consensus and unity in diversity;
ADHERING to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms;
RESOLVED to ensure sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations and to place the well-being, livelihood and welfare of the peoples at the centre of the ASEAN community building process;
CONVINCED of the need to strengthen existing bonds of regional solidarity to realise an ASEAN Community that is politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible in order to effectively respond to current and future challenges and opportunities;
COMMITTED to intensifying community building through enhanced regional cooperation and integration, in particular by establishing an ASEAN Community comprising the ASEAN Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, as
provided for in the Bali Declaration of ASEAN Concord II;
HEREBY DECIDE to establish, through this Charter, the legal and institutional framework for ASEAN,
AND TO THIS END, the Heads of State or Government of the Member States of ASEAN, assembled in Singapore on the historic occasion of the 40th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN, have agreed to this Charter.
PURPOSES AND PRINCIPLES
The Purposes of ASEAN are:
1. To maintain and enhance peace, security and stability and further strengthen peace-oriented values in the region;
2. To enhance regional resilience by promoting greater political, security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation;
3. To preserve Southeast Asia as a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone and free of all other weapons of mass destruction;
4. To ensure that the peoples and Member States of ASEAN live in peace with the world at large in a just, democratic and harmonious environment;
5. To create a single market and production base which is stable, prosperous, highly competitive and economically integrated with effective facilitation for trade and investment in which there is free flow of goods, services and investment; facilitated movement of business persons, professionals, talents and labour; and freer flow of capital;
6. To alleviate poverty and narrow the development gap within ASEAN through mutual assistance and cooperation;
7. To strengthen democracy, enhance good governance and the rule of law, and to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, with due regard to the rights and
responsibilities of the Member States of ASEAN;
8. To respond effectively, in accordance with the principle of comprehensive security, to all forms of threats, transnational crimes and transboundary challenges;
9. To promote sustainable development so as to ensure the protection of the region’s environment, the sustainability of its natural resources, the preservation of its cultural heritage and the high quality of life of its peoples;
10. To develop human resources through closer cooperation in education and life-long learning, and in science and technology, for the empowerment of the peoples of ASEAN and for the strengthening of the ASEAN Community;
11. To enhance the well-being and livelihood of the peoples of ASEAN by providing them with equitable access to opportunities for human development, social welfare and justice;
12. To strengthen cooperation in building a safe, secure and drug-free environment for the peoples of ASEAN;
13. To promote a people-oriented ASEAN in which all sectors of society are encouraged to participate in, and benefit from, the process of ASEAN integration and community building;
14. To promote an ASEAN identity through the fostering of greater awareness of the diverse culture and heritage of the region; and
15. To maintain the centrality and proactive role of ASEAN as the primary driving force in its relations and cooperation with its external partners in a regional architecture that is open, transparent and inclusive.
1. In pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, ASEAN and its Member States reaffirm and adhere to the fundamental principles contained in the declarations, agreements, conventions, concords, treaties and other instruments of ASEAN.
2. ASEAN and its Member States shall act in accordance with the following Principles:
(a) respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and national identity of all ASEAN Member States;
(b) shared commitment and collective responsibility in enhancing regional peace, security and prosperity;
(c) renunciation of aggression and of the threat or use of force or other actions in any manner inconsistent with international law;
(d) reliance on peaceful settlement of disputes;
(e) non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN Member States;
(f) respect for the right of every Member State to lead its national existence free from external
interference, subversion and coercion;
(g) enhanced consultations on matters seriously affecting the common interest of ASEAN;
(h) adherence to the rule of law, good governance, the principles of democracy and constitutional
(i) respect for fundamental freedoms, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the promotion of social justice;
(j) upholding the United Nations Charter and international law, including international humanitarian law, subscribed to by ASEAN Member States;
(k) abstention from participation in any policy or activity, including the use of its territory, pursued by any ASEAN Member State or non-ASEAN State or any non-State actor, which threatens the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political and economic stability of ASEAN Member States;
(l) respect for the different cultures, languages and religions of the peoples of ASEAN, while
emphasising their common values in the spirit of unity in diversity;
(m) the centrality of ASEAN in external political, economic, social and cultural relations while
remaining actively engaged, outward-looking, inclusive and non-discriminatory; and
(n) adherence to multilateral trade rules and ASEAN’s rules-based regimes for effective implementation of economic commitments and progressive reduction towards elimination of all barriers to regional economic integration, in a market-driven economy.
LEGAL PERSONALITY OF ASEAN
ASEAN, as an inter-governmental organisation, is hereby conferred legal personality.
The Member States of ASEAN are Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS
1. Member States shall have equal rights and obligations under this Charter.
2. Member States shall take all necessary measures, including the enactment of appropriate domestic legislation, to effectively implement the provisions of this Charter and to comply with all obligations of membership.
