Introduction

  • Angela Pennisi di Floristella
Chapter
Part of the New Security Challenges Series book series

Abstract

In its earliest manifestation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was not a security project. The Bangkok Declaration, which came to be known as the ASEAN founding document, gives the impression that the Association was created largely to forge economic growth and social progress in the Southeast Asian region.1 Looking back at ASEAN’s formative years, this is somewhat of a paradox. In fact, in 1967 security concerns were foremost in the minds of the five ASEAN founding fathers, foreign ministers Adam Malik of Indonesia, Narciso R. Ramos of the Philippines, Tun Abdul Razak of Malaysia, Sinnathamby Rajaratnam of Singapore and Thanat Khoman of Thailand, when they met informally at the quiet beach resort of Bang Saen in Thailand. On that occasion the idea of forming a regional grouping became a reality. It was later described in the memorable words of a British diplomatic telegram to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London using the expression sport-shirt diplomacy, as opposed to the more formal business-shirt diplomacy common in Western settings. However, no one could have imagined that in a few years this association would turn into one of the most suitable environments to facilitate interregional dialogue and new mechanisms of confidence building, designed to achieve peace and regional security.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Angela Pennisi di Floristella 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Pennisi di Floristella
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CataniaItaly

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