Unlike the European Union, ASEAN does not aspire towards forging common security and foreign policies for its Member States. The APSC does, however, encourage the development of common positions on the various issues that affect peace and stability in the region as well as important global and regional issues of common concern.
The Leaders of ASEAN envisaged the APSC as embodying the following characteristics:
- A rules-based community of shared values and norms
- A cohesive, peaceful, stable and resilient region with shared responsibility for comprehensive security; and
- A dynamic and outward-looking region in an increasingly integrated and interdependent world.
The APSC has also benefitted from international support for the TAC which, as of 2015, has 32 High Contracting Parties including all key countries that interact with Southeast Asia, including all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The TAC promotes the peaceful conduct of relations in Southeast Asia and is thus an important anchor for peace and stability in the region.
ASEAN has also established the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) which was launched in 2009 in Cha-am Hua Hin during Thailand’s chairmanship of ASEAN. The promotion and protection of human rights in the region remains the key goal of the AICHR.