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Asean Rights Declaration Moves Closer to Debate

  • Vong Dara
  • VOA Khmer

Asean’s human rights committee opened its 11th meeting in Siem Reap on Sunday in its first meeting to deal with a formal Asean human rights declaration.

Asean’s human rights committee opened its 11th meeting in Siem Reap on Sunday in its first meeting to deal with a formal Asean human rights declaration.

Cambodia and other Asean countries have adopted a draft of a charter for human rights that will see rigorous debate next month, a Cambodian official said Tuesday.

Om Yentieng, head of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee, told reporters Tuesday that there have been seven meetings this year to get the draft into shape, but that any such initiative requires consensus from all 10 member states, making it “hard work.”

Asean’s human rights committee opened its 11th meeting in Siem Reap on Sunday in its first meeting to deal with a formal Asean human rights declaration.

Rights organizations say they are concerned an Asean rights charter will undercut the UN universal declaration of rights. However, Om Yentieng said Tuesday the two should not compete.

“Asean states are members of the world human rights declaration, so its declaration will conform,” he said. The Asean declaration will be tailored to member nations, he added.

Another round of meetings will be held so that non-governmental groups will have their say before the draft declaration is finalized, he said.

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