The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN AH-see-ahn, AH-zee-ahn) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten countries in Southeast Asia, which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia. It also regularly engages other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. ASEAN maintains a global network of alliances and dialogue partners and is considered by some as global powerhouse, the central union for cooperation in Asia-Pacific, and a prominent and influential organisation. It is involved in numerous international affairs, and hosts diplomatic missions throughout the world. It is a major partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, developing cooperation model with the organisation for the peace, stability, development and sustainability of Asia.