ASEAN’s road to nowhere? Subverting standards within the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

by Mark Weisbrot, treatment December 2011

Although most Americans have not heard about it, a historic step [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/celac-speaking-for-latin-america-and-the-caribbean] towards changing this hemisphere was taken three weeks ago.  A new organization for the region was formed, and everyone was invited except the U.S. and Canada. The new organization is called the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
 
There was a reason for the exclusion of the two richest countries, including the world’s largest economy. In fact there were many reasons, but they went mostly unnoticed in the major media.  The existing regional grouping, the Organization of American States (OAS), is too often controlled by the U.S. State Department, with Canada as junior partner.
 
In 2009, there was a big eye-opener for the rest of the hemisphere, especially those governments that thought President Obama would break with tradition and support democracy in the hemisphere.  The democratic government of Honduras was overthrown in a military coup in June of that year. Although the U.S. role in the coup itself is still unclear, there is no doubt that Washington did quite a bit to help the coup government succeed [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&-columns/top-ten-ways] and establish itself. And one of the things that the Obama administration did was to block the OAS [http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1930835,00.html] from taking more effective action against the coup government.
 
The OAS was also used by Washington to overturn election results [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/cepr-examines-oas-report-on-haitis-election-finds-it-qinconclusive-statistically-flawed-and-indefensibleq] in the first round of Haiti’s presidential election of last year.  An OAS “expert verification mission” changed the results [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/oas-overturned-haitian-presidential-election-in-a-qpolitical-interventionq-new-cepr-paper-suggests] without even so much as a recount or any statistical basis for its actions, and the U.S. and its allies threatened Haiti’s government until it accepted the result. This was a sequel to the OAS role [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/oas-overturned-haitian-presidential-election-in-a-qpolitical-interventionq-new-cepr-paper-suggests] in the de-legitimizing of Haiti’s elections in 2000, which played a vital role in the U.S.-organized coup against the democratic government there in 2004.
 
Clearly the OAS cannot be trusted with regard to issues of democracy or election monitoring in the hemisphere. But there are many more reasons for forming a new organization for the region.  Over the past 15 years there has been a “Latin American spring,” with left-of-center, democratic governments being elected in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruguay, and others. It is no coincidence that this tectonic shift at the ballot box has brought with it a burst of economic growth, historic reductions in poverty, increased access to health care and education, and a reduction in income inequality.
 
And it is no coincidence that Latin America’s worst long-term growth failure [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/scorecard-on-development-25-years-of-diminished-progress/] in more than a century – from 1980-2000 – took place during the era of the “Washington Consensus,” when economic policy in the region was heavily influenced by Washington-based institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  In fact, the Latin American spring was mainly driven by this economic failure and a desire for alternatives.
 
The new CELAC reflects this new reality – Latin America has become politically independent of the United States, there have been many changes in economic policy as a result, and these changes have brought higher living standards.  CELAC will continue to advance these positive changes, including regional economic integration, co-ordination around foreign policy, and conflict resolution.  Although it will take time, CELAC will eventually displace the OAS, which will become increasingly irrelevant to Latin America – just as the mostly Washington-controlled IMF, which 15 years ago had enormous influence in Latin America, is now irrelevant to most of the region.
 
Americans should welcome these changes and ignore the pundits’ whining about so-called “anti-Americanism” in this independence movement.  We, the 99 percent of Americans who did not benefit from decades of harmful intervention from Washington in the region, have everything to gain from a more independent and prosperous Latin America, and nothing to lose.
 
– Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C He is also president of Just Foreign Policy [http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/].

 

 

Mark Weisbrot, malady 22 Diciembre 2011

Aunque la mayoría de estadounidenses no se han enterado, un paso histórico hacia el cambio en el hemisferio ocurrió hace tres semanas. Una nueva organización regional se formó, y todo el mundo fue invitado con excepción de Estados Unidos y Canadá. La nueva organización se llama la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC).

