11.8.2020 : 11:42 : +0200

General Information | Point of Contact | PoA initiatives & activites | Instruments & documents | Members


Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)


Jakarta, Indonesia

Web site

Short description

ASEAN’s aims include accelerating economic growth and social progress, and promoting regional peace and stability.


ASEAN members are assessed dues whereby each member is to contribute an equal share
regardless of its economic strength. Members may supplement this contribution through voluntary payments. Foreign support has mostly come from ASEAN’s dialogue partners, i.e. Australia, Canada, China, the EU, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, South Korea, and the United States. For small arms-related initiatives and activities—mostly seminars and workshops, discussed below—ASEAN has received financial assistance from Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan, and UNDP.

ASEAN, established in 1967,  has its origins in the 1961 Association of Southeast Asia (ASA). Indonesia and Singapore joined ASA’s three members—the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand—to form ASEAN. The organization’s membership has since doubled, first with the addition of Brunei (in 1984), and most recently with the Cambodia’s accession (1999). Papua New Guinea, awarded observer status in 1976, has been a ‘Special Observer’ since 1981. In 2011 Timor-Leste formally applied to become a member.


10 members (all UN member states)

  • Current members*: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam (Bold: founding member, Grey: suspended member)
  • Former members: None
  • Membership pending: Timor-Leste

Overlapping memberships with other ROs

ASEAN members represent:

  • 7 of 21 APEC members (Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar are not APEC members)
  • 10 of 10 ASEANAPOL members
  • 2 of 7 BIMSTEC members (Myanmar and Thailand are BIMSTEC members)

* Information accurate as of 23 May 2012

PoA Point of Contact

  • Farah Monika
  • Technical Officer, Security Cooperation Division, Political and Security Directorate, ASEAN Political-Security Community Department

+62-21-724-3372 (x 198)

PoA-related activities

ASEAN first explicitly addressed the need to cooperate to address the threat of illicit arms trafficking at its July 1997 foreign ministers meeting. That December, in Manila, ASEAN heads of state and government again raised the problem of arms smuggling in the Declaration on Transnational Crime. ASEAN since has convened a series of no fewer than half a dozen workshops and seminars to address arms smuggling and implementing the PoA, including a meeting devoted to MANPADS. Moreover, in 2002 ASEAN adopted the Work Programme to Implement the ASEAN Plan of Action to Combat Transnational Crime, in which ASEAN member states identified numerous ‘action lines’ to make concrete progress in combating arms smuggling, one of eight areas highlighted under the work programme. Members created the ASEAN Security Community in 2003 (referred to as the ASEAN Political-Security Community since the ASEAN Charter came into force on 15 December  2008)—one of the organization’s three pillars—to strengthen their ability to follow up and make progress on commitments made. The ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism, concluded in January 2007, entered into force in May 2011 upon ratification by the sixth ASEAN member state. Of relevance to countering the illicit trade in small arms, the convention commits ASEAN members to enhance cross-border cooperation and information sharing. As of March 2012, however, the foreseen databases called for in the convention had not yet been created. 

PoA-related programmes and initiatives

PoA-relevant cooperation with other ROs

Under the framework of the ASEAN Regional Forum, the EU has funded two workshops (co-hosted with Cambodia and held in Phnom Penh) to address MANPADS proliferation (2005) and small arms PSSM (2007).

Legally binding regional instruments

  • Legally binding regional instruments ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism (2007)
  • Charter of the Association of South-east Asian Nations (2007)

Other official documents of interest

  • ASEAN Declaration on Transnational Crime (1997)
  • ASEAN Plan of Action to Combat Transnational Crime (1999)
  • Work Programme to Implement the ASEAN Plan of Action to Combat Transnational Crime (2002)
  • ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint (2009)


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