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ASEAN Adopts Human Rights Declaration

Presidents and prime ministers pose for a photograph during the opening ceremony of the 20th ASEAN summit in April this year . (file photo)
Leaders of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have adopted a human rights declaration at their annual summit in Phnom Penh.

Rights groups have said a draft document failed to meet international standards, with activists criticizing provisions that indicated rights could be subject to restrictions on national security and public morality grounds.

The 10-member bloc said it made an amendment to the text aimed at addressing the complaints, but Human Rights Watch said it was not enough to fix the "flawed" pact, which was adopted on November 18.

ASEAN consists of Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Its meeting will expand into an East Asia summit on November 19 when leaders of Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, and the United States join the group.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa