On 7 October 2003, ASEAN leaders adopted the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II, in order to establish an ASEAN Community by 2020. The 12th ASEAN Summit on 13 January 2007 declared a much earlier target, i.e., 2015 to establish this community.
According to the 2003 Declaration:
The ASEAN community shall be established comprising three pillars, namely political and security community, economic community and socio-cultural community that are closely intertwined and mutually reinforcing for the purpose of ensuring durable peace, stability and shared prosperity in the region.
Each pillar houses its own Blueprint, approved at the summit level, and, in conjunction with the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Strategic Framework and IAI Work Plan Phase II (2009-2015), forms the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community 2009-2015.
ASEAN is considered the most successful regional organization in Asia and is now giving leadership to pan-Asian regionalism. At the same time, academic interest in ASEAN is increasing with a growing focus on integration and the general phenomenon of regionalism.
Relevant entities in this progress include:
- ASEAN and the three communities are all highlighted in 2015, the year Malaysia is to lead ASEAN.
- ASEAN plus 3 (China, Japan, South Korea)
- The East Asia Summit (ASEAN at the heart- then China, Japan, S. Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, US, Russia)
- ASEAN Regional Forum (Foreign Ministers’ Security organization -ASEAN at the heart, then all Summit countries and more)
- ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting-Plus – all Summit countries
- ASEM – Asia, with ASEAN at the heart, meets Europe
- All trade agreements with ASEAN