BANGKOK, Dec 20 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – At the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh in November 2012, there were over 1,500 journalists covering the two-day event. But their focus was on two issues: the South China Sea dispute and the Rohingya crisis.
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 16 (The Star) – ONE of the key challenges in building the Asean community is coming up with tangible outcomes that benefit the people directly. This is a tall order, since many of Asean’s objectives are at the regional level.
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.
Nov 6 (ISEAS Perspective) – Cambodia will host the 21st ASEAN Summit and related summits in Phnom Penh from 18-20 November 2012. This Perspective article reviews what to expect from the 21st ASEAN Summit.
BANGKOK, Nov 14 (Bangkok Post) – Cambodia will fulfil its last major obligation as this year’s Asean chair on Nov 18-20, when it hosts the annual Asean Summit and seventh East Asia Summit (EAS).
BANGKOK, Nov 6 (The Nation) – The Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) this week in Laos will mark a good opportunity for leaders to discuss political and economic cooperation and a future direction so that the two regions can work constructively together.
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.
The Asia-Pacific remains the only UN-defined region that does not adhere to its own human rights treaty or possess a region-wide mechanism for the promotion and protection of human rights.
Khin Ohmar, Coordinator of Burma Partnership, explains to Johanna Son of IPS Asia-Pacific her worries about foreign donors rushing into Myanmar in the wake of its reforms.
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.
In this opinion piece published in Asia Times, Khanh Vu Duc shares on whether ASEAN can serve the role of maintaining regional peace and stability without major disruptions to the grouping’s culture and leadership.
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.
On ASEAN’s ‘birthday’ on Aug. 8, 2012, Moe Thuzar of the ASEAN Studies Centre reflects on the high and low points of the organisation as well as the importance of linking its goals and work to the everyday lives of its constituency.
There is a lot of discussion in the media and public space about ASEAN, but there are also many misconceptions about the regional organisation, says Rodolfo Severino, Head of the ASEAN Studies Centre.
SINGAPORE, Aug 10 (Straits Times) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) turned 45 on Wednesday. Asean has come a long way, first as a grouping emerging from the Cold War, and now supposedly the world’s most successful regional organization after the European Union.
BANGKOK, Aug 10 (Bangkok Post) – For the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, turning 45 is hard to do. Its perennial and cliched crossroads may soon become a precipice unless remedial collective action among the group is taken to repair recent setbacks ahead of its summit in November.