It’s now six years old, but few know what the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) does. It has been called toothless, though its creation was seen as a step forward given the principle of non-interference in ASEAN. In this chat with Diana Mendoza, AICHR chair Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah says he wishes the body had more power to help ASEAN countries resolve their difficulties on rights issues.
Beyond corporate social responsibility, which norms can work as ‘responsible business practices’ as ASEAN heads toward greater integration with the ASEAN Community’s launch in December 2015? Businesses, civil society and others are pushing to raise the bar on issues like human rights, decent work and fighting corruption, reports Diana Mendoza.
Amid the heated debates and discussions around this year’s haze episode in Southeast Asia, ASEAN’s agreement on transboundary haze pollution has gotten little attention – or mention. It lies all but buried in the embers of frustration of Indonesia’s neighbouring countries, reports Kanis Dursin* from Jakarta.
Strong outside, weaker inside? ASEAN needs to address its internal contradictions before it can achieve true integration and be considered a regional powerhouse. Ahead of the ASEAN Community’s launch, Johanna Son takes a closer look at the ASEAN way in this story for ‘The Irrawaddy’ under the ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’ series.
Thanh Le of Vietnam National University’s News Bulletin and a #reportingasean fellow, spoke to Associate Prof. Dr. Nantana Gajaseni, executive director of the Bangkok-based ASEAN University Network (AUN), about the progress in pushing student exchange programs across universities in ASEAN. Student exchanges nurture ASEAN-mindedness among young people as future ASEAN citizens, she said.
With the establishment of the ASEAN Economy Community, Vietnamese exports stand to gain from the elimination of tariffs. But free trade also means the country will need to ensure its products remain attractive amid fiercer competition. Thi Huong of Vietnam Economic News looks at how the textile and agriculture industries plan to tackle this challenge in her story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.
The target of creating a fully integrated ASEAN stock market remains elusive with 10 very fragmented and diverse markets in the region. More support from individual countries is urgently required for the realisation of a borderless capital market. Chan Yi Wen of the Business Times explains the slow pace of financial integration in her story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.