Hubo una razón para la exclusión de los dos países más ricos, incluyendo la economía más grande del mundo. De hecho, hubo muchas razones, pero pasaron en mayor parte desapercibidas en los principales medios de comunicaciones. La existente organización regional, la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), es controlada demasiado frecuentemente por el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, con Canadá como un socio menor.

En 2009, hubo una gran revelación para el resto del hemisferio, especialmente esos gobiernos que pensaron que el Presidente Obama iría a acabar con la tradición y realmente apoyar la democracia en la región. Sin embargo, el gobierno democrático de Honduras fue derrocado por un golpe de estado militar en junio de ese año.  Y aunque el papel de Estado Unidos en el golpe de Estado no ha quedado claro, no cabe duda que Washington hizo bastante para asegurar que el golpe tuviera éxito y que el nuevo régimen se estableciera. Una de las cosas que la administración de Obama hizo fue bloquear a la OEA para que no tomara medidas más efectivas en contra del gobierno golpista.

La OEA también fue utilizada por Washington para revertir los resultados en la primera etapa de las elecciones presidenciales en Haití el año pasado. Una “misión de verificación de expertos” de la OEA cambió los resultados sin ni siquiera hacer un recuento de votos y sin pruebas estadísticas en las cuales podía basar sus acciones. Es más, los Estados Unidos y sus aliados amenazaron al gobierno de Haití hasta que aceptara los resultados del cambio. Esto formó parte de un seguimiento al papel que tuvo la OEA con respecto a la deslegitimación de las elecciones del 2000 en Haití, que jugó un papel muy importante en el golpe de Estado del 2004, orquestado por los Estados Unidos contra el gobierno democráticamente electo de Haití.

Está claro que no se puede confiar en la OEA cuando se trata de asuntos de democracia o monitoreo de elecciones en el hemisferio. Pero hay muchas más razones para formar una nueva organización en el hemisferio. Durante los últimos 15 años ha ocurrido una “primavera latinoamericana,” con la elección de gobiernos de centro-izquierda como en Brasil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay, y Uruguay, entre otros. No es coincidencia que este movimiento tectónico en las urnas haya traído consigo una explosión de crecimiento económico, reducciones en pobreza de nivel récord, aumentos en acceso a la salud y la educación, y una reducción en la desigualdad de ingresos.

Y no es coincidencia que el crecimiento fracasado a largo plazo de América Latina  – de 1980 a 2000 – tomó lugar durante la era del “Consenso de Washington,” cuando la política económica en la región era fuertemente influenciada por instituciones basadas en Washington, como el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI). De hecho, la primavera latinoamericana se debió principalmente al fracaso económico y al deseo de la gente de tener otras alternativas.

La nueva CELAC refleja esta nueva realidad – América Latina se ha convertido en una región independiente de Estados Unidos. Como resultado, ha habido muchos cambios en la economía política de los países, y estos cambios han traído consigo niveles de vida más altos. CELAC continuara a avanzar estos cambios positivos, inclusive la integración económica regional, coordinada alrededor de la política exterior y la resolución de conflictos. Aunque tomara tiempo, CELAC eventualmente remplazará a la OEA, que se irá haciendo más irrelevante para América Latina – así como el FMI, que hace 15 años tenía una influencia enorme sobre América Latina, pero que ahora se ha vuelto irrelevante para la mayoría de la región.

Los estadounidenses deberían darle una bienvenida a estos cambios e ignorar a los ‘expertos’ que se quejan del tal “anti-americanismo” en este movimiento independiente. Nosotros, el 99 por ciento de estadounidenses que no nos beneficiamos de décadas de intervenciones dañinas de Washington en la región, tenemos todo para ganar de una América Latina independiente y prospera, y nada que perder.


Mark Weisbrot es codirector del Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), en Washington, D.C. Obtuvo un doctorado en economía por la Universidad de Michigan. Es también presidente de la organización Just Foreign Policy.

