The Romanian Diplomatic Institute (IDR) and the Romanian Institute for European-Asian Studies (IRSEA) held yesterday a conference on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). “ASEAN these days is not the same as the one in 1967. Now there is a free trade area in this part of the world called ASEAN free trade area. Also, now the ASEAN members are tackling the human rights in an institutionalized way. ASEAN community is based on three pillars: security and politics, economics and culture. (…) I think that Romania, in parallel with the EU membership, should develop the cooperation with the Asian area. A possibility for this would be to create the ASEAN Committee in Bucharest,” said IRSEA president Gheorghe Savuica. In his turn, H.E. the ambassador of Malaysia to Bucharest, Mr. Dato’ Nik Mustafa Kamal Nik Ahmad, stated: “I think ASEAN has come at an age like when you get to the middle age and you see all your problems. I’m sure ASEAN will continue everything with great effort.” The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a geo-political and economic organisation of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on August 8, 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, membership has expanded to include to include Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.