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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.

Nothing Less Than International Standards

Sixty-three human rights groups in South-east Asia have issued an open letter to the 45th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, expressing their call that the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration “will not be lower than international human rights norms and standards”. The draft declaration, the subject of criticism by rights groups who say it is too weak, is set to be adopted at the ASEAN summit in November 2012. The text of the open letter follows.

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.

ASEAN Backs Burma’s Call to End EU Sanctions

BURMA, Apr 3 (Irrawaddy Magazine) – The Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (Asean) agreed on Monday to back Burma’s call for the European
Union to lift sanctions on the country, a day after a by-election in
which Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a
landslide victory.

A Frustrating ASEAN Summit

BANGKOK, Apr 9 (Bangkok Post) – To say that last week’s summit of the Association of Southeast Nations was disappointing is an understatement. Not too much was expected when the 10 presidents and prime ministers met in Phnom Penh. But even less was actually achieved.

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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