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18th ASEAN Summit: A Critique
  • Unlike the 17th ASEAN summit, which was held against the backdrop of Chinese claims over the South China Sea, there were no major international issues, that brought the ASEAN countries together during the 18th summit.
  • Myanmar assuming the next ASEAN chair was a major issue of focus during the 18th summit. ASEAN is likely to pressurize Myanmar to make measures (even cosmetic) before agreeing over this issue.
  • Connectivity outside and within Southeast Asia, Food and Energy Security, Disaster Management and Sub-regional cooperation were the other main focus areas during the 18th ASEAN summit.
  • The 18th ASEAN summit was seriously imperiled by the ongoing border conflict between Thailand and Cambodia.
  • Failure of the ASEAN to convince Thailand and Cambodia  to cease hostilities was a major failure of the 18th summit, highlighting ASEAN’s inability to deal with internal differences among member countries.


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