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Research Paper

The Challenges of Cambodia as the Chair of ASEAN in 2012

Written By: LONG KimKhorn

Pannasastra University of Cambodia

Research and Social Study

Instructed By: Dr. NOU Keosothea

March 9th, 2012

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012




3 4


Results and Discussion ... 13 20 21



Acknowledgement 24 25


The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established in 1967. There were two main objectives in formation this regional body. First, it was a means to promote peace and stability in the region. Another cause for the formation was due to spreading communism to Southeast Asian countries by Chinas foreign policy (The Long Road Ahead: Its history and lands). Now within ASEAN one-community by 2015 and Vision 2020, ASEAN was envisioning to live in peace, stability, prosperity, partnership, connectivity, sustainable growth and mutual interest in eco-socio dynamic development and in a community of caring societies. An enhanced ASEAN Connectivity will strengthen the ASEAN motto of One Vision, One Identity, One Community to address ground situations, policy alternatives, and funding mechanisms with high differentiated responsibility and competency. The Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity is to connect ASEAN through dynamic physical infrastructure development, effective institutional arrangements and empowered ASEAN citizens that demanding not only the new strategies and institutions approaches, but also transnational investment in more efficiency and effectiveness (ASEAN Secretariat, 2011). The rapid economic growth of its members, rich natural resources, regional stability, and cheap labors were attracting the outsiders from over the world. Competition with regions from Latin America and others in Asia will be greater, especially China and India. However, coming out of the crisis, there are greater diversity and divisions among ASEAN countries too, in politics as well as economics. Through these challenges, how can ASEAN go forward? What should be the key strategies and concerns for the body? Some economist suggested that ASEAN must set out to address the four Es concerns. The first E is effectiveness, a second E is enlargement, a third E is the environment and economic progress, the fourth E is engagement with the East Asia trio of China, Japan and South Korea.

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a geo-political and economic organization of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, membership has expanded to include Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. In 2005, the Heads of State/Government of Member Countries gathered in Kuala Lumpur to reaffirm their commitment to the aims and purposes of the Association as set forth in the Bangkok Declaration of 8 August 1967 and then ASEAN chartered its a constitution for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Charter was adopted at the 13th ASEAN Summit in November 2007 and ratified on 16 December 2008, in particular to promote regional cooperation in Southeast Asia in the spirit of equality and partnership and thereby contribute towards peace, progress and prosperity in the region. Regions rich diversity has provided the strength and inspiration to us to help one another foster a strong sense of community. ASEAN are now a market of approximately 600 million people, which is 8.8% of the world's population, covers a land area of 4.46 million km, which is 3% of the total land area of Earth. In 2010, its combined nominal GDP had grown to US$1.8 trillion. It has achieved considerable results in the economic field, such as high economic growth, stability and significant poverty alleviation over the past few years. Members have enjoyed substantial trade and investment. If ASEAN were one community by 2015, it would rank as the ninth largest economy in the world (ASEAN Secretariat, 2010). Now, as ASEAN was walking on the 21st century, forty years after the birth. ASEAN gathered to chart a vision for the body on the basis of today's realities and prospects in the decades leading to the Year 2020. That vision is of ASEAN as a concert of Southeast Asian nations, outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies. Even though economic interests tied Member States of

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012

ASEAN and keep the region long-live with each other for more than 40 years. But In order to keep region stable for the next 40 years, some economists suggest and expect the ASEAN region to develop a middle class of 300 million people, increasing its economic growth rate and opportunity with doubling consumer demand (Financial Times, 2011). The stock exchanges market in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines are creating a transnational trading platform for implementation in 2011, allowing capital to flow freely between Member States (Reuters). Intra-ASEAN deals set a record of $53.7 billion in 2010 (Financial Times, 2011). As for China tie Recognizing the economic potential of the region, Chinas seeking to complete a high-speed railway through Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore to further develop CAFTA, the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (Guangxi Regional Government, 2011). China was strengthening to increase exports by nearly 45% in 2010; an ongoing global economic recovery would also bolster exports scale with top trading partners such as the U.S. and European Union (China Daily, 2011).