 

Source: http://www.cepr.net/index.php/other-languages/spanish-op-eds/creacion-de-nueva-organizacion-regional-representa-un-gran-paso-adelante-para-el-hemisferio

Mark Weisbrot, discount 22

Aunque la mayoría de estadounidenses no se han enterado, un paso histórico hacia el cambio en el hemisferio ocurrió hace tres semanas. Una nueva organización regional se formó, y todo el mundo fue invitado con excepción de Estados Unidos y Canadá. La nueva organización se llama la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC).

Hubo una razón para la exclusión de los dos países más ricos, incluyendo la economía más grande del mundo. De hecho, hubo muchas razones, pero pasaron en mayor parte desapercibidas en los principales medios de comunicaciones. La existente organización regional, la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), es controlada demasiado frecuentemente por el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, con Canadá como un socio menor.

En 2009, hubo una gran revelación para el resto del hemisferio, especialmente esos gobiernos que pensaron que el Presidente Obama iría a acabar con la tradición y realmente apoyar la democracia en la región. Sin embargo, el gobierno democrático de Honduras fue derrocado por un golpe de estado militar en junio de ese año.  Y aunque el papel de Estado Unidos en el golpe de Estado no ha quedado claro, no cabe duda que Washington hizo bastante para asegurar que el golpe tuviera éxito y que el nuevo régimen se estableciera. Una de las cosas que la administración de Obama hizo fue bloquear a la OEA para que no tomara medidas más efectivas en contra del gobierno golpista.

La OEA también fue utilizada por Washington para revertir los resultados en la primera etapa de las elecciones presidenciales en Haití el año pasado. Una “misión de verificación de expertos” de la OEA cambió los resultados sin ni siquiera hacer un recuento de votos y sin pruebas estadísticas en las cuales podía basar sus acciones. Es más, los Estados Unidos y sus aliados amenazaron al gobierno de Haití hasta que aceptara los resultados del cambio. Esto formó parte de un seguimiento al papel que tuvo la OEA con respecto a la deslegitimación de las elecciones del 2000 en Haití, que jugó un papel muy importante en el golpe de Estado del 2004, orquestado por los Estados Unidos contra el gobierno democráticamente electo de Haití.

Está claro que no se puede confiar en la OEA cuando se trata de asuntos de democracia o monitoreo de elecciones en el hemisferio. Pero hay muchas más razones para formar una nueva organización en el hemisferio. Durante los últimos 15 años ha ocurrido una “primavera latinoamericana,” con la elección de gobiernos de centro-izquierda como en Brasil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay, y Uruguay, entre otros. No es coincidencia que este movimiento tectónico en las urnas haya traído consigo una explosión de crecimiento económico, reducciones en pobreza de nivel récord, aumentos en acceso a la salud y la educación, y una reducción en la desigualdad de ingresos.

Y no es coincidencia que el crecimiento fracasado a largo plazo de América Latina  – de 1980 a 2000 – tomó lugar durante la era del “Consenso de Washington,” cuando la política económica en la región era fuertemente influenciada por instituciones basadas en Washington, como el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI). De hecho, la primavera latinoamericana se debió principalmente al fracaso económico y al deseo de la gente de tener otras alternativas.

La nueva CELAC refleja esta nueva realidad – América Latina se ha convertido en una región independiente de Estados Unidos. Como resultado, ha habido muchos cambios en la economía política de los países, y estos cambios han traído consigo niveles de vida más altos. CELAC continuara a avanzar estos cambios positivos, inclusive la integración económica regional, coordinada alrededor de la política exterior y la resolución de conflictos. Aunque tomara tiempo, CELAC eventualmente remplazará a la OEA, que se irá haciendo más irrelevante para América Latina – así como el FMI, que hace 15 años tenía una influencia enorme sobre América Latina, pero que ahora se ha vuelto irrelevante para la mayoría de la región.

Los estadounidenses deberían darle una bienvenida a estos cambios e ignorar a los ‘expertos’ que se quejan del tal “anti-americanismo” en este movimiento independiente. Nosotros, el 99 por ciento de estadounidenses que no nos beneficiamos de décadas de intervenciones dañinas de Washington en la región, tenemos todo para ganar de una América Latina independiente y prospera, y nada que perder.


