ASEAN Eminent Persons Group

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The ASEAN Eminent Persons Group (EPG) is a group of prominent citizens from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations member countries, tasked to create the charter of the ASEAN community.

The group was formed on December 12, 2005, through the 11th ASEAN Summit Declaration in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. ASEAN is a socio-economic community in South East Asia founded

The mandate of the group is to examine and review the ASEAN structure, areas of cooperation, principles and goals contained in agreements, treaties and declarations over the last 38 years; and to provide the ASEAN leaders with policy guidelines on the drafting of the ASEAN charter.

  • Political and security (the ASEAN Security Community)
  • Economic and finance (the ASEAN Economic Community)
  • Functional (the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community)
  • External relations, bilaterally and inter-regionally
  • Narrowing the development gap among ASEAN Member Countries, in the context of the ASEAN Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • ASEAN structure, including decision-making process, administrative modalities, sources of funds, working methods, cross-sectoral coordination, conduct of meetings, documentation of meetings, roles of the Secretary-General and the ASEAN Secretariat

The group recommends key elements of an ASEAN Charter, including:

  • Vision of ASEAN beyond 2020
  • Nature, principles and objectives of ASEAN
  • Membership of ASEAN
  • Areas for enhanced ASEAN cooperation and integration
  • Narrowing the development gap among ASEAN Member Countries
  • Organs of ASEAN and their functions and working methods
  • ASEAN administrative structure (mechanisms, roles of the Secretary-General and the ASEAN Secretariat)
  • Legal personality of ASEAN
  • Conflict resolution mechanisms
  • External relations

The integration of an ASEAN community is to create a European Union-like community in the Asia-Pacific region.

The EPG Report[edit]

In December 2006, during the twelfth ASEAN Summit in Cebu, Philippines, the ASEAN EPG endorsed a report building on ASEAN Vision 2020 as guidance of the new ASEAN Charter and to strengthen ASEAN community. The report contains observations, recommendations, and recommended draft language for the new charter elaborating some of the key recommendations for inclusion of the ASEAN Charter.[1] First, to strengthen ASEAN's regional solidarity and resilience, the EPG supports the "promotion of ASEAN's peace and stability through the active strengthening of democratic values, good governance, rejection of unconstitutional and undemocratic changes of government, the rule of law including international humanitarian law, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms."[2] as one of the inclusion of recommendations of the several fundamental principles and objectives of its report. Second, the EPG suggests that as ASEAN economies are becoming more inter-linked, a greater political commitment is needed. The report encourages that ASEAN Leaders should meet more often to give greater political impetus to ASEAN’s community building. Third, it ponts out that ASEAN community require substantial resources to ensure that ASEAN can grow collectively without any development gaps. Fourth, one of ASEAN’s problems is the ineffective obligations taken by nations. The EPG recommends "Dispute Settlement Mechanisms (DSM) be established in all fields of ASEAN cooperation which should include compliance monitoring, advisory, consultation as well as enforcement mechanisms."[3] Fifth, it encourages the necessity to strengthen the ASEAN Secretariat since the ASEAN’s scope of activities is increasing tremendously. Furthermore, it recommends that ASEAN should consider alternative methods of decision-making mechanisms as the range of ASEAN activities increases. Sixth, in order to improve ASEAN’s image, it recommends ASEAN's need to "Cultivate ASEAN as a people-centred organisation and to strengthen the sense of ownership and belonging among its people…"[4] Although, this report was thought as a prominent step for ASEAN, it did not reach full consensus on implementing the report by ten governments of ASEAN.

Members of the EPG[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ J. Green, Michael (2009). Asia's New Multilateralism - Cooperation, Competition, and the Search for Community. Columbia University Press. pp. 255–258. 
  2. ^ "The Report of the Eminent Persons Group on the ASEAN Charter". Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Report of the Eminent Persons Group on the ASEAN Charter". Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Report of the Eminent Persons Group on the ASEAN Charter". Retrieved 4 June 2012.