But the question - Do these economic relations is enough to keep region in peace, prosperity and can ASEAN gets away from conflict in home countries, regions and the globe in term of mutual economic interests challenges still discussing among economists, political scientists and Member States leaders. Furthermore, if they look at the purposes of ASEAN, It still so many tasks to tackle, those are: (1) To maintain and enhance peace, security and stability; (2) To enhance regional resilience by promoting greater political, security, economic, and sociocultural corporation; (3) To preserve Southeast Asia as nuclear weapon free zone and free of all other weapons of mass destruction; (4) To ensure that the people and Member States of ASEAN live in peace with the world at large; (5) To create a single market and production base which is stable, prosperous, highly competitive and economically integrated, professionals, talents and labour; and free flow of capital; (6) To alleviate poverty and narrow

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012

development gap within ASEAN through mutual assistance and cooperation; (7) To strengthen democracy, enhance good governance and the rule of law, and to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms; (8) To respond effectively, in accordance with the principle of comprehensive security, to all forms of threats, transnational crimes and trans-boundary challenges; (9) To promote sustainable development so as to ensure the protection of the regions environment, the sustainability of its natural resources, the preservation of its cultural heritage and the high quality of life of its peoples; (10) To develop human resources through closer cooperation in education and life-long learning and in science and technology; (11) To enhance the well-being and livelihood of peoples of ASEAN by providing them with equitable access to opportunity for human development, social welfare and justice; (12) To strengthen cooperation in building a safe, secure and drug-free environment for the peoples of ASEAN; (13) To promote a people-oriented ASEAN in which all sectors of society are encouraged to participate in, and benefit from; (14) To promote an ASEAN identity through the fostering of greater awareness of the diverse culture and heritage of the region; and (15) To maintain the centrality and proactive role of ASEAN with its external partners in a regional architecture that is open, transparent and inclusive (ASEAN Charter, 2007).

Territorial claims in the South China Sea are one of the most longstanding security issues in South East Asia. Former ASEAN Secretary-General Rodolfo C. Severino, in 2010, reviews the claims of ASEAN members in the area, and details ASEAN's involvement in the dispute since the 1992 ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea. China fears the expanse of water being used to threaten or attack it from the southeast, as it has been in the past. At the same time, some accuse Beijing of seeking dominion over the South China Sea in order to control over Southeast Asia. Vietnam needs its footholds in the South China Sea to avoid being

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012

practically surrounded by Chinese power, with which it was in conflict for many centuries. The Philippines feels compelled to extend its zone of jurisdiction and responsibility westwards, having been invaded by the Japanese from that direction at the start of the Pacific War. Brunei Darussalam has to ensure for itself the resources in its claimed exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, which overlap with other claims including China.

Border clashes between Thailand and Cambodia that led to dozens of casualties and displaced thousands civilians have hit ASEAN to finally turn its rhetoric Charter on peace and security into action. Cambodia listed successfully the Preah Vihear temple as a UNESCO World Heritage Site following turmoil in Thai politics after the 2006 coup that overthrew Premier Thaksin Shinawatra. Thai People Alliance for Democracy (PAD) used this issue to arise nationalism against Cambodia as they tried to topple the Thaksin-ruled government. The emotionally charged campaigns halted border demarcation and sparked a bilateral conflict. In early 2011, the dispute moved into the most violent clashes. The questions came up on ASEAN on how to bring peace back to the border and in the region. Some engagements proceeded further but have no green light. More diplomacy and leadership are still demanded (International Crisis Group, 2011).

On July 21, 2008, Myanmar ratified the Charter of the ASEAN, raising controversy among Member Nations because of its poor human rights record and its continued detention of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The forty-one year history Charter enumerates ASEAN purposes, principles and establishes formal rights and expectations of ASEAN members. Regarding to certain provisions in the Charter, including the establishment of an ASEAN human rights body, are in direct conflict with the ongoing human rights violations committed by Myanmars ruling military junta. After a tensely controversial talk, Member Countries

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012

agreed to create the human rights body, known as the Asian Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), in July 2009. However, no one is sure what effect, if any, the AICHR will have upon the tensions in Myanmar (John, 2009).

