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Jakarta Post

Insight: The ASEAN Charter and remodeling regional architecture

  • Jusuf Wanandi

Jakarta   /   Mon, November 3 2008   /  10:16 am

After six months of heated debate by the House of Representatives' Committee I for foreign relations, defense and information, the Indonesian Parliament has ratified the ASEAN Charter. This endorsement was accompanied by a formal interpretation of several elements of the charter contained in the addendum to the ratification law. It stipulated that the charter has to reflect the "ideals of ASEAN", specifically with regard to: The improvement and protection of human rights through an effective ASEAN human rights body; the institution of sanctions, including freezing of membership in cases of serious noncompliance and obstruction of the charter by members; and greater public involvement in ASEAN's activities. These points also have been strongly advocated by civil society groups (especially human rights bodies and scholars), and they want those points to be propose...