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ASEAN greenlights rights body

Posted by Mai on July 31st, 2007

ABS-CBN Interactive
ASEAN greenlights rights body

Member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations overcame differences Monday on setting up a human rights body after military-ruled Myanmar dropped objections to the plan.

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said in a statement that the creation of a human rights commission would be included in the regional bloc’s draft charter.

“I am pleased to announce that among the issues on which there was agreement among the ASEAN Foreign Ministers is the inclusion of a provision in the ASEAN Charter that mandates the creation of a human rights body,” Romulo said.

He said that the reaction of Myanmar was “an agreement by all.”

Representatives from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam were quoted as saying that they were not ready for the immediate establishment of such a body.

Some ASEAN countries fear scrutiny of their human rights record, and the group has traditionally held to a cardinal policy of noninterference in each

other’s affairs. Human rights groups complain that this noninterference principle fostered undemocratic governments in the region.

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ABS-CBN Interactive

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