The ongoing global financial crisis was drove by the US subprime crisis in the summer of 2007 and then liquidity and confidence crisis that has stormed out a global scale and explored in September and October 2008. The market and regulatory failures believed the causes of crisis. Recent moves, however, are concerning about the resilience of Asian financial and economic conditions and is likely more severe than had been estimated. Depending on the recent updated forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released in early October, economic growth in developed countries will be slide to zero until at least the middle of 2009, while developing countries will slow to substantially lower rates than in the recent past. In China, figures for the third quarter revealed annually growth rate at 9%, under record of 11.9% in 2007. Indias growth is also expected to decrease from 9.3% in 2007 to 6.9% in 2009. Similarly, ASEAN countries will move down from 6.5% in 2007 to below 5.0% in 2009. Indeed, the world economic recession will dominate financially the globe. The global economy is estimated to stay at 1.7 per cent in 2009 by World Bank, the first decline on record in world output (World Bank, 2009).

The two-giant China and India was threatening the region even ASEAN investments increased due to one-economic community by2015. ASEANs attractiveness as an investment destination has been overshadowed in recent times by the attraction of other globalizing countries (Soesastro 2005; Kesavapany and Sen 2004; Lim and Walls 2004; Rajan 2004; Low 2004; Austria 2004; Schwarz and Villinger 2004; Hew 2003a and 2003b; Hew and Soesastro 2003). In particular, the economic rise of China has concentrated the minds of ASEAN

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012

policymakers. India, which has had a slower and less dramatic emergence than China, has begun to exert a similar effect (Sally and Sen 2005). While other economic factors are in play, this increased competition for global funds is arguably the major economic impetus for the Economic Community. Chinas exports compete with a substantial portion of ASEANs exports, although the extent of competition differs between ASEAN countries (Economic Analytical Unit 2003; Rajan and Srivastava 2004; Austria 2004). And India could follow China in an aggressive strategy to attract export-oriented FDI to its labour-intensive manufacturing sector in the near future (Sally and Sen 2005). ASEAN used to attract more FDI than China but China has been the recipient of much higher levels of FDI in the past decade than ASEAN. China has abundant capital, high levels of research and development and skilled, semiskilled and unskilled labour. It produces goods across a range of factor intensities. For example, Singapore faces competition from China in half of its net exports by value (Economic Analytical Unit 2003). Indias manufacturing exports are currently more complementary than competitive with those of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, but this could change. Unlike China, India has not yet become a part of the international division of labour involving the export of electronic parts and components, but it is emerging as an export hub for certain manufacturing products, particularly auto parts and components (Rajan and Srivastava 2004). Chinas investment into ASEAN has increased rapidly in the past five years (albeit from a small base) and this could increase further with the creation of an ASEAN Economic Community. Today and tomorrow, the challenge for ASEAN is to maintain the dramatic rise of China and India to stay on its track to balance in East Asia for their 600 million peoples living.

Disparate development gap of its members became the questions while the region was integrating its economies. At one end of the advanced economy of Singapore is stand at

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012

income of US$24, 220 per capita in 2004, while at the other end Laos, Burma and Cambodia are among the United Nations least developed countries (LDCs). New less-developed members give a larger incentive to integrate but also make the process more difficult. Given that ASEAN is taking a largely sectorial approach to integration, that it has already achieved some level of integration in various areas, and that its plans are not exhaustive, it is expected that deeper integration will happen in some sectors before others and that some elements of an Economic Community will realized before others. Such elements might include a zero-tariff trade area, harmonization of customs procedures and minimization of customs requirements, harmonization of standards consistent with international standards, and possibly the unrestricted movement of some forms of skilled labour. And given the challenges ASEAN faces, it is also possible that integration will happen faster between some ASEAN countries than others (Gita, 2006).

Energy is crucial to the transformation of ASEAN into a stable, secure, prosperous, rulesbased, competitive, resilient and integrated economic community by 2015. ASEAN is one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world and has a fast growing energy demand triggered by economic and population boom. ASEANs primary energy demand (Reference Scenario) is planned to triple between 2005 and 2030. Energy demand reaches 1,252 Million Tons of Oil Equivalent (MTOE) in 2030 from 474 MTOE in 2005, an increase by an average annual growth rate of 4% (ACE and IEEJ 2nd ASEAN Energy Outlook, 2009). This is higher than the worlds average growth rate of 1.8% in primary energy consumption through 2030 (IEA World Energy Outlook, 2009). Meeting the regions energy needs with unprecedented increases in coal use, oil and gas imports, and GHG emissions will thus prove to be a challenge. In ASEAN, fossil fuels remains the major source of energy, with a share of 84.4% in 2030 and the remainder is accounted for by geothermal, hydro, and other sources. Oil

