Thailand's and Australia's places in the ASEAN Community in 2015 and beyond

With the Thai Ambassador: His Excellency Dr Kriangsak Kittichaisaree

Thursday 5 May 2011

Bradley Forum,  UniSA City West campus,  Hawke Building

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CV for the Thai Ambassador: HE Dr Kriangsak Kittichaisaree

The year 2012 marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Australia.

Thailand and Australia have close, productive and multi-faceted relations, both bilaterally and at the regional level. Although renowned for its excellent food and tourist attractions, Thailand's strategic importance to Australia, in terms of security, political, and economic partnerships, is not realized by most Australians.

Thailand is geographically and strategically situated in South-East Asia, linking the south of China, with Indochina, and the rest of that region. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), consisting of 10 thriving member countries in South-East Asia, actually neighbours to the near north of Australia, will become the ASEAN Community in 2015. Australia must, therefore, assess its policy in order to maximize what it could gain from the ASEAN Community, with Thailand as its important ally.

Explaining ASEAN

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Brunei Darussalam then joined on 7 January 1984, Viet Nam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999, making up what is today the ten Member States of ASEAN.

Aims and Purposes

As set out in the ASEAN Declaration, the aims and purposes of ASEAN are:

  1. To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavours in the spirit of equality and partnership in order to strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations;
  2. To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries of the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter;
  3. To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields;
  4. To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational, professional, technical and administrative spheres;
  5. To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilisation of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade, including the study of the problems of international commodity trade, the improvement of their transportation and communications facilities and the raising of the living standards of their peoples;
  6. To promote Southeast Asian studies; and
  7. To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations with similar aims and purposes, and explore all avenues for even closer cooperation among themselves.

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