Mark Weisbrot es codirector del Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), en Washington, D.C. Obtuvo un doctorado en economía por la Universidad de Michigan. Es también presidente de la organización Just Foreign Policy.

 

Source: http://www.cepr.net/index.php/other-languages/spanish-op-eds/creacion-de-nueva-organizacion-regional-representa-un-gran-paso-adelante-para-el-hemisferio

Mark Weisbrot, case 22 Diciembre 2011

Aunque la mayoría de estadounidenses no se han enterado, buy un paso histórico hacia el cambio en el hemisferio ocurrió hace tres semanas. Una nueva organización regional se formó, y todo el mundo fue invitado con excepción de Estados Unidos y Canadá. La nueva organización se llama la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC).

Hubo una razón para la exclusión de los dos países más ricos, incluyendo la economía más grande del mundo. De hecho, hubo muchas razones, pero pasaron en mayor parte desapercibidas en los principales medios de comunicaciones. La existente organización regional, la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), es controlada demasiado frecuentemente por el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, con Canadá como un socio menor.

En 2009, hubo una gran revelación para el resto del hemisferio, especialmente esos gobiernos que pensaron que el Presidente Obama iría a acabar con la tradición y realmente apoyar la democracia en la región. Sin embargo, el gobierno democrático de Honduras fue derrocado por un golpe de estado militar en junio de ese año.  Y aunque el papel de Estado Unidos en el golpe de Estado no ha quedado claro, no cabe duda que Washington hizo bastante para asegurar que el golpe tuviera éxito y que el nuevo régimen se estableciera. Una de las cosas que la administración de Obama hizo fue bloquear a la OEA para que no tomara medidas más efectivas en contra del gobierno golpista.

La OEA también fue utilizada por Washington para revertir los resultados en la primera etapa de las elecciones presidenciales en Haití el año pasado. Una “misión de verificación de expertos” de la OEA cambió los resultados sin ni siquiera hacer un recuento de votos y sin pruebas estadísticas en las cuales podía basar sus acciones. Es más, los Estados Unidos y sus aliados amenazaron al gobierno de Haití hasta que aceptara los resultados del cambio. Esto formó parte de un seguimiento al papel que tuvo la OEA con respecto a la deslegitimación de las elecciones del 2000 en Haití, que jugó un papel muy importante en el golpe de Estado del 2004, orquestado por los Estados Unidos contra el gobierno democráticamente electo de Haití.

Está claro que no se puede confiar en la OEA cuando se trata de asuntos de democracia o monitoreo de elecciones en el hemisferio. Pero hay muchas más razones para formar una nueva organización en el hemisferio. Durante los últimos 15 años ha ocurrido una “primavera latinoamericana,” con la elección de gobiernos de centro-izquierda como en Brasil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay, y Uruguay, entre otros. No es coincidencia que este movimiento tectónico en las urnas haya traído consigo una explosión de crecimiento económico, reducciones en pobreza de nivel récord, aumentos en acceso a la salud y la educación, y una reducción en la desigualdad de ingresos.

Y no es coincidencia que el crecimiento fracasado a largo plazo de América Latina  – de 1980 a 2000 – tomó lugar durante la era del “Consenso de Washington,” cuando la política económica en la región era fuertemente influenciada por instituciones basadas en Washington, como el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI). De hecho, la primavera latinoamericana se debió principalmente al fracaso económico y al deseo de la gente de tener otras alternativas.

La nueva CELAC refleja esta nueva realidad – América Latina se ha convertido en una región independiente de Estados Unidos. Como resultado, ha habido muchos cambios en la economía política de los países, y estos cambios han traído consigo niveles de vida más altos. CELAC continuara a avanzar estos cambios positivos, inclusive la integración económica regional, coordinada alrededor de la política exterior y la resolución de conflictos. Aunque tomara tiempo, CELAC eventualmente remplazará a la OEA, que se irá haciendo más irrelevante para América Latina – así como el FMI, que hace 15 años tenía una influencia enorme sobre América Latina, pero que ahora se ha vuelto irrelevante para la mayoría de la región.

