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ASEAN leaders in Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Photo by AFP
ASEAN adopts human rights pact despite criticism

in CAMBODIA, 18/11/2012

Southeast Asian leaders on Sunday, November 18, endorsed a human rights declaration which they called a breakthrough for the region but critics said it fell well below global standards.

Leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations adopted the joint declaration at their annual summit in Phnom Penh, saying it would enshrine human right protections for the bloc's 600 million people.

"It's a legacy for our children," Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told reporters after the signing ceremony.

The United Nations rights chief Navi Pillay and more than 60 rights groups called this month for the pact to be postponed amid concerns it undermined universal human rights standards by allowing loopholes for governments.

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