The association of South East Asian Nation, ASEAN, is a very geographic, political and economic organization of the ten countries in south East    Asia. The association came into being 1967 a loose organization with Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines as Pioneer members. The association later expanded to include Burma Bruneirs Cambodia, Laos and Vidnam. These are full members of ASEAN.

Origin and Aims ASEAN was preceded by an organization called the Association of South East Asia, ASA formed in 1961 comprising the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. ASEAN was established in 1967 when the foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singa pore and Thailand met in Bangkok, the Thai capital and signed the ASEAN declaration, which came to be known as the Bangkok, declaration.
            Broadly speaking, ASEAN could be described as a product of the cold war. At a time when issues of international significance were mirrored along the East-West ideological stigmatization, ASEAN elites felt a need for a more non-aligned forum where issues of nation building could be harnessed. The fear of communism from the east was balanced by an equal lack of faith in the western alliance creating a climate of distrust and fear towards the outside environment. There was an urgent desire to lay solid foundations for the economic development of the respective countries involved and the entire region as a bloc. There was also the hope, particularly on the             parts of Malaysia and Singapore, to contain what it saw as Indonesia’s hegemonic aspirations through the instrument of ASEAN. The feeling here is that under the umbrella of ASEAN, members would be more co-operative and less aggressive, thereby compelling each member to appreciate the desire for a more co-operative frame work..
            Apart from geographical location, a prospective ASEAN membership must depend on the acceptance of the ASEAN treaty of amity and co-operation signed in 1976. It is also expected that members must meet the established trade liberalization requirements guiding the admission of new members. A prospective member must also win the consensus approval of all ASEAN members before such applications deemed successful.
ASEAN treaty allows now substantive members to attend meeting and relate with the organization on a co-operative basis. Some countries enjoy observer status which allows them to attend ASEAN meetings such the ministerial conference the ASEAN regional forum and the post ministerial conference countries outside the ASEAN region but who expresses significant interests in South-East Asia are granted dialogue partnership many countries outside the immediate ASEAN Geographical environment enjoy this status. This is a further reflection of ASEAN relevance in the political and economic consideration of other countries as a major player. Dialogue partners participate in the post- ministerial conference and ASEAN regional forum. Dialogue members of ASEAN include US, Canada, Japan, South Korea, the European Union, Russia, China, India, Australia and New Zealand. ASEAN has a free trade agreement with all these countries. The 1980s was a period of rapid economic growth for ASEAN countries. This led to the expansion of membership aimed at accommodating countries in the region with less economic capabilities. In 1996, ASEAN took a major political step by declaring that all south-east Asian countries would be granted membership of the organization by the year 2000. The implication of this move was that second tier developing economies were brought into the organization. The weak economics of Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Victnam required policy adjustments and creation of now set of guidelines in order to accommodate these lesser developed economic symptoms.