Los estadounidenses deberían darle una bienvenida a estos cambios e ignorar a los ‘expertos’ que se quejan del tal “anti-americanismo” en este movimiento independiente. Nosotros, el 99 por ciento de estadounidenses que no nos beneficiamos de décadas de intervenciones dañinas de Washington en la región, tenemos todo para ganar de una América Latina independiente y prospera, y nada que perder.


Mark Weisbrot es codirector del Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), en Washington, D.C. Obtuvo un doctorado en economía por la Universidad de Michigan. Es también presidente de la organización Just Foreign Policy.

 

Source: http://www.cepr.net/index.php/other-languages/spanish-op-eds/creacion-de-nueva-organizacion-regional-representa-un-gran-paso-adelante-para-el-hemisferio

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, troche climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, rx climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, ampoule activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR)

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, troche climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR)

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, advice food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

In July, the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Phnom Penh will receive one of the most important documents drafted since the adoption five years ago of the ASEAN Charter. The ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights supposedly rings in a “new ASEAN” that is “people-oriented” with popular participation at its core.  

Yet when the declaration, known as the ADHR, reaches the ministers, odds are that few citizens of ASEAN member countries will have ever heard of it, no meaningful public participation will have taken place about it and its contents may well call into question whether ASEAN and its members are prepared to abide by universal human rights standards. 

With the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights coming up next year, few regional NGOs and human rights defenders thought they might have to revisit the debate about so-called “Asian values,” last promoted in the 1990s by Mahathir Mohamad and Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime ministers of Malaysia and Singapore. They made the case that rights should be based on the national, social and cultural contexts of Asian nations rather than the indivisibility and universality of human rights.

Regional human rights activists began a concerted effort in 1995 to persuade ASEAN, then often derided as a “club of dictators,” to create an ASEAN human rights commission and demonstrate a commitment to human rights through a declaration. Their campaign started after the Vienna conference effectively ended the “Asian values” debate by adopting a declaration that reaffirmed that “all human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated” and added that the “international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis.” 

ASEAN members didn’t object, and soon thereafter they agreed to start discussions on setting up an ASEAN-wide human rights commission. Few imagined the endeavor would ultimately stretch for more than a decade.

Fast forward to 2007, when ASEAN finally adopted a legally binding charter that contains laudable recognition of human rights in its guiding principles, which include “respect for fundamental freedoms, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the promotion of social justice.” But read on further, and the ambivalence of ASEAN towards its new arrangement becomes clear. Most telling is the charter’s inclusion of more traditional ASEAN fare, such as the bloc’s well-worn formula that requires “non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN member states.” This is the grouping’s quintessential mutual defense clause against unwelcome criticism. 

Nevertheless, the charter called for a regional human rights commission, and when the ASEAN Inter-government Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was finally established in 2009, regional human rights campaigners celebrated the fall of the final citadel of resistance to universal human rights standards. Civil society groups gave the new commission the benefit of the doubt, and a long honeymoon period – in the expectation of gradual progress – began despite grave concerns about its limited mandate and lack of independence from regional governments. 

But two years on, one of AICHR’s key mandates, to draft the declaration, is raising concerns that a number of member governments are trying to renege on what they agreed to in Vienna. Broadly speaking, there are three possible outcomes. The declaration could be brought forward as a document that challenges ASEAN to do more on human rights and sets standards above existing international human rights accords. But few expect that dream to come true. A second option is that the declaration meets international human rights standards, which while welcome would also raise questions about why ASEAN needed so much time to create such a declaration. The third option, which human rights defenders feel is most likely and thus are preparing to oppose, is an ADHR that seeks to undermine international standards. 

At this point, it’s impossible to know for sure since the human rights commission shamefully refuses to reveal its draft declaration.   

The Thai saying that “the seed doesn’t fall far from the tree” may help explain why ASEAN’s penchant for secrecy in its meetings and documents has also become AICHR’s operating principle. But it certainly doesn’t justify the commission’s systematic shunning of ASEAN civil society, which just a few years before was being feted by Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan with promises of a “people’s ASEAN,” which he claimed was critical for the bloc to work effectively. 

