ASEAN Turn On 44 Years Old

On August 8, 2011, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) turns on 44 years old. Established on August 8, 1967 in Bangkok, ASEAN has evolved into a regional organization that has an important role in maintaining development and stability in the region as well as in accelerating region to region and global cooperation.

With the ratification of ASEAN charter on December 15, 2008, ASEAN’s really become a new organization with rules and legal personality. ASEAN codify ASEAN norms, rules and values as well as set a clear target for ASEAN. The challenge is how to formulate rules and regulations to implement the Charter? How to interpret the major concept behind the Charter? In this regard, no wonder if there is ongoing battle of ideas in setting the rules and policies implementation.

Moreover, as mentioned by the President of the Republic of Indonesia Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) in his statement at the opening ceremony of 44th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Bali on 19 July 2011, ASEAN now face a reality that the frequency of people to people (p-to-p) contact in the ASEAN member states has surface formal contacts between the government officials. It is showing that peoples have central role in ASEAN.

But based on a survey by Kompas Daily on May 2011, it seems that there is no correlation between the increasing of P-to-P contact with the perceptions of the peoples on development of ASEAN. According to the survey, it is only 16 percent of respondents who were aware of the establishment of an ASEAN Community. And just a quarter of them knew that the establishment of the ASEAN Community is targeted in 2015.

In this relation ASEAN need more effort in socializing ASEAN cooperation by involving various element of society, including bloggers. Bloggers, with all its activities as a producer of information (in all its form; text, images or movies), has an important role in communicating and informing development of ASEAN to the public. Amid the popularity of social media like Facebook and Twitter , blogs remain the best choice to convey a message or information to the public.

The establishment of the ASEAN Community Blogger Indonesia on May 10, 2011 would be used as the momentum for ASEAN to involve more public participation in the process of establishing the ASEAN Community. So the establishment of the ASEAN Community will be much more beneficial to society in the region and globally. To achieve these objectives, the ASEAN Community Blogger chapter Indonesia itself has started to move by doing various activities such as conducting a series of discussion in Yogyakarta and Jakarta as well as conducting ASEAN Blogger Community gathering and photo exhibition which was held on August 6, 2011 at the Museum Bank Mandiri Jakarta.

Finally, as a blogger, I congratulate ASEAN for its 44th Aniiversary. Congratulations to all ASEAN Leaders and ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan. I wish all the best for the success of ASEAN in the coming endeavor.

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