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.
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.
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.
JAKARTA, Oct 8 (The Jakarta Post) – There were two meetings recently concerning two regional human rights mechanisms, which are important for Indonesia’s foreign policy. The first meeting was the 8th ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) on the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) in Brunei Darussalam on Aug. 24-26, 2012. The second was the 2nd Independent and Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Ankara, Turkey on Aug. 27-31, 2012.
JAKARTA, Aug 25 (Jakarta Post) – Despite the absence of a joint communiqué from the 45th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM), foreign ministers of the regional grouping have agreed to release its “key elements” to public as part of consultations before the adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) at the 21st ASEAN Summit in November in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
PHILIPPINES, Aug 11 (The Philippine Star) – The 45th year of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will be remembered for the first-ever failure of the regional grouping to come up with a communiqué at the end of its ministerial meeting in the host country Cambodia. No regional grouping is free of disagreements, and there have been violent incidents between certain ASEAN member states. But for the most part, ASEAN has shown solidarity as the grouping, which originally started with five members including the Philippines, grew to its current membership of 10 and engaged other countries as dialogue partners and observers.