Sunday, November 11, 2007

Draft Asean Charter Shields Human Rights Violator Burma

Source: Irrawaddy News

A landmark charter drafted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations calls for an agency to review the region's human rights, but upholds a noninterference policy that has shielded notorious violators like Burma.

The long-overdue Asean charter is aimed at giving the bloc a legal entity and is being prepared for Southeast Asian leaders when they gather for their annual summit in Singapore on November 20 for the 40th anniversary of the 10-nation bloc's founding.

While espousing human rights and democracy, the draft charter upholds Asean's bedrock principle barring members from interfering in each other's domestic affairs—an edict that Burma has invoked to parry criticism of its dismal human rights record.

The draft charter also discourages invasions and coups, and aims to safeguard the diverse region from nuclear arms, other weapons of mass destruction and foreign interference, according to a final draft seen by The Associated Press on Friday.

For the full report, please click here.

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