Political flexibility- one of the major factors responsible for the formation of ASEAN was to guard against the treat of communism from China and Indo china countries (Combodia, Laos and Vietlan. These countries were however quickly assimilated into the organization. ASEAN do not have a laid down practice on political systems and human rights issues. Never at any points in the history of ASEAN were matters such as democracy, internal political conditions and human rights issues allowed to play significant roles in ASEAN relationship. The organizations do not look upon these factors as criteria for membership. The probably explains why countries with the most human rights rewards and democratic abuses are found within the organization ASEAN emphasizes a deliberate policy of political tolerance towards its members states.
            ASEAN parades an array of different political system and connotations. In the Philippines and to a reasonable extent Thailand and Indonesia. Their democratic openness are graving. In Malaysia. Despotism and Plutocracy is still the order of the day. Communication dictatorship remaining Vietnam and Laos while absolute monarchy holds sway in Brunoi. Burma holds invariable record as one of the last vestiges of repressive military dictatorships in the world.
Fundamental principles- the fundamental principles of ASEAN include the following
1.         Marital respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality and territorial integrity and national identity of all nations
2.         The right of every state to lead its nation existence free from external interference, subversion or coercion.
3.         Non-interference in the internal affairs of on another
4.         Settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful unlearns.
5.         Renunciation of the threat or use of force.
6.         Effective co-operation among one another.
7.         The acceleration of economic growth, social progress social progress, and cultural development among member states.
Regional security- during its first 20 years of existence, asean concentrated its energy on building economic cultural and social ties among its members. In the 1990s however, the organization decided to bring into focus widen issues of political and security dimensions aimed at strengthening peace and stability in the region.
            In 1993, the ASEAN regional forum (A.R.F) was created. This became a multi-lateral consultative forum whose aim was to promote preventive diplomacy, transparency defecne maters and confidence building in the region although ARF is primarily concerned with regional security co-operation and consultation, ASEAN do not aim at a definitive military pact. Members oppose a formal military commitment but instead opts for a web of loose bilateral military co-operative ties among different pairs of states as the best format for regional security arrangement. Most ASEAN countries have an inter locking series of bilateral security and military arrangements with many countries outside the region. Such arrangements include senior-level meetings, multi service military exercise, exchange training programmes and attendance of officers and non- commissioned officers at formal school causes these programmes are aimed at achieving transparency greater professionalism and regional understanding.
         ASEAN do not have the intention of a formal military fact as an immediate objective though its individual steadily increase. With improvement in their economic positions many ASEAN countries have continued to upgrade their military systems through standardized training and purchases of never and better equipments. There is no fear of a regional arms race in the region. Most ASEAN countries have relatively small armed forces with the exception of Vietnam which has one of the largest armed forces in the world.
            The south East Nuclear weapons free zone treaty was created in1997 banning all nuclear weapons in the ASEAN region. The aim again was to foster peace and satiability while eliminating unnecessary fear and distrust.
Environmental focus- since the beginning of the 21st century, asean has expanded its focus to include a more positive perspective on environmental issues. The asean wildlife enforcement network was created in 2005 to take up issues concerning wild life and endangered species. The Asia- pacific partnership on ulcam development and climate was also created in response to global change and environmental protection.
Democratic principles- ASEAN members if not improve democracy as a system for its members. It accepts however that reasonable democratic principles should be encouraged as much as it is possible to do so within the internal political make up of individual states. The Bali concord 11 of 2003 subscribed to the notion of “democratic peace”. This means that all members countries believe that democratic processes will promote regional believe that democratic processes will promote regional peace and stability. The non- democratic members of asean also agree that democracy was something all states should aspire. Their position is that while democracy is desirable, it can neither be enforced nor improved. Member’s countries are encouraged to condition their democratic aspirations on their peculiar socio-cultural background and related circumstances. This explains why asean has refused to take any measure against the Burmese military leadership despite persistent criticism from the United States and its allies.
            In 2006, asean was granted observer status at the united nations general assembly. As a response, the organization awarded the united nations the status of a “dialogue partner”
1.         the principle of non-interference has blunted asean efforts in handling the Burmese problem. The continued tolerance of large scale repression and human rights violations by the military regime in Myanmar reflects very badly on the entire organization. Myanmar remains a test case for asean and until positive steps are taken in this regard, the organizations will continue to be viewed in bad light. The issue of political modernization by asean members remain a very serious issues.
2.         the consensus- based approach in decision making gives each member a veto in policy matters . this could lead to lond delay in decision making while at other times, decisions are significantly watered down to accommodate the sentiments of every one.
3.         asean is often reviewed on a mere talk shop. Long onwards yet short in action.
4.         inequality- the disparity in the population, military size and economic standing of asean members is seem as a factor of restraints.

Introduction/background- regional integration is a process in which states enter into a regional agreement in other to enhance regional co-operation through the establishment of regional institutions and rules. Regional integration is mainly an economic strategy aimed at collective self reliance and development in a competitive and hostile world environment. Regional integration could also extend to the political, social, cultural and religious spheres of co-operation. Its commercial and social-political objectives could be structured to achieve greater strategic and security purposes. Further explained integration is the loving together of group of states or organizations with share interest, problems and expectation with greater emphasis on collaborative behaviour rather them individualistic or conflicting actions. The basic assumption underlying regional integration is the belief that integration can bring greater prosperity than individual action. Regional integration is considered a vital element in the international strategy for development for both developed and developing countries. The United Nations recognized the importance of regional integration as a form of developmental strategy hence the establishment of special commissions for some of its backward members. An example of such commission7                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            is ECA, the economic commission for Africa.
            Part efforts at regional integrations have often focused on removing barriers to free trade in the region, in creating the free movement of people, labour, goods and capital across national boundaries, reducing regional conflicts and mars through  advanced security and confidence measures and adopting cohesive regional stance on issues of international significance.

