Give time to ASEAN
Expecting too much from ASEAN is not a good and healthy idea. It is already a regional miracle that a regional association could be established among so different nations. Countries with so high GDP like Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore, communist regimes like Vietnam and Laos, military regimes like Burma, developing nations like Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines… The only intention is already a great challenge and a positive outcome. The same principle of non-intervention, so defended for ones and much criticized by many, can be explained in that so heterogeneous group.
Therefore, we need to give time to ASEAN and it is a duty of the international community to support it as much as possible, giving to it the importance it has.
Although it is already reported that ASEAN could not find a solution to the Thai-Cambodian border conflict, the role of Indonesia as president of the group is positive. It gave the impression to Bangkok and Phnom Penh that its dispute has all the attention of the region. This in itself produces more self-control.
The same case with Burma. Although its proposal to become president of ASEAN in 2015 surprised many, it could be a great signal that Burma wants to enter into a new time of development and changes.
This is not Europe. This is the Southeast Asian region. It needs time and constancy. As Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said, ‘It is very important that we hold together.’