AICHR clearly didn’t get the memo. To date, the commission has refused repeated requests to share the ADHR draft text with regional and national civil society groups. Even the terms of reference for the drafting committee, hand-picked by governments to develop the draft ADHR, have been kept secret as well as the names of the people selected to serve on the drafting committee.

When faced with repeated requests by civil society groups to release the draft terms of reference and the draft ADHR, the AICHR replied that the commission was not in a position to share “internal working documents” with outside parties. It’s not surprising then that the Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum Asia) and the SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TF-AHR) titled their comprehensive report on AICHR A Commission Shrouded in Secrecy. The report was released in Bangkok on April 26. 

There is much at stake because, as Surin put it, the ADHR is supposed to be the “road map for regional human rights development” in ASEAN for years to come. The situation is bad enough that Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, chided AICHR after a meeting with civil society groups and the commission in Bali in November 2011. “The number one concern was that AICHR, as a body, is not talking to civil society,” she pointed out. “That is a major concern to me, as well. No discussion of human rights can be complete or credible without significant input from civil society and national human rights institutions.” She continued: “And I can understand civil society organizations’ extreme frustration that they have not even been able to contribute to the drafting of the declaration or been adequately consulted on its contents.”

Difficulties in accessing information within ASEAN have made regional human rights activists experts in digging up information, and even ostensibly sealed off systems like ASEAN spring leaks now and again. So after months of trying, civil society groups in the SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights finally got their hands on a copy of the draft ADHR dated January 8, 2012. 

Judging from that draft – since there is no other available – it appears the situation is as bad as many regional human rights advocates feared. Significant swathes of the draft focus on limiting rights, rather than promoting and protecting them, with some particularly odious amendments being proposed by persistent human rights abusers Laos and Vietnam. 

There are limitations that go well beyond what is permitted by international human rights standards, ranging from the impossibly vague, such as saying that the exercise of rights should not go against the “general welfare of the people” or “the common interest,” to the blatantly obstructionist, such as Laos’ rather defensive recommendation that the realization of rights must depend on principles including “non-confrontation, avoidance of double standards and non-politicization.”

While some of these more objectionable provisions might still get knocked out of the final version, the ADHR drafters are still insisting on language that resurrects the old excuses that use local social, cultural and religious contexts to erode human rights universality and condition enjoyment of rights on fulfillment of duties in ways that go beyond human rights standards. A push and pull debate is evidently going on between the governments of Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, which are seeking to ensure full respect for universal human rights standards, and other members of ASEAN that are scrambling to ensure loopholes will be created to permit exemptions to international human rights law. 

For example, problematic propositions like “creation of an environment where the peoples of ASEAN would enjoy, to the fullest possible extent, rights and freedoms within the regional context,” buttress efforts by governments like Malaysia to ensure that any discussion of discrimination by sex or sexual orientation is done in line with what it terms “ASEAN Core Values” rather than decisions of the UN Human Rights Council or the expert Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was set up to assist countries in implementing their obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 

Sadly, with regional human rights experts sidelined, the loophole strategy has a reasonable chance of success unless the international community demands that ASEAN change its rules to allow full civil society participation in the ADHR drafting and adoption process.

It’s not too late to alter the dynamic and make the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights the fully rights-respecting agreement that it is supposed to be. AICHR should immediately postpone efforts to send the draft declaration to the ASEAN foreign ministers in June. Instead, the AICHR and the ADHR drafting committee should devise a comprehensive participatory process to ensure that the views of nongovernmental organizations and human rights defenders are heard and incorporated into a real declaration that aims high and seeks to meet the aspirations of all the peoples of ASEAN. That would be an outcome worth waiting for.  

Phil Robertson is Deputy Asia Director of Human Rights Watch.

Source: http://www.sr-indonesia.com/2011-08-09-22-09-10/commentaries/187-aseans-road-to-nowhere-subverting-standards-within-the-asean-human-rights-declaration

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