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.
MANILA, Dec 12 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – When Myo Thant, many years ago, forwarded a proposal that asked the government of Myanmar to help temper the rapid increase of HIV transmission and occurrence of AIDS in the population, his request was rejected. “Only Elizabeth Taylor works on HIV and AIDS,” he recalled one state official’s response written on his proposal paper, referring to the late American actress’ advocacy and philanthropy.
Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, loses some 30 trillion rupiah (slightly over 3 billion U.S. dollars) a year because of illegal fishers, most of whom are from South-east Asian countries. How is Indonesia coping, and what is ASEAN’s role in solving the problem of illegal fishing? This set of four stories by Heriyanto looks into these issues.
SUNGAI KAKAP, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Nov 26 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – Morning, approximately three o’clock. Dozens of boats are docked at Sungai Kakap, Kubu Raya District, West Kalimantan province. The dock is beginning to buzz with activity. A boat is unloading its catch. One by one, large fish are removed from the storage in the vessel’s hull and hauled into a shed close to the boat.
SUNGAI RENGAS, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Nov 26 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – On the dock of the Pontianak Monitoring Station of the Marine Resources and Fisheries (PSDKP) here on Kapuas River in Kubu Raya District sits yet another illegal fishing vessel that Indonesian authorities had caught and confiscated recently.
JAKARTA, Nov 26 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – Faced with a continuing stream of foreign vessels that harvest its marine resources illegally, Indonesia has stepped up efforts to have the problem resolved at the regional level. But it is not finding it easy to push for action within ASEAN, despite all the discussions about illegal fishing among the members of the regional organisation.
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.
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.
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.