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Jakarta Post | Jürgen Rüland writes about ASEAN's connections with other international organizations

The full article titled 'Going global: ASEAN and international organizations' can be read hereafter.

Going global: ASEAN and international organizations

Paper Edition | Page: 7

“ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations” was the theme Indonesia chose when it became ASEAN Chair in 2011. One reason for this choice may have been that the government believes a globally more pro-active ASEAN would boost Indonesia’s own aspirations for a greater global role.

However, the theme also acknowledges that only if Southeast Asia acts collectively in international organizations, it may master the multiple challenges posed by rapid global change.

More than ever, international institutions have become arenas for negotiating solutions for global problems. However, institutional politics is not power-free. Great powers usually determine the rules of the game, the decision-making procedures and the norms underlying institutional politics. If smaller and weaker countries want to avoid that they become mere rule-takers, deprived of the gains international cooperation may entail, they must act as a bloc.

Good examples where institutional control produces asymmetrical material outcomes are the Bretton Woods institutions. Control of the economically advanced countries over decision-making in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) benefits rich countries and discriminates against poorer nations.

Several criteria must be fulfilled if ASEAN as a grouping of less powerful states is to become an effective player in global forums: It must (1) have access to the (...)

View the complete article at Jakarta Post Online


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