Association of Southeast Asian Nations


Topic A

The War on Drugs

A 'war on drugs' is characterized by a series of actions meant to aggressively end the illegal drug trade. Popularized by the U.S. government in the early 1970s, these campaigns involve foreign military aid and vast sums of money to end the import, manufacture, sale, and use of illegal drugs. In Southeast Asia, an area where methamphetamine seizures were up 400% from 2008 to 2013, governments have battled the rising tide of trade through a hardline stance complete with police raids, forced urine testing and, in 11 countries, drug detention centers.

Topic B

Economic Cooperation Between ASEAN Nations

After the 1997 East Asian Financial crisis, the need for a greater level of economic integration, appropriate exchange rates, and monetary unions became apparent. Closer economic cooperation among ASEAN members has been in consideration for several years now, with suggestions including a common currency. All ASEAN members will have a say in each decision, and because each nation provides a unique perspective, global involvement is critical. For instance, more developed nations can debate the virtues of resource-pooling to build up financial institutions and infrastructure. As the political scientist Samuel Huntington wrote, “The economic changes in Asia, particularly East Asia, are one of the most significant developments in the world in the second half of the 20th century.”

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Dais team

Nikki Wu


Jasmine Lin


Elizabeth Park

Assistant Director



On 8 August 1967, five leaders—the Foreign Ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand—came together in the main hall of the Department of Foreign Affairs building in Bangkok to sign a document, creating the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Since its inception to counter the growing threat of communism, its role was extended with the end of the Cold War and the addition of a few new member states. Currently, ASEAN, a regional intergovernmental body, is comprised of ten member states: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. These countries work together to host diplomatic missions and facilitate international trade on a global stage dominated by Chinese interests. Promoting intergovernmental cooperation and facilitating economic, political, security, military, educational and socio-cultural integration, ASEAN will play a vital role in the rise of Asia.