the Community
Councils. Rules of procedure for such meetings shall be adopted by
the ASEAN Coordinating Council;
(d) address emergency situations affecting ASEAN by taking
(e) decide on matters referred to it under Chapters VII and VIII;
(f) authorise the establishment and the dissolution of Sectoral
Ministerial Bodies and other ASEAN institutions; and
(g) appoint the Secretary-General of ASEAN, with the rank and status
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of Minister, who will serve with the confidence and at the pleasure
of the Heads of State or Government upon the recommendation of the
ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting.
3. ASEAN Summit Meetings shall be:
(a) held twice annually, and be hosted by the Member State holding
the ASEAN Chairmanship; and
(b) convened, whenever necessary, as special or ad hoc meetings to
be chaired by the Member State holding the ASEAN Chairmanship, at
venues to be agreed upon by ASEAN Member States.
ASEAN COORDINATING COUNCIL
1. The ASEAN Coordinating Council shall comprise the ASEAN Foreign
Ministers and meet at least twice a year.
2. The ASEAN Coordinating Council shall:
(a) prepare the meetings of the ASEAN Summit;
(b) coordinate the implementation of agreements and decisions of the
(c) coordinate with the ASEAN Community Councils to enhance policy
coherence, efficiency and cooperation among them;
(d) coordinate the reports of the ASEAN Community Councils to the
(e) consider the annual report of the Secretary-General on the work
(f) consider the report of the Secretary-General on the functions
and operations of the ASEAN Secretariat and other relevant bodies;
(g) approve the appointment and termination of the Deputy
Secretaries-General upon the recommendation of the
(h) undertake other tasks provided for in this Charter or such other
functions as may be assigned by the ASEAN Summit.
3. The ASEAN Coordinating Council shall be supported by the relevant
ASEAN COMMUNITY COUNCILS
1. The ASEAN Community Councils shall comprise the ASEAN
Political-Security Community Council, ASEAN Economic Community
Council, and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council.
2. Each ASEAN Community Council shall have under its purview the
relevant ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies.
3. Each Member State shall designate its national representation for
each ASEAN Community Council meeting.
4. In order to realise the objectives of each of the three pillars
of the ASEAN Community, each ASEAN Community Council shall:
(a) ensure the implementation of the relevant decisions of the ASEAN
(b) coordinate the work of the different sectors under its purview,
and on issues which cut across the other Community Councils; and
(c) submit reports and recommendations to the ASEAN Summit on
matters under its purview.
5. Each ASEAN Community Council shall meet at least twice a year and
shall be chaired by the appropriate Minister from the Member State
holding the ASEAN Chairmanship.
6. Each ASEAN Community Council shall be supported by the relevant
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ASEAN SECTORAL MINISTERIAL BODIES
1. ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies shall:
(a) function in accordance with their respective established
(b) implement the agreements and decisions of the ASEAN Summit under
their respective purview;
(c) strengthen cooperation in their respective fields in support of
ASEAN integration and community building; and
(d) submit reports and recommendations to their respective Community
2. Each ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Body may have under its purview
the relevant senior officials and subsidiary bodies to undertake its
functions as contained in Annex 1. The Annex may be updated by the
Secretary-General of ASEAN upon the recommendation of the Committee
of Permanent Representatives without recourse to the provision on
Amendments under this Charter.
SECRETARY-GENERAL OF ASEAN
AND ASEAN SECRETARIAT
1. The Secretary-General of ASEAN shall be appointed by the ASEAN
Summit for a non-renewable term of office of five years, selected
from among nationals of the ASEAN Member States based on
alphabetical rotation, with due consideration to integrity,
capability and professional experience, and gender equality.
2. The Secretary-General shall:
(a) carry out the duties and responsibilities of this high office in
accordance with the provisions of this Charter and relevant ASEAN
instruments, protocols and established practices;
(b) facilitate and monitor progress in the implementation of ASEAN
agreements and decisions, and submit an annual report on the work of
ASEAN to the ASEAN Summit;
(c) participate in meetings of the ASEAN Summit, the ASEAN Community
Councils, the ASEAN
Coordinating Council, and ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies and
other relevant ASEAN meetings;
(d) present the views of ASEAN and participate in meetings with
external parties in accordance with approved policy guidelines and
mandate given to the Secretary-General; and
(e) recommend the appointment and termination of the Deputy
Secretaries-General to the ASEAN Coordinating Council for approval.