A historical overview- regional integration reflects a level of collective agreement and solidarity among states in a give geo-political entity in  matters of trade, capital, labour, flow, foreign direct  investment and integrated policies in mean of common interest. Such areas may further include the environment, climate change, gross-border migration and international criminal activities. Philippe de Lombarde and Luk Van Langen have defined regional integration as a world wide phenomenon of territorial systems that increase the interactions between their components and creates new forms of organizations at the national level.
            According to Hams Van Ginkel, Regional integration is the process by which states within a particular region increase their level of interaction with regard to economic security, political and also socio-cultural issues. Regional integration involves the joining of individual states within a region into a large whole. The degree of integration depends on the willingness and commitment of independent sovereign states to reduce or at best share their sovereignty.
            The 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries were characterized by internal conflicts and rivalries among the European powers. These rivalries has at its roots the need for integration. The process however was impeded by the characteristics of extreme rationalism which dominated the thinking of European leaders and statement of the era. The efforts of Napoleaon Bouarparte, Otto Van Bismarck and Adolf Hitler to dominate Europe and indeed the rest of the world, during their time, were attempts at integration these attempts however were not based on mutual benefits for all nor were the member countries and the people being integrated allowed to determine whether they desired to do so and on what bases. As a result, those efforts led to serious political and economic upheaval which resulted in further European disintegration.
            Accorording to Van Langanhove, regional integration initiatives should fulfill at least eight important functions:-
1.         the strengthening of trade integration in the region
2.         the creation of an appropriate enabling environment for private sectors development
3.         the economic growth and regional integration
4.         the development of strong public sector institutions of good governance
5.         The reduction of social exclusion and the development of the inclusive civil society
6.         Contribution to peace and security in the region
7.         The building of environmental programmes at the regional level.
8.         the strengthening of the regions interaction with other regions of the world.
            In political, economic and strategic matters, the two greenways of the 20th century marked a most dramatic turning point in the evolutionary process that has characterized human interaction and inter state relationship in the modern world. Europe was confronted with the sole and highly desirable objective or establishing enduring peace and laying the foundation for economic prosperity in the continent. This was the bases of the vigour and frenzy with which European leader began the process of reconstruction aimed it building a more united and prosperous Europe from the ruins of 1945.       

The law of the sea
            Over the years, there have been series of agreement and understandings dealing with the sharing of the resources of the sea, its general usage and other international worter. The law of the sea is not as rigous or chequred as the laws of non and aimed conflict but both have worked together to create a more tranquil and more accessible international environment.
            The 1979 UN convention on the law of the sea was the most comprehensive agreement reached on the law of the sea. Its success was the result of decades of conferences and actions on the issues which started long before the UN itself was created. The laws of the sea again has its roots on the arguments of Hugo Grotims. It was agreed that there ought to be freedom on the high seas and as such there must be races guarding and preserving the existence of this freedom. These agreements were based on the following principles:
1.         The high sea can never come under the sovereignty of one part in law state as against what has been attempted in the past.
2.         There is absolute freedom of navigation on the high sea for vessels of all nations whether worships or merchant ships.
3.         In general terms, no state may exercise jurisdiction over the ship on the high sea which does not bear ha flag.
4.         A state may, as a general rule, exercise jurisdiction over a particular ship only by virtue of the ship flying its national flag.
5.         Every state and her citizens are entitled to make use of the high sea for laying submarine cables and oil pipelines for the conduct of fisheries and for scientific and technological purposes.
6.         There is an absolute freedom of flight above international waters for all aircraft.
7.         The resources of the high sea belongs to all states, though not all states has the capacity N one time to exploit the resources of the high seas.

Innocent and non innocent passage
With the territorial sea, the state is supposed to have exclusive territorial jurisdiction, but the right of passage for others must be guaranteed. This is the right of free navigation through the territorial sea of another state. This is called innocent passage when such navigation is intended purely for the purpose of :
1.         Entering the sea without entering internal waters of calling of a road stead or ports facilities outside international waters.
2.         Proceeding to or from international waters or a call at such roadstead or ports facility.
3.         Innocent passage exists as long as it sis not prejudicial to the peace, good order and security of the coastal state.

