Singapore Hosts 7th Workshop on ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism

18 June 2008

The Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism has put up a report of the 7th workshop on the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism.

From the Working Group website, a short explanation of what the Workshop is about.

The Workshop is the seventh in a series that is annually organized by the Working Group. Co-organized by the ministry of foreign affairs and the national human rights institution (if any) of a host ASEAN member-state, it has become a platform for stakeholders to dialogue on the establishment of a regional human rights mechanism.

Scroll down to the end of that webpage for the summary of proceedings.

TWC2 Capacity Building Workshop

18 June 2008

Our partner, Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) will be holding a free workshop on 29th June 2008, 9am till 6pm. This is a workshop as part of their public education programme.

Download the workshop details from their website HERE.

Philippine president appeals for passage of ASEAN Charter

15 June 2008

The Asean Charter, which was signed by all 10 Asean countries last November, does not come into effect until all 10 member countries have ratified it.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is appealing to the Philippine Congress to ratify the Charter. She also said, Asean “must accept its responsibility to advance the cause of economic and social justice within its membership.”

Some congressmen have argued that the Philippines should hold back ratification until the Myanmar government demonstrates concrete steps to restore democracy.

13 June 2008

Philippine president appeals for passage of ASEAN Charter

MANILA, June 13 (Xinhua) — Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is appealing for the passage of ASEAN Charter for further economic integration within the Association of South East Asian Nations, the Philippine government said in a statement on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »

Asean human rights body: Progress made, but more work lies ahead

14 June 2008

This is the Straits Times’ concluding report on the 7th Workshop, held June 12 – 13, 2008 in Singapore.

Straits Times
14 June 2008

Progress made, but more work lies ahead

Workshop participants agree broad consultation needed, but no consensus reached on powers proposed body should have
By Kor Kian Beng

ASEAN’S goal of setting up a human rights body is shaping up well, but human rights experts and government officials who ended a meeting here were under no illusions about the mountain of work that lies ahead.

The 60 or so participants who met at a two-day workshop agreed, among other things, that the high-level panel which will draw up terms of reference for the human rights commission must consult broadly with government and civil society groups alike. Read the rest of this entry »

Experts: All members should be included in ASEAN human rights body

14 June 2008

This is Xinhua’s second news report on the 7th Workshop held in Singapore, 12 – 13 June 2008.

13 June 2008

Experts: All members should be included in ASEAN human rights body

SINGAPORE, June 13 (Xinhua) — Most participants from the two-day workshop of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said here on Friday that all the 10-members, including Myanmar, should be included in a future human rights body for the regional organization. Read the rest of this entry »

Prof Tommy Koh highlights Asean’s human rights divide

14 June 2008

In this report, Today summarises the key points made by Prof Tommy Koh, Transport Minister Raymond Lim and Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, at the 7th Workshop held on June 12-13, 2008 in Singapore.

13 June 2008

Asean’s human rights divide

Nazry Bahrawi

IT IS no secret the 10 members of the A:ssociation of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) aredivided over the issue of human rights. But it was only yesterday that a clearer picture of the rift emerged, thanks to a “frank” account given by veteran diplomat Professor Tommy Koh.

According to him, Asean is divided into two camps: One which champions human rights and the other, not as enthusiastic about it. Read the rest of this entry »

Raymond Lim’s 3 criteria for an Asean human rights body

14 June 2008

Singapore Transport Minister Raymond Lim once again highlighted a position that Singapore tends advance – “the interpretation of most rights are still essentially contested concepts” – in his keynote address to the 7th workshop.

Straits Times
13 June 2008

Raymond Lim: Three criteria must be met

Mr Raymond Lim, Second Foreign Affairs Minister, listed three broad criteria for a new Asean human rights body when he delivered the keynote address at a workshop to discuss the human rights mechanism that is being set up under the Asean Charter: Read the rest of this entry »

Are principles of human rights are more important than the principles of non-interference? asks Prof Tommy Koh

14 June 2008

Article 14 of the Asean Charter may prove to be one of the most difficult to implement. Providing for a human rights body, the details have yet to be worked out. As Prof Tommy Koh said in his speech to the 7th Workshop, “There was no issue that took up more of our time, no issue as controversial and which divided the Asean family so deeply as human rights.”

Below is the Straits Times report of his speech. Read the rest of this entry »

Full access for Asean aid teams in Myanmar: Surin

13 June 2008

Asean seems to have exceeded expectations somewhat in getting co-operation from the Myanmar govenrment. As this report in Today indicates, aid teams from Asean countries have been promosed full access to affected areas. While very late – it is already 6 weeks after the cyclone hit – it is better than never.

13 June 2008

Full access for Asean aid teams in Myanmar: Surin

Aid teams from the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) will have full access to all the areas in Myanmar devastated by Cyclone Nargis, said the group’s Secretary-General, Dr Surin Pitsuwan. Read the rest of this entry »

AFP report: Creating ASEAN rights body not easy

13 June 2008

Here is a report from AFP of the start of the 7th Workshop, held in Singapore, June 12-13, 2008.

Agence France-Presse
12 June 2008

Creating ASEAN rights body not easy: Singapore

SINGAPORE – Creating a human rights body for ASEAN will not be easy and must have support from all the bloc’s members, a Singapore cabinet minister said Thursday.

“Let us have no illusions that the road ahead will be easy,” Raymond Lim said in a speech to regional civil society groups and government representatives who met to discuss rights. Read the rest of this entry »


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