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.
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.
Myanmar’s weekly newspaper ‘The Voice’ is one of the survivors of the country’s transition to media freedom over the last decade. Today, Zeya Thu, deputy chief editor of the paper, says “we are in a transitional society” and that the country is now learning about ASEAN.
ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General AKP Mochtan talks to Johanna Son about the need for media to tell more ‘complete’ stories about ASEAN issues, especially during the year the Community is to be put in place.
SINGAPORE, 20 Dec 2012 (ISEAS Perspective) – The 21st ASEAN Summit was held in Phnom Penh, from 17 to 20 November 2012. I have not come across any balanced assessment of the achievements and shortcomings of the Summit. Several reports in the popular media have focused on one or two issues, such as, the disagreement over the sentence in the Chairman’s closing statement that there was an ASEAN consensus not to internationalise the South China Sea issue. In this essay, I wish to summarise what I consider to have been the most important achievements of the Summit as well as to indicate what ASEAN’s main challenges are.
Dec 17 (ISEAS Perspective) – As the deadline of 2015 draws closer, it is apparent that ASEAN will miss many of its goals as stipulated in its three Blueprints of ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC). Yet, ASEAN has continued to embark on even more ambitious goals: creating an “ASEAN common platform” on major global issues by 2022 in order to play an increased role in the community of nations, and launching negotiations on a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which ASEAN hopes to complete by the year 2015.
MELBOURNE, Dec 4 (The Jakarta Post) – There have been two recent important moments to remember in relation to women’s rights in Southeast Asia: the adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration on Nov. 18 and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Nov. 25. In the context of ASEAN, a fundamental issue to be borne in mind is the direction of women’s rights.
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.