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012


remains the major energy source with a share in total primary energy supply of 40.9% in 2005 to 41.5% in 2030 driven by the rapid growth in consumption in the transport sector, which is largely fuelled by oil products. Coal grows the fastest at 6.9% yearly due to rapid increase in electricity consumption, pushing its share from 11.8% in 2005 to 23.7% in 2030. Natural gas grows at a slower average rate of 4% yearly, registering a share of 19.2% in 2005 and 2030. ASEAN consume other fuels, which are mostly traditional biomass, increases at snail pace of 0.2%, decreasing its share from 24.1% in 2005 to only 9.6% in 2030. Electricity use grows more than four times from 38 MTOE in 2005 to 164 MTOE in 2030. Its share increases from 11% to 18.2% during the outlook period (ACE and IEEJ 2nd ASEAN Energy Outlook, 2009).

Due to seeing the consequences of the previous challenges of ASEAN, Member States leaders at the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur December 2005, it has been agreed to reform ASEAN Charter for able to face future new challenges. For that need, an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) has been created. ASEAN ISIS (Institutes for Strategic and International Studies) has suggested a Memorandum to the EPG last April for the third time meeting in Bali. If the ASEAN is now confronting, and will face in the future, the greatest challenges of its 40 years of existence. For that aim a charter reviewed by its leaders at the summit in Kuala Lumpur is a critical move. First, the leaders had to know each other to be able to cooperate. The charter should also make ASEAN more people-oriented and move away from being statecentric as the past. The charter would not only provide ASEAN with a legal body, but it should define goals, objectives, rights, obligations, working procedures, principles, dispute settlement mechanism and institutional framework to get them where forward looking, shared prosperity, wellbeing, freedom, democracy, rule of laws, peace, stability, sovereignty respect, cooperation and human security principles be respected for the ASEAN peoples and a community of caring societies. The system now, whereby every member pays the same

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012


amount, is no longer realistic. In the Chairs statement in 19th ASEAN summit in Bali, Indonesia, Cambodia as the Chair of ASEAN in 2012 noted, agreed and adopted significant output documents under the three pillars of ASEAN Community as follows: (1) ASEAN Framework for Equitable Economic Development, Guiding Principles for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth; (2) ASEAN Framework for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership; (3) ASEAN Declaration of Commitment, Getting to Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination, Zero AIDS-Related Deaths; (4) Bali Declaration on the Enhancement of the Role and Participation of Persons with Disabilities; (5) ASEAN Leaders Statement on Climate Change to the 17th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-17 UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP7 Kyoto Protocol); (6) Report on the Progress of the List Annual Targets for 2011; (7) Term of Reference of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women (AMMW). After 18th ASEAN Summit on 7-8 May 2011 in Jakarta, the end, the Leaders vowed to develop an ASEAN general platform on global issues to be subsequently attained by 2022 and reinforced their commitment by issuing a Joint Statement on the ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations to reshape the global development. A new approach to increase the budget adequately should be considered. And now all eyes have looked to the Eminent Person Group, the best sons of ASEAN, which was created by ASEAN Leaders. They should first come up with proposals that will regain the hope and confidence of ASEAN's population as a whole; so that ASEAN can fully understand the challenges and can come up with common ideas that will make ASEAN relevant for the next 40 years (Jusuf, 2006). And the question is how Cambodia, as Chair of ASEAN in 2012, handles these challenges.

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012



It was a big surprise to the international community when the ASEAN Charter envision the new ASEAN Community goal is to strengthen democracy, enhance good governance, the rule of law, promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms regarding to the right and responsibilities of the Member States of ASEAN towards institutionalization and legalization of the body. For a long time ago, Declarations on democratic values and human rights used to be the challenging issues without consensus among the Member States. There was rising the questions about the new direction of ASEAN development: Does the Charter can succeed internal fractions and become a more responsive organization? Will human rights abuses addressed in the region? While talking about diverse human rights agenda, it is inevitable to rise about Asian values, norms and standards to create a regime and a community. The origin of the establishment of ASEAN human rights body was far from reality while two-tier tendency coming up together with human rights issues, creating controversy within the ten members. The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have been eager to push the agenda whereas the other members, including Myanmar in the forefront, have been on the opposite extreme. There were conflicts among authors regarding to international regimes definitions with its interpretation. There is nothing approaching consensus on the role of regimes in international society said Oran Young. Susan Strange put it that way <Regime> is yet one woollier concept because people mean different things when they use it. Can ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights give a new direction to promote human rights, democratic values, to build new architecture of ASEAN Community and to create synergy for more effective cooperation? It is unreasonable to hope that the AICHR will overnight fix the situation of military junta-controlled Myanmar, or lift up the standard of HR in non-democratic countries such as Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, or