The convention went ahead to identify what could constitute a non-innocent passage. These include:
1.   Any threat or use of force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of the coastal state.
2.   Any exercise or practice with weapons of any kind.
3.   Any act aimed at collecting information to the prejudice of the defense or security of the coastal state.
4.   Any act of propaganda aimed at affecting the defense or security of a coastal state-acts of espionage.
5.   Launching, landing or taking on board of any aircraft intended for hostile purposes.
6.   Launching, landing or taking on board of any military device.
7.   any act of willful and serious pollution contrary to the rules of the convention.
8.   Any unauthorized fishing activity.
9.   Any act aimed at interfering with any system of communication or other facilities of interest to the coastal state.

Jurisdiction over a foreign ship: The coastal state, with reference to criminal jurisdiction, is not expected to extend its jurisdiction over passing ships, the coastal state has some conditions over which it may want to extend its criminal jurisdiction over a foreign ship which is supposed to be engaged in non-innocent passage. The UN convention of 1958 provides that  a state has the right to know whether a passing ship is carrying any vacotics or psychotropic substances considered injurious to the coastal state or which generally contravenes international law if.
1.   The consequences of the crime extends to the coastal state.
2.   The crime is of such a kind that would disturb the peace and good order of the coastal state
3.   The captain of the ship invites the authorities of the coastal state for whatever reason
4.   It is necessary for the coastal state to intervene if order to stop illicit deal or drug trafficking
5.   It violates the regulations of the coastal state in which care the coastal state may request it to go back.
6.   The ship is engaged in illicit activity of any sort that constitutes a breath of international laws.

The contiguous zone, straits and canal: the contiguous zone is a continuation of the territorial waters of the coastal state. It may not extend beyond 24 nautical miles from the base line from which the breath of the sea is measured. 12 nautical miles is the agreed length of the territorial  waters although some states may shorten it but it must not go beyond 12 nautical miles
Straits- a strait is a piece of water between two land areas. It is different from a canal. A strait is natural but a canal can be manmade. Right of passage through a strait are similar to those of high seas. Straits are not territorial water and cannot be divided by states. It also cannot be appropriated.
Canal -canal is an artificial passage trench of water purposely created by man. Right to passage is subject to the permission of the coastal state or states which has control over the canal. Canals are created for the purpose so commerce, military uses and other maritime activities. The seek canal in Egypt is a good example
The archipelagic state- this is a state constituted wholley by one or more archipelagos, that is a group of islands and inter connecting waters and other natural features which are so closely inter related that such islands and other natural features form an intrinsic geographically economic and political entity or which historically has been regarded as such. Some states may fall within this definition but would opt not to declare themselves as such. This is the case with Britain and Japan. All water within the state has sovereignty but existing agreements, traditional fishing rights and existing submarine cables must be respected. In addition, ships of all states shall enjoy the rights of innocent passage through archipelagic waters and all ships and aircraft are to enjoy a right of archipelagic sea lanes passage through such lanes and air routes designated by the archipelagic state for continuous and expeditious passage.
The exclusive economic zone (EEZ): the exclusive economic zone is an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea subject to the specific legal regime established in the convention under which the rights and jurisdiction of the coastal states and rights and freedom of other states are recognized. The eel shall not extend beyond 200 nautical miles from the base lines from which the breath of the territorial sea is measured. One of the major reason for the 200 miles exclusive economic zone was the controversy over fishing zones and the exploitation of other sea resources.

The rights, jurisdiction and duties of coastal states over EEZ
Articles 55-57 of UNCLOS provides the following:
1.   the coastal state has sovereign right for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, preserving and management the natural resources whether living or non living of the waters separjacent to the sea bed and of the sea bed and its subsoil and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone such as the production of energy from the water, current and winds.
2.   the coastal state has jurisdiction with reference to the establishment and use of artificial islands installations and structures as well as conducting marine and scientific research.
3.   it also protects and preserves the marine environment within 200 nautical airless radius.
4.   in exercising this right, the coastal state shall have regard to the rights and duties of other states.
5.   conflicts are to be  resolved on the basis of equity and in the light of all relevant circumstances.
In the    eez, all states whether coastal or land locked enjoy the freedom of navigation and over flight and of laying of submarine cables and pipelines and other internationally lawful uses of the sea related to these freedoms such as these associated with the operation of ships, aircrafts and submarines cables and pipelines and compatible with the various provisions of the convention. These are to be worked out through agreements.
            In exercising their rights and performing their duties in the EEZ, states shall have due regard for the rights and duties of the coastal states and shall couly with laws and regulations adopted by the coastal states in accordance with the provisions of the convention.
            Within the EEZ, the coastal state is to have exclusive right to construct and authorize or regulate the construction operation and use of artificial islands, installations and structures provided for in the convention, relevant for achieving economic purposes and also ensuring the exercise of right by other states which will not interfere with the interest of the coastal states. The coastal states may, where necessary, establish reasonable safety zones around artificial islands, instillations and structures, and may take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of navigation and of the artificial islands and structures.