3. The Secretary-General shall also be the Chief Administrative
Officer of ASEAN.
4. The Secretary-General shall be assisted by four Deputy
Secretaries-General with the rank and status of Deputy Ministers.
The Deputy Secretaries-General shall be accountable to the
Secretary-General in carrying out their functions.
5. The four Deputy Secretaries-General shall be of different
nationalities from the Secretary-General and shall come from four
different ASEAN Member States.
6. The four Deputy Secretaries-General shall comprise:
(a) two Deputy Secretaries-General who will serve a non-renewable
term of three years, selected from among nationals of the ASEAN
Member States based on alphabetical rotation, with due consideration
to integrity, qualifications, competence, experience and gender
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(b) two Deputy Secretaries-General who will serve a term of three
years, which may be renewed for another three years. These two
Deputy Secretaries-General shall be openly recruited based on
7. The ASEAN Secretariat shall comprise the Secretary-General and
such staff as may be required.
8. The Secretary-General and the staff shall:
(a) uphold the highest standards of integrity, efficiency, and
competence in the performance of their duties;
(b) not seek or receive instructions from any government or external
party outside of ASEAN; and
(c) refrain from any action which might reflect on their position as
ASEAN Secretariat officials responsible only to ASEAN.
9. Each ASEAN Member State undertakes to respect the exclusively
ASEAN character of the responsibilities of the Secretary-General and
the staff, and not to seek to influence them in the discharge of
COMMITTEE OF PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVES
1. Each ASEAN Member State shall appoint a Permanent Representative
to ASEAN with the rank of Ambassador based in Jakarta.
2. The Permanent Representatives collectively constitute a Committee
of Permanent Representatives, which shall:
(a) support the work of the ASEAN Community Councils and ASEAN
Sectoral Ministerial Bodies;
(b) coordinate with ASEAN National Secretariats and other ASEAN
Sectoral Ministerial Bodies;
(c) liaise with the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the ASEAN
Secretariat on all subjects relevant to its work;
(d) facilitate ASEAN cooperation with external partners; and
(e) perform such other functions as may be determined by the ASEAN
ASEAN NATIONAL SECRETARIATS
Each ASEAN Member State shall establish an ASEAN National
Secretariat which shall:
(a) serve as the national focal point;
(b) be the repository of information on all ASEAN matters at the
(c) coordinate the implementation of ASEAN decisions at the national
(d) coordinate and support the national preparations of ASEAN
(e) promote ASEAN identity and awareness at the national level; and
(f) contribute to ASEAN community building.
ASEAN HUMAN RIGHTS BODY
1. In conformity with the purposes and principles of the ASEAN
Charter relating to the promotion and protection of human rights and
fundamental freedoms, ASEAN shall establish an ASEAN human rights
2. This ASEAN human rights body shall operate in accordance with the
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terms of reference to be determined by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers
1. The ASEAN Foundation shall support the Secretary-General of ASEAN
and collaborate with the relevant ASEAN bodies to support ASEAN
community building by promoting greater awareness of the ASEAN
identity, people-to-people interaction, and close collaboration
among the business sector, civil society, academia and other
stakeholders in ASEAN.
2. The ASEAN Foundation shall be accountable to the
Secretary-General of ASEAN, who shall submit its report to the ASEAN
Summit through the ASEAN Coordinating Council.
ENTITIES ASSOCIATED WITH ASEAN
ENTITIES ASSOCIATED WITH ASEAN
1. ASEAN may engage with entities which support the ASEAN Charter,
in particular its purposes and principles. These associated entities
are listed in Annex 2.
2. Rules of procedure and criteria for engagement shall be
prescribed by the Committee of Permanent Representatives upon the
recommendation of the Secretary-General of ASEAN.
3. Annex 2 may be updated by the Secretary-General of ASEAN upon the
recommendation of the Committee of Permanent Representatives without
recourse to the provision on Amendments under this Charter.
IMMUNITIES AND PRIVILEGES
IMMUNITIES AND PRIVILEGES OF ASEAN
1. ASEAN shall enjoy in the territories of the Member States such
immunities and privileges as are necessary for the fulfillment of
2. The immunities and privileges shall be laid down in separate
agreements between ASEAN and the host Member State.
