Based on the 12th Summit Meeting in Cebu(Philiphine) in August 2006,The whole ASEAN countries decided and agreed to reschedule the ASEAN Community(AC) that was scheduled in 2020 to 2015.The Creation of AC must comprise three pillars which are political and security cooperation,economic cooperation and socio-cultural cooperation.These components are so intertwined that none of them can stand alone and each remains a potential barrier to be crossed.The Question remains : How can AC be achieved in 2015 with the unstable condition of socio-cultural and security cooperation?
ASEAN Leaders know that economics cooperation is the easiest part to be done.There are clear examples,ways,mechanisms,and also theories.We can say and see there are tarriff cuts,harmonisation of custom standards,and inflation handling.The whole ASEAN members have agreed to realize the ASEAN Economic Community(AEC) by 2015.Even the new ASEAN members especially Vietnam and Cambodia are moving at speed to integrate with both ASEAN and the world economics.The Progress of Cambodia and Vietnam actually shows how ASEAN successfully managed and maintaned the organization in the economic cooperation.Nowadays,with all ASEAN members joining World Trade Organization(excluding Lao PDR),this will further strengthen economic cooperation within the group.In addition,the cooperation of ASEAN with its partners such as Australia,New Zealand and Japan are proceeding well.
Economic is the main and vital component of an organization to be called a strong organization.Without the strong economic,an organization will be as good as dead.ASEAN has succeed in doing and building the economic cooperation in South East Asia Region up to this second.But,the question still remains : Will the next generation be able to keep it that way?The youth have to take a part in the economic development.Perhaps,by training or socialization of how to manage the organization and how to handle the organization can help.Because afterall,the one who will take control of the organization is the youth.So that,we have to do socialization and persuade the people to take a part in the ASEAN community programs for the continuation and also betterment of the organization.The continuation of this organization depends on the youth.Good or bad,failed or succeed,it all depends on the youth that will take control in the future.
ASEAN officials admit that the security and socio-cultural barriers are more difficult to overcome.Up to this point,ASEAN security and political cooperation is focused on highly selective issues of common concern.In my point of view,ASEAN is too obsessed with sovereignty,eventhough the concept of a borderless world is an increasing topic discussion.ASEAN members continue with their self-centered political security views,failed to make mutual compromise for the groups’s collective security needs.They keep trying to secure their country by their own hands even though they know that it will be easier to do that together.But they are to afraid of military intervention that might lead to several deadly conflicts.ASEAN should learn from regional groups in Latin America and Africa that have enjoyed common security and foreign policies eventhough their members have divergent views and concerns.
Up until now,ASEAN haven’t done pretty well job in developing the security cooperation because of the divergent point of views of each ASEAN countries.Well,these behavior and way of thinking will be so hard to overcome now because we can’t change the past.What do we need to do is to look forward for a brighter security cooperation and to trust the youth.The youth should have the good way of thinking like the regional group in Latin America and Africa so that ASEAN can provide a good security for its members because we are still fragile to stand alone.
The ASEAN socio-culture question is equally complex.ASEAN wants to establish a caring society.It’s actually good on paper but when it comes to practical implementation,ASEAN falls flat on the floor.How can ASEAN be a caring society if its members don’t respect Human Rights/Human Security.I don’t know why but it seems that most of the ASEAN members don’t care.Until now,that problem remains elussive.The thing that should be done to solve the problem is democracy/openness.
We need to take an affirmative action to solve these socio-cultural and security cooperation issues so that these problems could be solved.Since we can’t change the past,what we can do is preparing ourselves for the future.We need a good generation of the youth to persuade society and develop the society.We have to prepare ourselves to make a competitive and high quality Human Resources.We have to cut the border.We have to blend diversity into beauty.We have to show the world that ASEAN kids rock!Because we have grown together in South East Asia as a union.We have lived together and we have tasted the pain together as one.So that,no country should be left behind that can conduct the social gap between a developed country and developing country. We got to grow as one,as union,as a family that can be something to the world,that can do diplomatic action rather than war,that can be the peace maker.
Last of All,I want to give an analogy about ASEAN.ASEAN is a well grown trees consist of 10 branches.But,if we have a look deeper,we can see that it’s still fragile,there are still some holes on each branches.It still needs to ber fertilized,watered,and protected until we can see the blossoms spread out all over the world and bring the beauty towards the society.And the only thing that can make that happen is simply by making the ASEAN Community 2015 succeed because it’s the key to a brighter future.