Quantcast
Latest Stories

Asean adopts rights pact despite criticism


Cambodian security personnel patrol with their sniffing dogs under a portrait of Cambodia’s late King Sihanouk placed in front of the Peace Palace during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit and related meetings in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. Southeast Asian leaders on Sunday endorsed a human rights declaration that they called a breakthrough for the region but critics said it fell well below global standards. AP PHOTO/HENG SINITH

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia—Southeast Asian leaders on Sunday endorsed a human rights declaration that they called a breakthrough for the region but critics said it fell well below global standards.

Leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) adopted the joint declaration at their annual summit in Phnom Penh, saying it would enshrine human right protections for the bloc’s 600 million people.

“It’s a legacy for our children,” Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told reporters after the signing ceremony.

The United Nations rights chief Navi Pillay and more than 60 rights groups called this month for the pact to be postponed amid concerns it undermined universal human rights standards by allowing loopholes for governments.

Asean’s members have a wide range of political systems, from authoritarian regimes in Vietnam and Laos at one end of the spectrum to the freewheeling democracy of the Philippines at the other.

Campaigners also slammed the lack of transparency and the absence of consultation with civil society groups during the drafting of the text.

Asean chief Surin Pitsuwan said the bloc’s foreign ministers made an amendment to the text on Saturday aimed at addressing those complaints.

The amended text affirmed Asean nations would “implement the declaration in accordance to the international human rights declarations and standards.”

But Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said it was not enough to fix the “flawed” pact, which he said would justify crackdowns based on “national context” or on grounds of “public morality.”

“Our worst fears in this process have now come to pass,” Robertson said in a statement on Sunday.

“Rather than meeting international standards, this declaration lowers them by creating new loopholes and justifications that Asean member states can use to justify abusing the rights of their people.”

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa urged observers not to jump to conclusions.

“It’s an important benchmark for Asean to be kept honest in terms of its human rights obligations,” he told reporters.

Human rights has been a sensitive issue for some Asean members, with the grouping’s policy of non-interference in members’ internal affairs often preventing the issue from being discussed more thoroughly at annual meetings.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: ASEAN , rights , Summit

  • kanoy

    THIS>> “Rather than meeting international standards, this declaration lowers
    them by creating new loopholes and justifications that Asean member
    states can use to justify abusing the rights of their people.” Describes the ”FREEWHEELING” Catholic church ran grounds of “public morality.” governments loophole…freewheeling??>: heedless of social norms or niceties,
    not repressed or restrained, not bound by formal rules, procedures, or guidelines,
    loose and undisciplined



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Malang the croc must regain strength before return to swamp, says mayor
  • Palace: Lacson’s version of Napoles testimony to be evaluated
  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Drilon: I’m not on Napoles’ list
  • Sonar finds 1888 San Francisco shipwreck
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • Marketplace