3. In the case of a serious breach of the Charter or non- compliance, the matter shall be referred to Article 20.
ADMISSION OF NEW MEMBERS
1. The procedure for application and admission to ASEAN shall be prescribed by the ASEAN Coordinating Council.
2. Admission shall be based on the following criteria:
(a) location in the recognised geographical region of Southeast Asia;
(b) recognition by all ASEAN Member States;
(c) agreement to be bound and to abide by the Charter; and
(d) ability and willingness to carry out the obligations of Membership.
3. Admission shall be decided by consensus by the ASEAN Summit, upon the recommendation of the ASEAN Coordinating Council.
4. An applicant State shall be admitted to ASEAN upon signing an Instrument of Accession to the Charter.
1. The ASEAN Summit shall comprise the Heads of State or Government of the Member States.
2. The ASEAN Summit shall:
(a) be the supreme policy-making body of ASEAN;
(b) deliberate, provide policy guidance and take decisions on key issues pertaining to the realisation
of the objectives of ASEAN, important matters of interest to Member States and all issues referred to
it by the ASEAN Coordinating Council, the ASEAN Community Councils and ASEAN Sectoral
(c) instruct the relevant Ministers in each of the Councils concerned to hold ad hoc inter-Ministerial
meetings, and address important issues concerning ASEAN that cut across the Community Councils.
Rules of procedure for such meetings shall be adopted by the ASEAN Coordinating Council;
(d) address emergency situations affecting ASEAN by taking appropriate actions;
(e) decide on matters referred to it under Chapters VII and VIII;
(f) authorise the establishment and the dissolution of Sectoral Ministerial Bodies and other ASEAN
(g) appoint the Secretary-General of ASEAN, with the rank and status of Minister, who will serve with the confidence and at the pleasure of the Heads of State or Government upon the recommendation of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting.
3. ASEAN Summit Meetings shall be:
(a) held twice annually, and be hosted by the Member State holding the ASEAN Chairmanship; and
(b) convened, whenever necessary, as special or ad hoc meetings to be chaired by the Member State
holding the ASEAN Chairmanship, at venues to be agreed upon by ASEAN Member States.
ASEAN COORDINATING COUNCIL
1. The ASEAN Coordinating Council shall comprise the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and meet at least twice a year.
2. The ASEAN Coordinating Council shall:
(a) prepare the meetings of the ASEAN Summit;
(b) coordinate the implementation of agreements and decisions of the ASEAN Summit;
(c) coordinate with the ASEAN Community Councils to enhance policy coherence, efficiency and
cooperation among them;
(d) coordinate the reports of the ASEAN Community Councils to the ASEAN Summit;
(e) consider the annual report of the Secretary-General on the work of ASEAN;
(f) consider the report of the Secretary-General on the functions and operations of the ASEAN Secretariat and other relevant bodies;
(g) approve the appointment and termination of the Deputy Secretaries-General upon the
recommendation of the Secretary-General; and
(h) undertake other tasks provided for in this Charter or such other functions as may be assigned by the ASEAN Summit.
3. The ASEAN Coordinating Council shall be supported by the relevant senior officials.
ASEAN COMMUNITY COUNCILS
1. The ASEAN Community Councils shall comprise the ASEAN Political-Security Community Council, ASEAN Economic Community Council, and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council.
2. Each ASEAN Community Council shall have under its purview the relevant ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies.
3. Each Member State shall designate its national representation for each ASEAN Community Council meeting.
4. In order to realise the objectives of each of the three pillars of the ASEAN Community, each ASEAN Community Council shall:
(a) ensure the implementation of the relevant decisions of the ASEAN Summit;
(b) coordinate the work of the different sectors under its purview, and on issues which cut across the other Community Councils; and
(c) submit reports and recommendations to the ASEAN Summit on matters under its purview.
5. Each ASEAN Community Council shall meet at least twice a year and shall be chaired by the appropriate Minister from the Member State holding the ASEAN Chairmanship.
6. Each ASEAN Community Council shall be supported by the relevant senior officials.
ASEAN SECTORAL MINISTERIAL BODIES
1. ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies shall:
(a) function in accordance with their respective established mandates;
(b) implement the agreements and decisions of the ASEAN Summit under their respective purview;
(c) strengthen cooperation in their respective fields in support of ASEAN integration and community
(d) submit reports and recommendations to their respective Community Councils.
2. Each ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Body may have under its purview the relevant senior officials and subsidiary bodies to undertake its functions as contained in Annex 1. The Annex may be updated by the Secretary-General of ASEAN upon the recommendation of the Committee of Permanent
Representatives without recourse to the provision on Amendments under this Charter.
SECRETARY-GENERAL OF ASEAN