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ASEAN: Useless Body, Superpower or Somewhere in Between?

SINGAPORE (IPS Asia-Pacific) – Say ‘ASEAN’ and South-east Asians are likely to know of their main regional organisation. But this good recall does not always mean they understand how ASEAN really works, its kind of regionalism, or how this relates to their governments’ policies or their daily lives.

Laos’ Herculean Effort to Join the WTO

GENEVA, Apr 30 2012 (IPS) – After almost a decade of major economic transformation, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic is on the brink of World Trade Organisation (WTO) membership. But the small country’s Herculean effort to join the exclusive trade club is a reminder to the ten other least developed countries (LDCs) now seeking membership of the cumbersome process involved.

Myanmar, A Middle-income Country by 2030 – AsDB

BANGKOK, Aug 27 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – Busy shedding off its reputation as a recluse after decades of self-imposed isolation, Myanmar is playing catch-up with it neighbours and may well become a middle-income nation by 2030, the Asian Development Bank (AsDB) says in a report released this month.

EDITORIAL – 45 years of ASEAN

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.

Activists Demand Consultations on Human Rights Document

In a joint statement released on April 8th (full text below), over 130 local, national and regional civil society organizations across the ASEAN region called on more consultations in drafting the ASEAN human rights declaration.

Experts’ Meeting on ASEAN Coverage in Singapore

Making Development A Story within ASEAN SINGAPORE – How to create space in South-east Asian media for reporting on social and development issues in the context of Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) regionalism was the focus of an experts’ meeting organised in early November by IPS Asia-Pacific, with the ASEAN Studies Centre as co-organiser. […]

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