The conservation of living resources_ in conserving the living resources of the sea, the convention provides as follows:
1.   Coastal states shall determine the “allowable catch” of the living resources in its EEZ
2.   The coastal state, taking into account, the best scientific evidence available to it shall ensure, through proper conservation and management, measures that the maintenance of living resource in the EEZ is not enlarged by over exploitation.
3.   Such measures shall also be designed to maintain or restore population of the harvested species of levels which can produce the maximum sustainable yields as qualified by relevant environmental and economic factors including the economic needs of coastal fishing communities and the special requirements of developing states and taking into account fishing patterns, interdependence of stocks and any generally recommended international maximum standards whether sub-regional, regional, continental or universal.

Utilization of living resources in the EEZ- the coastal states shall promote the objective or optimum utilization of the living resources in the EEZ. It shall also determine its own capacity to harvest the resources of the EEZ. When the coastal state does not have the capacity to harvest the entire allowable catch, it shall through agreements or other arrangements give other states access to the samples of the allowable catch having particular regard to the provision of the conventions dealing with the right of land. Locked states and geographically disadvantaged states.
            In giving access to other states to the EEZ. The coastal states shall take into account all relevant factors including inter alia, the significance of the resources of the area to the economy of the coastal state convened and its other national interest as well as the interest of land locked and geographically disadvantaged states in addition to the requirements of developing states in the region in harvesting part of the surplus and the need to minimize economic dislocation in states whose nationals have habitually dished in the zone or which have made substantial efforts in research and identification of stock.
The resources of the sea as a common human heritage:- This concept holds that the entire resources of the sea belongs to the entire Humanity and that no state irrespective of ability or geographical location should be denied the right to benefit from this free gift of nature.
            Under the provisions of UNCLOS, land-locked states and geographical disadvantaged areas are guaranteed that right to participate on an equitable basis in the exploitation of an appropriate part of the surplus of the living resources of the EEZ of coastal states of the same region or sub region. This must take into account the relevant economic and geographical circumstances of all the states conceived. The terms and modalities of such participation shall be established by the states concerned through bilateral agreements. Further taking into account such factors as
1.   The need to avoid effects detrimental to the fishing communities or fishing industries of the coastal state.
2.   The extent to which the land locked states is participation or is entitled to participate under existing agreements in the exploitation of living resources of the EEZ of other coastal states.
            The right of land locked and geographically disadvantaged areas to benefit from the resources of the sea is premised on the understanding that the resources of the sea is a free gift if nature intended by God to serve the common good of all humanity.
Land locked states:- land locked states are states that do not have direct access to the sea. Such states cannot be denied the one of the sea. Article 3 or the 1950 Geneva Convention on the High seas provided that states having no sea coast are entitled to have free access to the sea in order to enjoy freedom of the seas on equal terms with coastal states. Article 125 of the 1982 convention on the law of the sea provided as follows:
1.   Land – locked states shall have the right of access to and from the sea for the purpose of exercising the right provided for in this convention including those relating to the freedom of the high seas and the common heritage of mankind. To this end , land locked states shall enjoy freedom of transit through the territory of transit states by all means of transport.
2.   the terms and modalities for exercising freedom of transit shall be agreed between the land locked states and the transit state concerned through bilateral, sub regional or regional agreements.
3.   transit states, in the exercise of their full sovereignty over their territory shall have the right to take all measures necessary to ensure that the right and facilities provided for in this part for land – locked states shall in no way infringe their legitimate interest.
The convention also provides that ships flying the flag of land locked states shall enjoy equal treatment with other foreign ships in maritime  
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