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时间:2010-12-30 05:48来源:互联网 提供网友:gv706784   字体: [ ]

  Leaders of Southeast Asian countries are meeting in Thailand for the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The focus is expected to be on dealing1 with the global economic downturn rather than human rights issues and growing concerns about Burma.
Foreign and finance ministers from Southeast Asia began arriving Thursday in Hua Hin, Thailand, for the ASEAN summit.
At the top of the agenda is preventing further fall-out from the global financial crisis.
"As we know that this year is going to be a really difficult year for Southeast Asia, and East Asia in general, owing to the effect of the global financial crisis," said Professor Somphob Manarangsan, who teaches economics at Thailand's Thammasat University. "So, I think that preparation of Asia, particularly in this East Asian region, to deal with the increasing effect of the crisis is very important."
ASEAN finance ministers agreed last week to increase a shared emergency fund from $80 billion to $120 billion, most of it provided by China, Japan, and South Korea. A free-trade agreement between ASEAN, Australia, and New Zealand is to be signed at the summit.
Hundreds of activists2 and rights groups have converged3 on Bangkok and Hua Hin for the summit, demanding that human rights should be higher on the agenda.
ASEAN is forming a human rights body to address concerns in the region, such as Burma's military-run government. But ASEAN's Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan told journalists Wednesday that once it is formed, the human rights body would likely act only on consensus4, effectively giving veto power to each of the 10 member states, including Burma.
Nonetheless, Pitsuwan defended the formation of the body as a step forward and said there were other ways of pressing Burma to reform.
"Maybe some of the things that leaders are doing are not apparent and not in bold letters on your headlines," he said. "The fact that very little is achieved is not because no effort has been made, but because of the complication and complexity5 of the issue."
Burma's generals have kept an iron grip on the country for decades, suppressing democracy movements and imprisoning6 dissidents. The United Nations and the United States are urging Burma to release more than 2,000 political prisoners and allow free and fair elections.
Speaking Thursday at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University, U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN Scot Marciel said the situation in Burma is having a negative impact on ASEAN's image.
"We hope the substance of the message will be to highlight that ASEAN as a whole feels strongly that Burma has not responded to either ASEAN or international calls for dialogue and progress, and, to continue to push and make it clear that this is a very high priority for ASEAN," he said.
ASEAN members Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia have recently been flooded with hundreds of Rohingya, a Burmese minority taking to boats to escape poverty and oppression in Burma. Thailand's military was accused of towing hundreds of the Rohingya back out to sea where many drowned. The situation is to be discussed on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit.
The annual meeting is the first since ASEAN adopted a new charter in December. It moves the group closer to the goal of forming a single market and community similar to the European Union.
Other ASEAN members include Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Brunei.


1 dealing NvjzWP     
  • This store has an excellent reputation for fair dealing.该商店因买卖公道而享有极高的声誉。
  • His fair dealing earned our confidence.他的诚实的行为获得我们的信任。
2 activists 90fd83cc3f53a40df93866d9c91bcca4     
n.(政治活动的)积极分子,活动家( activist的名词复数 )
  • His research work was attacked by animal rights activists . 他的研究受到了动物权益维护者的抨击。
  • Party activists with lower middle class pedigrees are numerous. 党的激进分子中有很多出身于中产阶级下层。 来自《简明英汉词典》
3 converged 7de33615d7fbc1cb7bc608d12f1993d2     
v.(线条、运动的物体等)会于一点( converge的过去式 );(趋于)相似或相同;人或车辆汇集;聚集
  • Thousands of supporters converged on London for the rally. 成千上万的支持者从四面八方汇聚伦敦举行集会。
  • People converged on the political meeting from all parts of the city. 人们从城市的四面八方涌向这次政治集会。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 consensus epMzA     
  • Can we reach a consensus on this issue?我们能在这个问题上取得一致意见吗?
  • What is the consensus of opinion at the afternoon meeting?下午会议上一致的意见是什么?
5 complexity KO9z3     
  • Only now did he understand the full complexity of the problem.直到现在他才明白这一问题的全部复杂性。
  • The complexity of the road map puzzled me.错综复杂的公路图把我搞糊涂了。
6 imprisoning 5b0865672f3b60b0b4c484433b09f64d     
v.下狱,监禁( imprison的现在分词 )
  • Mr Afwerki may disgust his compatriots by torturing and imprisoning his critics. Afwerki总统拷打和监禁他的反对者已经使的国人生厌。 来自互联网
  • Proud and intelligent, it takes great pleasure and imprisoning enemies through psionic exploitation. 它骄傲并狡猾,非常喜欢囚禁敌人并剥夺他们的智力。 来自互联网
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