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ASEAN Chair A Potential Coming of Age for Laos

Vientiane takes centre stage this year, as ASEAN chair. The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is also becoming a magnet for competing powers, but some analysts say it is a potential coming of age for the relatively isolated country, says this article from The Straits Times.

Asia Leaps Forward in Regional Economic Integration

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 3 2013 (IPS) – As the United Nations continues to intensify the promotion of South-South cooperation among member states, Asia plans to take a great leap forward in regional economic integration during the next decade.

Cambodian Activists Challenge ASEAN Policies

PHNOM PENH, Dec 13 2012 (IPS) – For a brief moment last month, mainstream international media turned the spotlight on Cambodia, one of the world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs), as a high-level visit from U.S. President Barack Obama and the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gave this country of 14.3 million people a glamorous edge.

ASEAN Member Countries Should Complement, Not Compete

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 (The Star) – With Asean forging ahead with its Asean Economic Community (AEC) plans, member countries of South-East Asia should seek to create a synergy based on their strengths rather than out-do each other.

ASEAN: Myanmar Needs Urgent Humanitarian Aid

Dec 3 (The Jakarta Globe) – Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus supports the United Nations’ calls for urgent action to deliver humanitarian aid to displaced peoples in the country.

AEC Pushed Back 12 Months

PHNOM PENH, Nov 19 (Bangkok Post) – Asean leaders have decided to delay the launch of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) for 12 months from Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2015 to prepare the necessary regulations.

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.

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.

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.

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.

ASEAN’s 2015 Union May Be Delayed – Surin

PHNOM PENH/MANILA, Sep 12 (Business World Online) – A planned economic union in Southeast Asia is likely to be delayed by a year because some countries are not ready, said Surin Pitsuwan, secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN Dragging Feet on Services FTA – Indian official

SINGAPORE, Sep 10 2012 (The Hindu Business Line) – The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been slower in responding to India’s proposal to conclude a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Services, former Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said here today.

Laos’ Herculean Effort to Join the WTO

GENEVA, Apr 30 2012 (IPS) – After almost a decade of major economic transformation, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic is on the brink of World Trade Organisation (WTO) membership. But the small country’s Herculean effort to join the exclusive trade club is a reminder to the ten other least developed countries (LDCs) now seeking membership of the cumbersome process involved.

Myanmar Turns ASEAN’s Democracy Beacon

BANGKOK, Apr 12 (IPS) – Long Southeast Asia’s black sheep, Myanmar is
enjoying an image change following its landmark Apr. 1 by-elections.
Tongues are now wagging about the region’s new beacon of hope for
democratic change.

ASEAN Backs Burma’s Call to End EU Sanctions

BURMA, Apr 3 (Irrawaddy Magazine) – The Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (Asean) agreed on Monday to back Burma’s call for the European
Union to lift sanctions on the country, a day after a by-election in
which Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a
landslide victory.

20th ASEAN Summit Closes, Leaders Reaffirm Goals

PHNOM PENH, Apr 4 (ANTARA News) – The 20th ASEAN Summit held in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh has officially ended, following a closing session led by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE: Can the Maid Have Boyfriends?

SINGAPORE, Mar 20 (IPS) – A routine announcement by the government of this city-state entitling foreign, female domestic workers to a day off each week has sent their affluent employers into a tizzy. link: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=107134

ASEAN Attempts to Build on a Shared Language: Music

VIENTIANE, Feb 1 (IPS) – A landmark concert featuring artistes from
eight of the ten South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) took place here on
Jan. 21, in an effort to build a regional community through the common
language of music.

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