Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus Three (ASEAN+3)

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on August 8, 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Although it was implemented in the mid-1960s, it was in 1976, with the “Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation”, that the guidelines for its action were defined[1]. Primarily, the association aims to promote collaboration and cooperation summit among member states, as well as to advance the interests of the region as a whole, including economic and trade growth[2].

That said, ASEAN+3 is a cooperation between the organization countries plus China, Japan, and South Korea, and it was formed in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. However, it was only institutionalized in 1999 when the Leaders issued a Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation at their Third ASEAN+3 Summit in Manila[3].


THEME: “The Challenges of Green Growth and Human Development in the Southeast Pacific”


The concept of green growth first emerged in Asia and Pacific Region during the 2005 Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development (MCED), in Seoul, South Korea[4]. Green growth has been turning a worldwide business and is no longer a reality for future generations to develop and design, which consistently implies nations to pursue economic growth and development, whereas the establishment that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which the well-being depends on.

The equal importance on promoting both environmental and economic goals increases critical discussions on approaches that value the natural capital, turning it into a major development decision[5]. Withal, governments in Southeast Pacific Asia have typically been slow and insensitive with a view to integrating human development and green economy as a method to growth.

On the other hand, the conception of human development comes to light focusing on people and improving the individuals quality of life, expanding their choices, freedom, opportunities and giving them the capacity to develop their full potential[6]. Among the relevant advances and efforts to achieve human development are the creation of the Millennium Development Goals and its following improvement for the Sustainable Development Goals, in 2015, that also approaches pertinence to the sustainability.

The annual ASEAN green investment substantially needs to increase 400% to guard its people from the growing threats of catastrophic climate change and depletion of biodiversity. Moreover, ASEAN needs to act at scale by investing tons of money in a way to change its current scenario[7], valuing and creating markets for ecosystem services that grant new economic opportunities. Therefore, ASEAN has been investing a herculean work to maximize the Human Development Index in the region.

The directors of ASEAN+3 are waiting anxiously for a fruitful discussion regarding the subject. Shall we find the key to maintain the balance between economic growth, social stability, and good quality of environment and natural resources?


Documentaries and Lectures Related:

  1. The True Cost (2015), 1h32min, Director: Andrew Morgan.

Synopsis available at: <>. Access on Dec. 2018.

  1. Plastic China (2016), 1h22min, Director: Jiuliang Wang.

Synopsis available at: <>. Access on Dec. 2018.


Books Related:

  1. SACHS, Jeffrey; SCHWAB, Klaus; WOO, Wing Thye. The Asian Financial Crisis: Lessons for a Resilient Asia. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2000.

Synopsis available at: <>. Access on Dec. 2018.

  1. PARNWELL, Mike; BRYANT, Raymond L. Environmental Change in South-East Asia: People, Politics and Sustainable Development. Association of South-East Asian Studies in the United Kingdom: Psychology Press, 1996.

Synopsis available at:

<>. Access on Dec. 2018.



[1] ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST NATIONS. International Organization. Establishment. Available at: <>. Access on Dec. 19, 2018.

[2] BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION. What is ASEAN? 2014. Available at: <>. Access on: Dec. 17, 2018.

[3] ASIA REGIONAL INTEGRATION CENTER. Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus Three (ASEAN+3) cooperation on energy, transport, and information & communications technology. Available at: <>. Access on: Dec. 17, 2018.

[4] SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS. Green Growth. Available at: <>. Access on Dec. 20, 2018.

[5] DAILY, Gretchen C. Mainstreaming the Values of Nature for People into Decision-Making. In: Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility. Vatican City, 2014. Available at: <>. Access on Dec. 20, 2018.

[6] HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT OFFICE. What is Human Development? Available at: <>. Access on Dec. 20, 2018.

[7] UN ENVIRONMENT. Annual ASEAN green investment needs to grow 400% to guard against environmental risks. Nov. 15, 2017. Available at: <>. Access on Dec. 18, 2018.

Academic directors:

Ellen Monielle do Vale Silva

Assistant directors:

Mariana Pinheiro Medeiros Cavalcanti

Pedro Henrique Almeida de Godoy

Guiding tutor:

Daniel César Neves e Silva


ASEAN+3 2019 – Study Guide

ASEAN+3 2019 – Annex Guide