The Third Protocol Amending the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia was signed by the foreign ministers of nations participating in the Treaty on July 23, 2010 in Hanoi.
The Treaty [of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia] was signed in 1976 by the five member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): the Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of the Philippines. Later, the other ASEAN member states joined the Treaty.
The Protocol Amending the Treaty, passed in 1987, stipulated the opportunity for states outside Southeast Asia to join the Treaty, with the consent of ASEAN member states. The Second Protocol Amending the Treaty, passed in 1998, established the norm that applications from nations outside Southeast Asia must be approved by ten ASEAN member states.
The Russian Federation joined the Treaty in 2004.
The Treaty is an important international legal document, promoting the development of multilateral cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region in the political, economic, social, research and technology, and humanitarian sectors. It contains provisions requiring member states to be governed by such fundamental principles as respect for independence, sovereignty, equality and the territorial integrity of all states, refusal to use force or the threat of force, non-interference into one another’s internal affairs, the resolution of disputes by peaceful means through consultations, and non-participation in activities creating a threat to the political or economic stability of one of the ASEAN member states.
Given the increasingly important role of multilateral associations and organisations in the political and economic processes of the Asia-Pacific Region, it was deemed appropriate to amend the Treaty, allowing the possibility for regional organisations to join ASEAN, and this was implemented through the Third Protocol.