ASEAN being left behind?

The 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore is now over. What now? Each 10-member Countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) now have one full year to ratify the 1st ASEAN Constitution signed on the 20th of November 2007 (last week) on their respective countries. Once all 10 members ratify it, the ASEAN Constitution will take full effect on the 14th ASEAN Summit, and from there on we will truely see where we – the ASEAN Citizens – are really going to be in the future, and in this New World Order of growing regional communities and unions.

I said “regional communities and unions” when in reality there are so few communities today than 5+ years ago. Are you aware that the African Economic Community (AEC) is now known as the African Union (AU), going by the tagline An Efficient and Effective African Union for a New Africa, forming 53 African States and founded on 2001?

Follow up:

Do you know that they target to have a single currency called the Afro by 2028? They even have an AU Anthem, an Emblem, and a Flag (read: here)! Oh did I mention they’re already discussing about the formation of “An African Union Government”, which will lead towards the “United States of Africa”?

What I like most of their conclusion as to what a Union Government for Africa should be or have or be based on are:

  1. it must be a “Union of the African people and not merely a Union of states and governments”;
  2. its formation must be “based on a multi-layered approach” and on the principle of “gradual incrementalism”;

Oh by the way, the world is also waiting for the integration of two South American Economic Community namely – Mercosur and the Andean Community – to form the “Union of South American Nations” which is once again modelled after the European Union (like the African Union). The completion of the integration is expected by the Summit to be held in Colombia in January 2008, less than two months from now, creating the world’s 3rd Union.

How about Asia? Will there be an Asian Union? There are talks and it has been going on for years, but let’s forget about it, especially that I personally doubt it will reach any tangible success for reasons:

Asia is the largest continent:

  • countless of differences from religion, beliefs, political agendas, etc.
  • that can’t even make solutions to decades old problems and arguments
  • that can’t even fast track the ASEAN Community itself and the East Asia Community
  • different form of governments from extreme right to extreme left
  • that can not even forget about our history-long feuds like the case with Israel (fyi: Israel is not part of any Asian grouping because they’re being blocked)

So how about the East Asia Community? Well, no one wants to give more information about EAC, not even ADB. I can not blame them as ASEAN was chosen to take the lead of the greater grouping (hence it was formerly called ASEAN+3+3). There can’t be news about EAC if it’s leader is struggling with its own regional grouping – the ASEAN Community. Now that’s our task, each and every one of us Aseans. Maybe, one day we can see some light to the formation of an ASEAN Union and an ASEAN Single Currency which I call the “Asyan“.

The Asyan will play an important role into the fulfillment of EAC. It is always discussed and debated that the EAC can not anchor the Yuan or Yen, especially with how China and Japan cancels each other. Then there is the potential booming of S. Korea’s economy which will add Won to the list of currencies to be the “Euro/Afro” of EAC. If ASEAN can make the “Asyan” a reality, then as the appointed lead of EAC, our (future) Asyan currency can become (obviously) the anchor monetary for EAC, and I believe no one of the EAC members will counter that.

Just a primer, EAC is composed of the 10-members of ASEAN plus China, Japan, Korea (+3) plus Australia, New Zealand, India (+3). With observers, proposals, backing, and seeking memberships by Russia, Pakistan, and Mongolia (another +3). Surely, not one of these +3’s will accept the currency of another, but the Asyan is or will be in a unique position to be the EAC single currency.

Anyway, one can dismiss these as simple wishes or dreams of the future for our region. I am no economist and expert, not even knowledgeable about these matters so I can only give that much opinion and views. But that’s the way I see it, and I do hope we can fast track things, we are being left behind, let’s have an ASEAN Union the soonest possible time with an ASEAN Single Currency called the “Asyan”.

Thus, let’s support the ratification of the 1st ASEAN Constitution with our respective countries/governments. And let’s all help in gathering ASEAN sites, blogs, information, and what not, to help in the flow of information within you and me. We are the people of ASEAN, we should be the first to know more about all these high-level and top-level meetings. If one of us have news or sources where to get new data or updates, then by all means share it with everyone.

Let’s all get rolling… I want my future children to live a better life than I have now, and I know you do as well.. and I personally want to experience living in a new world, with a new currency, before I leave this world.

I leave you all with these information:

  • 1st ASEAN Constitution signed on November 20, 2007 at the 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore, on its 40th anniversary of its founding in 1967
  • ASEAN is moving from being State-centric to be more people-oriented
  • At least 10 of the 15 stated purposed of ASEAN in Chapter I concern the livelihood and well-being of peoples in ASEAN
  • Formation of ASEAN’s newest institution – the ASEAN Human Rights Body
  • ASEAN is a now a legal entity
  • ASEAN Summit will be twice a year
  • The Constitution reaffirms that English is the working language of ASEAN (One of the few things that ASEAN has outdone the European Union, where every official EU document must be written in at least three languages)

Now what we see as one of the important issues to tackle – the ASEAN Identity:

  • ASEAN Motto: “One Vision, One Identity, One Community
  • ASEAN flag
  • ASEAN emblem
  • ASEAN Day: August 8
  • ASEAN anthem (there shall be one) [gameshogun note: It is unclear if it is the title of our Anthem or they meant it as “we are still composing it”]

(Two more things that ASEAN has outdone the EU. ASEAN will have the motto and anthem; whereas the EU has already abandoned its earlier plan to adopt “United in Diversity” as the EU motto, and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy as the EU anthem.)

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