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012


even Singapore. The Charter also cannot break the non-interference principle neither interfere the sovereignty of single nations to practice their political systems.

According to World Report 2012 release by Human Rights Watch in 2012, Twenty years after the signing of the Paris Peace Agreements in 1991, Cambodias human rights record remains poor. The government of the ruling Cambodian Peoples Party (CPP) continues to use the judiciary, penal code, and threats of arrest or legal action to restrict free speech, jail government critics, disperse peaceful protests by workers and farmers, and silence opposition party members. In 2011 it threatened one of the key accomplishments of the Paris Peace Agreementsthe spectacular growth of NGOs, community-based civic groups, informal associations, and grassroots networksby suggesting a law, given wide authority able to shut down associations and NGOs. Police and the military police always use torture to extract confessions that are used to obtain convictions. Cambodias prisons continue to be overcrowded and lack sufficient food, water, sanitation, and healthcare. A survey by Licadho found that prisons are bursting at the seams, with reported occupancy at 179 percent in April 2011. Illegal land confiscation and forced evictions by government officials and security forces on behalf of powerful companies and individuals remains a hot issue. Land rights activists face intimidation and arrest, with more than 60 people imprisoned or awaiting trial at this writing, for protesting to living and housing rights. Prime Minister Hun Sen has continued to pressure the independence of the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), demanding that the court not to precede cases 003 and 004 against five suspects submitted for indictment by the international co-prosecutor. In October Human Rights Watch called for the co-investigating judges to resign for failing to play their judicial duties. One week later Blunk resigned, citing government interference in the court. As for, asylum seekers, especially from Vietnam and China, remain at risk of forced repatriation in violation

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012


of the Refugee Convention. On February 15 the government ordered closed the refugee center in Phnom Penh sheltering Montagnard refugees from Vietnam. The government fails to incorporate the Refugee Conventions definition of refugee and otherwise to fulfill Cambodias obligations as a party to that convention. Furthermore, since 2008 about 40,000 to 50,000 Cambodian women and girls have been recruited and sent to Malaysia as crossborder migrant workers. Recruitment agencies often forge fake identity documents for children, offer cash and food incentives as loans that leave migrants deeply indebted, confine recruits in training centers in Cambodia for months, and intimidate those who try to escape. Many recruitment centers have inadequate food, water, and access to medical care. In 2011 three women recruits died while confined in the centers; authorities failed to undertake thorough investigations into their deaths or hold anyone accountable. Finally, Cambodias donors pledged US$2.8 billion in development aid for the 2009 to 2012 period. From 19982008, donors annually contributed approximately at least $600 million a year. Foreign assistance accounts for over 50 percent of Cambodias budget, yet donors have said little about Cambodias worsening human rights environment (Human Rights Watch, 2012). And so how does Cambodia ruin the Chair of ASEAN very well, if she, still in the conditions, not yet overcomes her own messiness at home.

Remaining Legal Frameworks under the ASEAN Charter, ASEAN welcome the adoption of the Rules of Procedure for Conclusion of International Agreements by ASEAN. They also noted with appreciation the finalization of the draft of the Rules of Procedure for the Interpretation of the ASEAN Charter and the Rules for Reference of Non-Compliance to the ASEAN Summit. Those Rules will provide stronger procedure for the implementation of the ASEAN Charter and strengthen ASEAN as a rule-based organization. Furthermore, they look

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012


forward to the consideration of the establishment of an ASEAN legal committee that would address any possible legal issues in the future (19th ASEAN Summit, 2011, p. 30).

