menu

Monocolumn: Crisis Point For Southeast Asian Group Of Nations

Monocolumn: Crisis Point For Southeast Asian Group Of Nations
Innovation

There was a great elephant in the room at the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Though the region’s leaders spoke about peace and co-operation, the fact remained that Cambodia and Thailand are at each other’s throats.

Monocle
  • 11 may 2011

Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

There was a whopping great elephant in the room at last weekend’s annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta. Though the region’s leaders spoke, as they do, about peace and co-operation, the sad fact remained that Cambodia and Thailand, two of ASEAN’s 10 constituents, are at each other’s throats.

The breakdown of relations between Phnom Penh and Bangkok – the outcome of months of border skirmishes over a disputed temple – has plunged ASEAN into an existential crisis. The organisation’s critics have long complained that it is nothing more than a talking shop. But even talking shops serve an important purpose: they encourage leaders to meet in person, to shake hands, and to air their grievances over lunch rather than through military action. If nothing else, ASEAN was there to keep the peace.

ASEAN’s failure to perform this most basic function in the Thai-Cambodian case has raised serious questions about what the organisation actually does. Southeast Asia is a region with a proud history of non-intervention; its philosophy, the “ASEAN Way”, emphasises a go-lightly approach to international relations. Those in Europe who loathe EU red tape no doubt dream of a regional body that treads so softly. But ASEAN has gone to the opposite extreme: it treads so softly that it has no discernible influence on important events, even those in its own backyard.

To continue reading click here.

Image by herzogbr

tumblr analytics


+Asia
+cambodia
+Europe
+Finance & Money
+monocle magazine
+monocolumn
+Retail
+thailand
+Work & Business
Trending

Volvo Is Launching A Global Car-Sharing Business

Automotive
PSFK MEMBERSHIP


JOIN RETAIL INTELLIGENCE PLATFORM
Get access to retail reports and 20,000 retail insights


LEARN MORE

TREND REPORT


FORECAST 2020
The Consumer Roles That Will Shape Our Future
 

DOWNLOAD NOW

IoT january 19, 2017
Technology january 19, 2017
No search results found.