26 November 2007

Asean still toothless after 40 years

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations did its already crumbling reputation no favor by stiffing UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari at the last minute after he was invited to brief the 10-nation group on his mission to Myanmar. Though the 40th anniversary summit did make a big show of unity and ballyhooing its new (ineffective) charter, it was clear that by kowtowing to Myanmar's junta it is likely to remain a paper tiger for many years to come. Asia Times article.

1 comment:

Charles said...

One of the reasons why the trade-security bloc is unwilling to "interfere" with members' internal affairs and having a charter with non enforceable human rights clauses is due to the fact that all the member states do not have clean human rights records.

The leaders of course, fail to understand that most nations around the world suffer from human rights violations and that the purpose of having human rights body or mechanism is to ensure that these violations are properly addressed to improve the quality of the lives of its people.

Henceforth, the need to have that the "non- interference" clause. By not actively pursuing any action against Burma, it is ensuring that a precedent is not set.And as such, none of them can be taken to task if any of the state members fail to address certain human rights violations.

Besides vocal opposition from CSOs, the only way for ASEAN to become more accountable is for other governments or bodies such as the European Union or United Nations to "not recognise" the charter.