ASEAN is a regional organization consisting of ten nations – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. The goal of the organization is encourage cooperation and the economic integration among the member states and address issues of security and other transnational issues affecting Southeast Asia. The ten member states represent over 625 million people and a GDP of over 2.8 trillion, making ASEAN a powerful force in the hemisphere. ASEAN has three major pillars, based on economic, political-security, and socio-cultural goals, and represent the major areas that ASEAN seeks to cover as an organization.
ASEAN is driven by the “ASEAN Way”, a methodology that emphasizes the cultural norms of the region and places importance on consensus and consultation in the decision-making process. It is important to keep this spirit in mind as we discuss our briefings and strive for resolutions and progress on the topics of cyber security and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Cybersecurity and the Trans-Pacific Partnerships are two topics requiring our particular attention during the conference. Technological change and rapid development have brought great economic growth in the region and connected peoples across borders and seas. However, this globalization is not without its consequences. Malicious cyber offenses threaten commercial property, state secrets, and the economic and financial systems of ASEAN members. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, too, deals with this issue of globalization and the distributional consequences of such a large regional trade agreement.
Over the course of the conference, you will be tasked with analyzing these issues and crafting targeted suggestions and solutions for member nations to implement. We will assist you to the best of our ability and we encourage you to lean on your fellow delegates during the process. Both ASEAN and Harvard Model Congress stress the importance of cooperation and teamwork, and this conference will be no exception. It will also be fun, no doubt about it.
Please carefully read the briefings we have prepared for you and come ready to fully participate. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, whether they be about the topics or the conference as a whole.
Looking forward to meeting all of you,
Bryant Yang & Tanner Gildea
Chairs, Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Each delegate will submit two one-minute speeches, one on each briefing topic. These speeches should written from the perspective of the delegate’s assigned role — for example, a delegate assigned the role of the United States should present arguments that the United States would be in favor of. The pre-conference assignments are due on December 30th and should be sent to your committee chairs by email (see below). Delegates should use this opportunity to research their role and become familiar with the topics at hand in order to prepare for the conference. Committee chairs will provide feedback on these assignments before the conference.