The bloc will now draw up a roadmap setting out the criteria Timor Leste must hit before being granted full membership.
Some 20 years after it became independent from Indonesia, Timor Leste continues to struggle with poverty and underdevelopment.
The writer says Timor-Leste can turn itself into a trailblazer in participatory eco-sustainability regardless of its membership into ASEAN.
The 72-year-old was a critical figure in Timor Leste's independence struggle, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996.
Southeast Asia’s newest country has made significant strides in its short history but acceptance by its neighbours remain fleeting. Rated the most democratic nation in South…