Southeast Asian Nations Ignore Human Rights Issues

The meeting of southeastern nations resulted in an agreement to establish a human rights body whose function would be to protect outside nations from interfering when one of its member nations denies human rights to its people. The new human rights group would be a toothless body with absolutely no power to interfere in Myanmar’s policies of brutal suppression of those opposing the military junta. The new human rights body would be composed of representatives from ASEAN countries and would draft a “long-term roadmap” about human rights. But, it was made clear the body must show “respect for national independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and national identify of all ASEAN member states.” It was specifically emphasized that the agency should “be faithful to ASEAN and its common interests and oppose external influence attempting to interfere in the human rights issues of any ASEAN member state.”

The ASEAN report is sickening to those who fight for human rights in the world. Nothing is done to halt the brutal Myanmar military junta and nothing is done to meet the aspirations and needs of the people of Burma.