In support of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members
Southeast Asia frames Australia’s northern approaches and sits at the nexus of strategic competition in the Indo-Pacific. It is of profound significance for our future – strategically, economically, and diplomatically. ASEAN brings together ten Southeast Asian states – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – into one organisation. ASEAN’s success has helped support regional security and prosperity for 50 years and it is uniquely placed to address critical regional issues.
Australia supports a strong, resilient and cohesive ASEAN. ASEAN and its fora play a crucial role in shaping and reinforcing rules and norms in the region. ASEAN-led architecture provides a framework of regular dialogue and cooperation that underpin peace and stability in Southeast Asia. The centrality of ASEAN within regional architecture is essential.
Australia became ASEAN’s first Dialogue Partner in 1974 and we became Strategic Partners in 2014. Australia and ASEAN have an agreed Plan of Action covering the breadth of our cooperation, which is updated every five years. Our partnership with ASEAN amplifies our voice in the region. It also provides a platform for the Prime Minister and Australian ministers to meet annually with Southeast Asian counterparts. Officials meet through the annual ASEAN-Australia Forum and other mechanisms.