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Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Why ASEAN matters: our shared security

We share this region, and the same security challenges.

The ASEAN region is our neighbourhood – its security impacts our own. ASEAN is the geographic and diplomatic heart of the Indo-Pacific region. It convenes important regional groupings such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) where our countries gather every year to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing our region.

In the more than fifty years since ASEAN was founded, Southeast Asia has enjoyed relative peace and stability. ASEAN has played a significant role in this: ASEAN has prevented conflict between its members by promoting habits of dialogue and cooperation, and Australia has benefited from peace on its doorstep.

ASEAN and its institutions have also helped to create and embed the international rules-based order – rules which are critical to stable and respectful relations between nations.

Australia and ASEAN work together to combat transnational security challenges like terrorism, cyber crime, health pandemics, water scarcity, natural disasters and human trafficking.

Australia and ASEAN signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation to Counter International Terrorism at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney on 17-18 March 2018. The MoU strengthens our cooperation to combat terrorism, counter terrorism financing and counter violent extremism. It intensifies Australia's annual engagement with ASEAN and enshrines practical measures to deepen dialogue across governments and security and law enforcement institutions. Read more about the MoU.

Watch this short video on our long-standing partnership with ASEAN to combat human trafficking and find out more about what we're doing in our region.

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