IMMUNITIES AND PRIVILEGES OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF ASEAN AND
STAFF OF THE ASEAN SECRETARIAT
1. The Secretary-General of ASEAN and staff of the ASEAN Secretariat
participating in official ASEAN activities or representing ASEAN in
the Member States shall enjoy such immunities and privileges as are
necessary for the independent exercise of their functions.
2. The immunities and privileges under this Article shall be laid
down in a separate ASEAN agreement.
IMMUNITIES AND PRIVILEGES OF THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVES AND
OFFICIALS ON ASEAN DUTIES
1. The Permanent Representatives of the Member States to ASEAN and
officials of the Member States participating in official ASEAN
activities or representing ASEAN in the Member
States shall enjoy such immunities and privileges as are necessary
for the exercise of their functions.
2. The immunities and privileges of the Permanent Representatives
and officials on ASEAN duties shall be governed by the 1961 Vienna
Convention on Diplomatic Relations or in accordance with the
national law of the ASEAN Member State concerned.
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CONSULTATION AND CONSENSUS
1. As a basic principle, decision-making in ASEAN shall be based on
consultation and consensus.
2. Where consensus cannot be achieved, the ASEAN Summit may decide
how a specific decision can be made.
3. Nothing in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article shall affect the
modes of decision-making as contained in the relevant ASEAN legal
4. In the case of a serious breach of the Charter or non-compliance,
the matter shall be referred to the ASEAN Summit for decision.
IMPLEMENTATION AND PROCEDURE
1. Each ASEAN Community Council shall prescribe its own rules of
2. In the implementation of economic commitments, a formula for
flexible participation, including the ASEAN Minus X formula, may be
applied where there is a consensus to do so.
SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES
1. Member States shall endeavour to resolve peacefully all disputes
in a timely manner through dialogue, consultation and negotiation.
2. ASEAN shall maintain and establish dispute settlement mechanisms
in all fields of ASEAN cooperation.
GOOD OFFICES, CONCILIATION AND MEDIATION
1. Member States which are parties to a dispute may at any time
agree to resort to good offices, conciliation or mediation in order
to resolve the dispute within an agreed time limit.
2. Parties to the dispute may request the Chairman of ASEAN or the
Secretary-General of ASEAN, acting in an ex-officio capacity, to
provide good offices, conciliation or mediation.
DISPUTE SETTLEMENT MECHANISMS IN SPECIFIC INSTRUMENTS
1. Disputes relating to specific ASEAN instruments shall be settled
through the mechanisms and procedures provided for in such
2. Disputes which do not concern the interpretation or application
of any ASEAN instrument shall be resolved
peacefully in accordance with the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in
Southeast Asia and its rules of procedure.
3. Where not otherwise specifically provided, disputes which concern
the interpretation or application of ASEAN economic agreements shall
be settled in accordance with the ASEAN Protocol on Enhanced Dispute
ESTABLISHMENT OF DISPUTE SETTLEMENT MECHANISMS
Where not otherwise specifically provided, appropriate dispute
settlement mechanisms, including arbitration, shall be established
for disputes which concern the interpretation or application of this
Charter and other ASEAN instruments.
When a dispute remains unresolved, after the application of the
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preceding provisions of this Chapter, this dispute shall be referred
to the ASEAN Summit, for its decision.
1. The Secretary-General of ASEAN, assisted by the ASEAN Secretariat
or any other designated ASEAN body, shall monitor the compliance
with the findings, recommendations or decisions resulting from an
ASEAN dispute settlement mechanism, and submit a report to the ASEAN
2. Any Member State affected by non-compliance with the findings,
recommendations or decisions resulting from an
ASEAN dispute settlement mechanism, may refer the matter to the
ASEAN Summit for a decision.
UNITED NATIONS CHARTER PROVISIONS AND
OTHER RELEVANT INTERNATIONAL PROCEDURES
Unless otherwise provided for in this Charter, Member States have
the right of recourse to the modes of peaceful settlement contained
in Article 33(1) of the Charter of the United Nations or any other
international legal instruments to which the disputing Member States
BUDGET AND FINANCE
1. ASEAN shall establish financial rules and procedures in
accordance with international standards.
2. ASEAN shall observe sound financial management policies and
practices and budgetary discipline.
3. Financial accounts shall be subject to internal and external
OPERATIONAL BUDGET AND FINANCES
OF THE ASEAN SECRETARIAT
1. The ASEAN Secretariat shall be provided with the necessary
financial resources to perform its functions effectively.
