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Why Thailand Is Crazy Over AEC

Nov 19 (The Nation) – These days in Thailand, not a single day passes by without AEC (Asean Economic Community) on the headlines. The billion-baht worth of AEC campaign is zeroed in on with one single issue: to prepare the country and Thai people to compete with other nine members in the Asean Economic Community by 2015. Under the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the AEC platform has been accorded a top priority and morphed into a major populist policy. Any reference that has the word “AEC” in it would certainly get the government funding. That explains why there are hundreds of AEC seminars in the past several months.

Civil Society Rejects ‘Flawed’ ASEAN Rights Declaration

PHNOM PENH, Nov 15 – A group of 62 human rights and other organisations say the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, expected to be adopted at the ASEAN summit later this month in Cambodia, is “not worthy of its name” and issued a statement roundly rejecting it if the document is indeed issued in its current form.

What To Expect At The Upcoming 21st ASEAN Summit?

Nov 6 (ISEAS Perspective) – Cambodia will host the 21st ASEAN Summit and related summits in Phnom Penh from 18-20 November 2012. This Perspective article reviews what to expect from the 21st ASEAN Summit.

ASEAN Human Rights Fails To Impress UNHRC

JAKARTA, Nov 14 (The Jakarta Post) – The United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Navanethem Pillay has called on ASEAN leaders to suspend the adoption of the first-ever human rights declaration.

Sustainable Tourism, A Balancing Act

PATONG BEACH, Thailand, Nov 13 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – On a bright summer afternoon at this beach here in Phuket, Pinporn Teerarak, a 30-year-old female tour planner with tanned skin and sun-coloured hair, looks pensively out to sea.

ASEM Summit Brings Great Benefits to Laos

VIENTIANE, Nov 10 (Vientiane Times) – The recent 9th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 9) Summit creates a new record in Laos’ political history, and with many new bilateral agreements between Laos and other ASEM member countries complete.

Asem Forum Chance To Foster Cooperation

BANGKOK, Nov 6 (The Nation) – The Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) this week in Laos will mark a good opportunity for leaders to discuss political and economic cooperation and a future direction so that the two regions can work constructively together.

Postpone ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

BANGKOK, Nov 5 (The International Federation for Human Rights) – In a letter sent today to ASEAN Heads of State, leading international human rights organizations called for the postponement of the adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, pointing out that in its current form, the Declaration falls short of existing international human rights standards and risks creating a sub-standard level of human rights protection in the region.

First ASEAN Human Rights Declaration Criticised

JAKARTA, Oct 29 (The Jakarta Post) – Civil society groups in ASEAN have expressed disappointment over the content and process of the first-ever ASEAN human rights declaration, which aims to ensure human rights protection for 600 million people in the region.

‘We Need to Look Beyond Our Gov’t Officials’

BANGKOK – In this interview with The Nation Channel’s Thananuch Sanguansak, IPS Asia-Pacific’s Johanna Son shares her views about trying to change some usual news habits on reporting on ASEAN summits and ministerial meetings – what governments do — and look more at the community aspect especially as the ASEAN community comes into being.

ASEAN will Open Up to Viet Nam Skills

HANOI, Oct 29 – ASEAN nations will pilot a free labour market for skilled workers and professionals in 2015 as part of a plan to integrate the region economically. This will enable workers to move freely in the region. However, little information on the process has been made available. Most Vietnamese have never heard of the scheme.

Burma’s Media Landscape: Better, but Still Far from Free

Oct 4 (The Irrawaddy) – Sitting in The Irrawaddy’s new office in downtown Rangoon as I write this, I can’t help but feel a strange sense of unreality. A year ago, I could hardly have imagined even being here, much less writing this commentary, which not so long ago would almost certainly have landed me in prison.

Civil Groups Fail To Delay Adoption Of Declaration

BANGKOK, Oct 13 (Bangkok Post) – Thai civil society organisations have failed in a last-ditch effort to derail the ratification of the Asean Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) at the 21st Asean Summit, to be held in Phnom Penh next month.

Interaction in ASEAN Should Not Just Focus On Liberalisation Alone

BANGKOK, Oct 16 (Bangkok Post) – Further integration and economic growth in Asean should not focus on liberalisation alone, but also take into account inclusivity and poverty, two issues that need more attention across the region, said Indonesian Finance Minister Mahendra Siregar.

MYANMAR: Easy Does It, Foreign Donors Told

TOKYO, Oct 12 (TerraViva) – Foreign donors are rushing into Burma, whose government has been pushing the right political buttons as part of its democratic reform process. But development planners and Burmese activists here caution that the best approach should still be ‘easy does it’.

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