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ASEAN Falling Short of Aim for An Integrated Community

SINGAPORE, Feb 28 (Reporting ASEAN) — The Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) has set itself an ambitious target to become an integrated and cohesive community by the end of the year, but its overall efforts are falling short.

Analysts and officials interviewed by TODAY said the results for economic integration are more tangible than efforts to forge political cohesiveness and promote a common regional identity.

The ASEAN community 2015 target is supported by three pillars. Economically, the group aims to be a highly competitive entity. Politically, ASEAN aspires towards a rules-based community that is peaceful and resilient. In terms of sociocultural development, it aims to build a common identity among its people and narrow the development gap among members.

The work under these pillars is guided by separate blueprints that map out various measures that have to be put in place by Dec 31.

“The ASEAN Economic Community will be the most obviously successful among the three pillars of the 2015 target … There is still a long way to go before we get to a Political Security Community … As for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC), the main challenge is the mobilisation of resources,” said Mr Ong Keng Yong, executive deputy chairman of Singapore’s S Rajaratnam School of International Studies and former ASEAN secretary-general in an interview with TODAY.

Read more in the final story of a three-part series on the ASEAN Community in TODAY: http://www.todayonline.com/world/asean-falling-short-aim-integrated-community?singlepage=true

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