2. The operational budget of the ASEAN Secretariat shall be met by
ASEAN Member States through equal annual contributions which shall
be remitted in a timely manner.
3. The Secretary-General shall prepare the annual operational budget
of the ASEAN Secretariat for approval by the ASEAN Coordinating
Council upon the recommendation of the Committee of Permanent
4. The ASEAN Secretariat shall operate in accordance with the
financial rules and procedures determined by the ASEAN Coordinating
Council upon the recommendation of the Committee of Permanent
ADMINISTRATION AND PROCEDURE
CHAIRMAN OF ASEAN
1. The Chairmanship of ASEAN shall rotate annually, based on the
alphabetical order of the English names of Member States.
2. ASEAN shall have, in a calendar year, a single Chairmanship by
which the Member State assuming the Chairmanship shall chair:
(a) the ASEAN Summit and related summits;
(b) the ASEAN Coordinating Council;
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(c) the three ASEAN Community Councils;
(d) where appropriate, the relevant ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial
Bodies and senior officials; and
(e) the Committee of Permanent Representatives.
ROLE OF THE CHAIRMAN OF ASEAN
The Member State holding the Chairmanship of ASEAN shall:
(a) actively promote and enhance the interests and well-being of
ASEAN, including efforts to build an ASEAN Community through policy
initiatives, coordination, consensus and cooperation;
(b) ensure the centrality of ASEAN;
(c) ensure an effective and timely response to urgent issues or
crisis situations affecting ASEAN, including providing its good
offices and such other arrangements to immediately address these
(d) represent ASEAN in strengthening and promoting closer relations
with external partners; and
(e) carry out such other tasks and functions as may be mandated.
DIPLOMATIC PROTOCOL AND PRACTICES
ASEAN and its Member States shall adhere to existing diplomatic
protocol and practices in the conduct of all activities relating to
ASEAN. Any changes shall be approved by the ASEAN Coordinating
Council upon the recommendation of the Committee of Permanent
WORKING LANGUAGE OF ASEAN
The working language of ASEAN shall be English.
IDENTITY AND SYMBOLS
ASEAN shall promote its common ASEAN identity and a sense of
belonging among its peoples in order to achieve its shared destiny,
goals and values.
The ASEAN motto shall be: "One Vision, One Identity, One Community"
The ASEAN flag shall be as shown in Annex 3.
The ASEAN emblem shall be as shown in Annex 4.
The eighth of August shall be observed as ASEAN Day.
ASEAN shall have an anthem.
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CONDUCT OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS
1. ASEAN shall develop friendly relations and mutually beneficial
dialogue, cooperation and partnerships with countries and
sub-regional, regional and international organisations and
2. The external relations of ASEAN shall adhere to the purposes and
principles set forth in this Charter.
3. ASEAN shall be the primary driving force in regional arrangements
that it initiates and maintain its centrality in regional
cooperation and community building.
4. In the conduct of external relations of ASEAN, Member States
shall, on the basis of unity and solidarity, coordinate and
endeavour to develop common positions and pursue joint actions.
5. The strategic policy directions of ASEAN's external relations
shall be set by the ASEAN Summit upon the recommendation of the
ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting.
6. The ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting shall ensure consistency and
coherence in the conduct of ASEAN's external relations.
7. ASEAN may conclude agreements with countries or sub-regional,
regional and international organisations and institutions. The
procedures for concluding such agreements shall be prescribed by the
ASEAN Coordinating Council in consultation with the ASEAN Community
1. Member States, acting as Country Coordinators, shall take turns
to take overall responsibility in coordinating and promoting the
interests of ASEAN in its relations with the relevant Dialogue
Partners, regional and international organisations and
2. In relations with the external partners, the Country Coordinators
shall, inter alia:
(a) represent ASEAN and enhance relations on the basis of mutual
respect and equality, in conformity with ASEAN's principles;
(b) co-chair relevant meetings between ASEAN and external partners;
(c) be supported by the relevant ASEAN Committees in Third Countries
and International Organisations.
ASEAN COMMITTEES IN THIRD COUNTRIES
AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS
1. ASEAN Committees in Third Countries may be established in
non-ASEAN countries comprising heads of diplomatic missions of ASEAN
Member States. Similar Committees may be established relating to
international organisations. Such Committees shall promote ASEAN's
interests and identity in the host countries and international
2. The ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting shall determine the rules of
procedure of such Committees.
