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PacNet #48 – ASEAN Charter: One (Very) Small Step Forward

The Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) has, in commemoration of its 40th anniversary, adopted its first formal Charter, thus conferring “legal personality” upon this intergovernmental organization, complete with its own flag, emblem, anthem (to be written), and motto: One Vision, One Identity, One Community.  Now it is time to choose an official flower and an ASEAN bird. Might I suggest the shrinking violet and the ostrich, in keeping with ASEAN’s continuing tendencies to shrink away from dealing with sensitive issues while burying its head in the sand and pretending that regional problems will somehow go away?