1. ASEAN was proclaimed a Community through a Declaration signed by ASEAN Leaders at their 27th Summit in Kuala Lumpur on 22 November 2015. This is a historic development and important milestone in the evolvement of ASEAN since its founding in 1967. An ASEAN Community is the realisation of the vision articulated eight years ago by ASEAN Leaders for the regional organisation to achieve community status by 2015. The guiding document was the "Roadmap for an ASEAN Community: 2009-2015" endorsed by ASEAN Leaders at their 14th ASEAN Summit in Cha-am, Thailand.
2. ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together, which was simultaneously endorsed by the Leaders at their 27th Summit, charts the path for ASEAN Community building over the next ten years. It is a forward looking roadmap that articulates ASEAN goals and aspirations to realise further consolidation, integration and stronger cohesiveness as a Community. ASEAN is working towards a Community that is "politically cohesive, economically integrated, and socially responsible". The ASEAN 2025 Document is the outcome of a year of planning and intense discussions, and reflects the determination of Member States to forge ahead with the next phase of ASEAN's evolvement.
3. The focus for the ASEAN Community over the next ten years would be guided by but not limited to the following broad goals that will further consolidate and strengthen the regional grouping:
- Greater emphasis on the peoples of ASEAN and their well-being;
- Enhance awareness of ASEAN and its Vision of a politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible Community;
- Engage all nationals of ASEAN Member States through effective and innovative platforms to promote commitment and identification with ASEAN policies and regional interests;
- Ensure fundamental freedoms, human rights and better lives for all ASEAN peoples;
- Strengthen capacity to deal with existing and emerging challenges while maintaining ASEAN centrality;
- An outward-looking and global player;
- Implement the ASEAN agenda while pursuing national aspirations which contribute to ASEAN Community building; and
- Strengthen ASEAN Organs and the ASEAN Secretariat.
Key Elements of the ASEAN 2025
4. ASEAN 2025 consists of specific action lines and strategic measures to realise the targets identified.
5. The key aspirations across the three pillars are:
- A rules-based, people-oriented, people-centred ASEAN in a region of peace, stability and prosperity;
- A consolidated ASEAN Community;
- A dynamic, resilient and harmonious community able to effectively respond to social and economic vulnerabilities and other non-traditional security threats;
- A Community that can respond effectively to challenges affecting ASEAN from within and beyond the region;
- A Community that steadfastly maintains ASEAN centrality in regional mechanisms;
- Strengthened ASEAN unity and cohesiveness to protect its leading and central role in dealing with matters of common concern; and
- Enhanced dialogue and cooperation with ASEAN external partners for mutual benefit and interest.
- A well integrated and connected economy within the global economic system;
- A business-friendly, trade-facilitative, market driven and predictable environment which inspires investor confidence;
- A region with a key role in global value chains and increasing participation in high value added and knowledge-based activities;
- A competitive and dynamic region that inspires innovation and where businesses of all sizes thrive, and where consumers' rights are protected;
- A community where the benefits from economic integration are equitably shared among and within ASEAN Member States, including with micro, small and medium enterprises, youth, and women entrepreneurs; and
- A connected region where improvements in transport linkages and infrastructure help peoples and businesses move efficiently and work more productively across borders, expand market reach and strategically source goods and services.
- An inclusive Community that is people-oriented, people-centred and promotes a high quality of life and equitable access to opportunities for all, and engages relevant stakeholders in ASEAN processes;
- A sustainable Community that promotes social development and environmental protection through effective mechanisms to meet current and future needs of the peoples;
- A resilient Community with enhanced capacity to continuously respond and adapt to current challenges and emerging threats; and
- A dynamic, open, creative and adaptive Community with an ASEAN identity reflecting the region's collective personality, norms, values and beliefs as well as aspirations as one ASEAN Community.
6. For the ASEAN peoples, ASEAN 2025 means that:
- They will continue to live in a more united, secure, peaceful and cohesive region;
- They will benefit and enjoy the gains resulting from enhanced sustainable environmental governance and practices in the region;
- Their human rights, fundamental freedoms, dignity and social justice will be promoted and protected;
- They will enjoy good governance that shall be further strengthened;
- They will be part of a participative and socially responsible community with equitable access to opportunities for all;
- They will be better protected against pandemics, natural and human-induced disasters and calamities, transnational crimes and transboundary challenges;
- They can engage purposefully with one another in ASEAN and the world;
- They will enjoy greater prosperity through increased economic opportunities, enhanced regional connectivity, ease of intra-ASEAN travel and doing business as well as a resilient regional economy;
- They will benefit from greater employment opportunities and quality jobs as well as from mobility of skilled labour and talents;
- They will enjoy access to wider choices, safer, and better quality products and services;
- They will benefit from better cost savings for businesses as well as consumers through improved access and connectivity;
- They will benefit from access to a wider and better range of technologies and expertise; and
- They will benefit from a strengthened ASEAN institutional capacity to implement the ASEAN agenda;
7. For ASEAN's partners, ASEAN 2025 means:
- Partnership with a dynamic Community that is committed to and has the capacity to contribute to a peaceful, secure and stable region;
- Engaging a Community that wants to cooperate and collaborate with like-minded partners to promote regional peace and stability;
- Working with a Community that has the capacity and capability to respond effectively to existing and emerging challenges in the region;
- A Community committed to cooperation with like-minded external partners to address international issues of common concern such as climate change and the environment and enhancing sustainable development;
- A Community committed to working with external partners to strengthen cooperation in combating non-traditional security challenges, such as counter terrorism, drug-related crimes, trafficking in persons and people smuggling, and maritime security issues through various initiatives and projects
- Working with a Community that is able to effectively address new challenges with strengthened regional mechanisms;
- Greater opportunities for cooperation on regional defence and security matters;
- Working together to share best practices and successful case studies on engagement and integration policies while recognising that the ASEAN Member States will continue to benefit from capacity building, resources and training provided by external partners .
- Increased economic, trade and investment activities;
- A stronger, more visible and united ASEAN, with a greater role and voice in global economic fora and increased contribution to global economic governance; and
- Increased opportunities for capacity building, sharing of experiences and knowledge, including best practices and people exchange.
8. ASEAN 2025 reaffirms commitment, continuation and consolidation of ASEAN Community building. This is a continuous and forward-looking process to strengthen the ASEAN Community based on the political-security, economic and socio-cultural pillars to forge ahead together.
9. The action lines/strategic measures in the respective Blueprints of ASEAN Community 2025 seek to complete, within a specific timeframe, key measures from the previous Roadmap that have yet to be implemented and to build on the experiences and expertise acquired in the preceding 10 years to tackle new challenges, harness new technologies and ensure opportunities for all.
10. Through this process, ASEAN also demonstrates to its partners and the world that it is determined to maintain ASEAN's role in dealing with challenges that affect the peace, security and stability of Southeast Asia. This means that ASEAN as a region is committed to and prepared to work with all partners concerned to address issues of mutual interest.
11. ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together consists of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together, the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025, the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025 and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025.
- To view the documents, please visit: ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together