STATUS OF EXTERNAL PARTIES
1. In conducting ASEAN's external relations, the ASEAN Foreign
Ministers Meeting may confer on an external party the formal status
of Dialogue Partner, Sectoral Dialogue Partner, Development Partner,
Special Observer, Guest, or other status that may be established
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2. External parties may be invited to ASEAN meetings or cooperative
activities without being conferred any formal status, in accordance
with the rules of procedure.
RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM AND
OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS AND INSTITUTIONS
1. ASEAN may seek an appropriate status with the United Nations
system as well as with other sub-regional, regional, international
organisations and institutions.
2. The ASEAN Coordinating Council shall decide on the participation
of ASEAN in other sub-regional, regional, international
organisations and institutions.
ACCREDITATION OF NON-ASEAN MEMBER STATES TO ASEAN
Non-ASEAN Member States and relevant inter-governmental
organisations may appoint and accredit Ambassadors to ASEAN. The
ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting shall decide on such accreditation.
GENERAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS
SIGNATURE, RATIFICATION, DEPOSITORY AND ENTRY INTO FORCE
1. This Charter shall be signed by all ASEAN Member States.
2. This Charter shall be subject to ratification by all ASEAN Member
States in accordance with their respective internal procedures.
3. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the
Secretary-General of ASEAN who shall promptly notify all Member
States of each deposit.
4. This Charter shall enter into force on the thirtieth day
following the date of deposit of the tenth instrument of
ratification with the Secretary-General of ASEAN.
1. Any Member State may propose amendments to the Charter.
2. Proposed amendments to the Charter shall be submitted by the
ASEAN Coordinating Council by consensus to the ASEAN Summit for its
3. Amendments to the Charter agreed to by consensus by the ASEAN
Summit shall be ratified by all Member States in accordance with
4. An amendment shall enter into force on the thirtieth day
following the date of deposit of the last instrument of ratification
with the Secretary-General of ASEAN.
TERMS OF REFERENCE AND RULES OF PROCEDURE
Unless otherwise provided for in this Charter, the ASEAN
Coordinating Council shall determine the terms of reference and
rules of procedure and shall ensure their consistency.
This Charter may be reviewed five years after its entry into force
or as otherwise determined by the ASEAN Summit.
INTERPRETATION OF THE CHARTER
1. Upon the request of any Member State, the interpretation of the
Charter shall be undertaken by the ASEAN Secretariat in accordance
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with the rules of procedure determined by the ASEAN Coordinating
2. Any dispute arising from the interpretation of the Charter shall
be settled in accordance with the relevant provisions in Chapter
3. Headings and titles used throughout the Charter shall only be for
the purpose of reference.
1. All treaties, conventions, agreements, concords, declarations,
protocols and other ASEAN instruments which have been in effect
before the entry into force of this Charter shall continue to be
2. In case of inconsistency between the rights and obligations of
ASEAN Member States under such instruments and this Charter, the
Charter shall prevail.
The signed original text of this Charter in English shall be
deposited with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, who shall provide a
certified copy to each Member State.
REGISTRATION OF THE ASEAN CHARTER
This Charter shall be registered by the Secretary-General of ASEAN
with the Secretariat of the United Nations, pursuant to Article 102,
paragraph 1 of the Charter of the United Nations.
The assets and funds of the Organisation shall be vested in the name
Done in Singapore on the Twentieth Day of November in the Year Two
Thousand and Seven, in a single original in the English language.
For Brunei Darussalam:
HAJI HASSANAL BOLKIAH Sultan of Brunei Darussalam
For the Kingdom of Cambodia:
SAMDECH HUN SEN Prime Minister
For the Republic of Indonesia:
DR. SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO President
For the Lao People's Democratic Republic:
BOUASONE BOUPHAVANH Prime Minister
DATO' SERI ABDULLAH AHMAD BADAWI Prime Minister
For the Union of Myanmar:
THEIN SEIN Prime Minister
For the Republic of the Philippines:
GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO President
For the Republic of Singapore:
LEE HSIEN LOONG Prime Minister
For the Kingdom of Thailand:
GENERAL SURAYUD CHULANONT (RET.) Prime Minister
For the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam:
NGUYEN TAN DUNG Prime Minister