In December 2015, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) celebrated the official establishment of the ASEAN Community. Having emerged in 1967 as a regional grouping of developing countries with minimal shared interests—beyond the common concern of economic growth and national resilience, ASEAN now has established regional structures which have been vital in enhancing development and dialogue on a broad range of issues across the Southeast Asian region. Over the years, the institutional development at the regional level has been accompanied by various efforts to promote regional unity and identity. The more recent years have also displayed that the international community has been supporting these efforts for ASEAN unity and identity by showing greater recognition of ASEAN as an international actor in its own right, for example, through the establishment of numerous country delegations to ASEAN.
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