Task Force on ASEAN and Burma (TFAB)
Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma
Solidarity for Asia People’s Advocacy
Southeast Asia Committee for Advocacy (SEACA)
Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict
Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development
International Women’s Rights Action Watch – Asia Pacific
Southeast Asian Press Alliance
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a geo-political and economic organization formed in 1967. It is now composed of ten countries in Southeast Asia: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Burma. Burma joined the regional grouping in 1997.
Since the ASEAN Charter came into force at the end of 2008, Burma has been in serious breach of several fundamental principles, most significantly (1) adherence to the rule of law, good governance, and democracy; (2) respect for fundamental freedoms, human rights and social justice; and (3) collective responsibility in enhancing regional peace and security.
In November 2011, after initial signs of reforms in the country, leaders of ASEAN decided to grant Burma the chairmanship of the regional bloc in 2014, giving international legitimacy to a government that is still violating the ASEAN Charter’s principles. The Burma Army continues to commit crimes against humanity and war crimes in ethnic areas, there are hundreds of political prisoners languishing behind bars and violations of peoples’ fundamental freedoms continue on a daily basis.
Burma’s chairmanship in 2014 will likely pose significant hurdles to providing the space for the independent civil society from Burma and all ASEAN nations to gather, discuss and present the people’s concerns and calls to ASEAN leaders, as is the aim of the ASEAN Civil Society Conferences/ASEAN People’s Forums organized ahead of the ASEAN Summits.
Burma Partnership serves as the secretariat of the Task Force on ASEAN and Burma (TFAB), a network of civil society organizations based on the Thai-Burma border working to promote a people-centered ASEAN that supports the struggle for democracy, human rights, and peace in Burma. Since its founding in May 2009, TFAB has played a key role in advocating and engaging with the regional grouping and civil society, bringing voices from Burma to regional forums. Diverse delegations from Burma have participated in the ASEAN Civil Society Conferences and ASEAN People’s Forums, raising Burma as a key issue for ASEAN and demanding that regional leaders address Burma’s serious breaches of the ASEAN Charter.
TFAB’s recommendations to ASEAN: