15 April 2012

ASEAN People's Forum

In late March we got the chance to visit the ASEAN People's Forum that was organized here in Phnom Penh and Maude got to interview Somony from CVS during a meeting break.

This year it was Cambodia's turn to host the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit that is organized every second year. The heads of states of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam spent three days here in Phnom Penh talking co-operation and disputes between the nations.

Simultaneously with the main summit an ASEAN Civil Society Conference and as part of that ASEAN People's Forum was organized. Our partner organization CVS had a big role in the organizing committee. ASEAN People's Forum is a forum where human rights issues that rarely make it to the agenda of the official ASEAN summit are discussed. Many of these issues are so delicate that in fact the organizers were pressured by the Cambodian government and some of the intended workshops had to be cancelled in the end. Most of the workshops were organized however and CVS did a great job organizing them!

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