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PacNet #33A – The ASEAN Charter

This is a special year for ASEAN. On Aug. 8, 2007, ASEAN celebrated its 40th anniversary. In November, the ASEAN Summit will be held in Singapore. One of the key deliverables of the Summit is the adoption by the 10 ASEAN Leaders of the ASEAN Charter. A charter is as important to a regional association as a constitution is to a country. Ideally, the ASEAN Charter should be short, clear and inspiring. It represents the fundamental law of the association and should contain our shared values, ideals and objectives. At the same time, the ASEAN Charter should be a living document and should therefore contain provisions for periodic review and amendments.