What Does "ASEAN" Stand For?

"ASEAN" stands for the "Association of Southeast Asian Nations." Its member states are Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand founded the organization with the ASEAN Declaration in 1967 to promote regional stability and security, promote economic growth and ensure cultural and social progress in Southeast Asia. Other countries joined over time, with Cambodia becoming a member in 1999. Heads of state of member nations meet every year, and ASEAN maintains a permanent secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. The position of secretary-general rotates every three years. The organization maintains a number of committees on matters addressing various social, cultural, economic and security concerns, and more than 70 working groups made up of experts and private-sector specialists work to support these committees to find regional solutions to problems.