Forty years after the Bangkok Declaration, which established the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a new document was drafted as a result of "bold and visionary recommendations" of an ASEAN Committee of Eminent Persons. The ASEAN Charter, which came into force in 2008, provides ASEAN's legal status and institutional framework. In effect, it is a legally binding agreement among the ten ASEAN Member States. In many respects, however, the Charter is more important as an aspirational document.
Written by one of the persons involved in the negotiations leading to the adoption of the Charter, this meticulously researched publication helps readers navigate the ambiguities of the Charter by detailing an insider's background, provision by provision, of the debates that went into the making of the ASEAN Charter. It not only explains how the provisions of the Charter came to be drafted, but also how they relate to the realities of diplomatic practice. This volume will be an indispensable reference for scholars, working diplomats, and businesses and institutions that have a stake in ASEAN.
"The ASEAN Charter is a commitment for us to become a rules-based community. It is time for us, especially the weaker countries among us, to be ruled by law rather than by political whim, national interest or military power. Walter Woon's work will be a major contribution to that end."
Rodolfo C. Severino, former Secretary-General of ASEAN (1998-2002)
"Prof Walter Woon and I represented Singapore in the High-Level Task Force which drafted the ASEAN Charter; he is the ideal author for such a commentary on the Charter. This should be read by everyone interested in ASEAN."
Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore
"I recommend this book very highly and it will be indispensable for researchers, officials, and anyone interested in ASEAN's progress."
Andrew Harding, National University of Singapore
"... a valuable and timely contribution to the ASEAN body of knowledge, appropriate for those in academia as well as the general public who might be curious about whether the ASEAN Charter actually means for regional diplomacy and interstate relations in the future."
Kasira Cheeppensook, Chulalongkorn University
Walter Woon is David Marshall Professor of Law and Deputy Chairman, Centre for International Law, at the National Univeristy of Singapore. He was a Member of the High Level Task Force to draft the ASEAN Charter in 2007, and served as Singapore's Attorney-General from 2008 to 2010.ISBN: 9789971698676
Page Count: 360
Year Published: 2015