The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is an organization made up of a group of member states, known as ASEAN. The organization's goal is to promote stability and economic growth across these nations.
The organization was initially founded in 1967. At the time of its founding, there were five founding nations. The alliance was founded during the Cold War to make the region more stable.
ASEAN has since grown to 10 member states located in Southeast Asia. The organization focuses on boosting economic and trade growth, with all member states having a free trade agreement. Travel within the region is also easier for member states.
All member states have signed a treaty against the development of nuclear weapons. Most have also signed on to a counter-terrorism pact. Technical and research cooperation is also promoted across the member states. Initiatives include overseeing the protection of the environment and wildlife through the Center for Biodiversity.
The original founding nations of ASEAN were Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. There are two observer nations: Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste.
Across all nations of ASEAN, there is a population of over 622 million people. The region has one of the largest economies in the world, and it is believed that by 2050, it will have the 4th-largest economy in the world. It also has one of the world's largest labor forces, falling only behind India and China. The entire region stretches across over 1.7 million square miles.