In Chairs Statement of the 18th ASEAN Summit, Jakarta, 7-8 May 2011 on South China Sea, Member States Leaders reaffirmed the importance of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) as a milestone document signed between ASEAN and China embodying the collective commitment to promote peace, stability, and mutual trust in the South China Sea and to ensuring the peaceful resolution of disputes in this area in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They stressed that continuing the positive engagement of ASEAN-China is ground to move forward the DOC issue. They focused the need to further intensify the efforts of both ASEAN and China to ensure the effective and full implementation of the DOC and move forward the eventual conclusion of a Regional Code of Conduct (COC). They welcomed the convening of the 6th ASEAN-China Joint Working Group on the DOC on 18-20 April 2011 in Medan, Indonesia. In this connection, they motivated the continued constructive negotiations between ASEAN and China, including the early convening of the ASEAN-China SOM on the DOC. They committed and resolved to take advantage of the momentum of the anniversary of the 20 years of ASEAN-China relations in 2011 and 10 years of the adoption of the DOC in 2012 to finalize the Guidelines on the implementation of the DOC and initiate discussions on a regional COC.

In February 2011, the ASEAN took a historic decision to intervene in the borderland dispute between Thailand and Cambodian. In 19th ASEAN Summit, Bali, Member States Leaders welcome the increasingly encouraging conditions in the affected Cambodia and Thailand

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012


border. They call on both sides to resolve peacefully through political dialogue and negotiations, with a view to achieve a mutually acceptable solution through the fullest utilization of their existing bilateral mechanism with the appropriate engagement of the current Chair of ASEAN. So ASEAN recall the importance of the International Court of Justices order of 18 July 2011 on the request to measure provisionally on the Cambodia and Thailand border issue and continue to cooperate with its ASEAN mechanism (19th ASEAN Summit, 2011, p. 39).

To address the weaknesses in the historical approach of constructive engagement in Myanmar, ASEAN could review the AICHR legacy to include a human rights court with the power to appeal common judgments. This court would provide a judicial, unbiased decision to determine whether the government junta abuses the human rights and international humanitarian law stated in the Charter. ASEAN could overcome the human rights violations in Myanmar without creating a permanent court to verdict enforceable judgments. Not yet consider the principles of ASEAN Human Rights Body; Myanmar has still broken a number of the core principles in the ASEAN Charter (John, 2009). ASEAN welcome the significant positive developments in Myanmar throughout 2011 and encourage maintaining a strong momentum. Furthermore, ASEAN harbor these positive developments, and their continued progress contributes to support their decision to power Myanmar the Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2014. (19th ASEAN Summit, 2011, p. 39).

After severe stock market crisis in Oct 2008, the ASEAN+3 Leaders endorsed the Special ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers Meeting in Phuket, Thailand, on 22 February 2009, to accelerate the size of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) from US$80 billion to US$120 billion, and the outcome of the 12th ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers Meeting

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012


in Bali, Indonesia, on 3 May 2009, reach all core agreements of the CMIM and supported the creation of an independent regional surveillance unit to efficiently facilitate the implementation of the CMIM and monitor the regional and global economic situation. And the Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI) was promoted the development of local currencydenominated bond markets and adds greater accessibility to the regional bond markets to form the Credit Guarantee and Investment Mechanism (CGIM) with an initial capital of US$500 million to support the issuance of local currency-denominated corporate bond in the region. They considered the main roles of Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) to address development agenda and back infrastructure and trade finance with the Fifth General Capital Increase of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Furthermore, they agreed to continue ASEAN-led consultations with organizations in Asia and Asia-Pacific to secure the region from future regional and global economic and financial crisis. ASEAN supported the agreement at the London Summit on 2 April 2009 to restore confidence, growth and jobs, reject protectionism and promote global trade and investment, strengthen financial regulations to rebuild trust, reform international financial institutions, and inject an additional US$ 1.1 trillion to enhance global financial liquidity; and resolved to take necessary actions individually and collectively to achieve the goals envisioned by G20 (Joint Press Statement on ASEAN+3 Cooperation in Response to the Global Economic and Financial Crisis in Bangkok, 3 June 2009). Based on foundations signed in 1997 in ASEAN Vision 2020, on 7 October 2003, at the ninth ASEAN Summit in Bali, leaders agreed to transform ASEANs ten member countries into an ASEAN Community a single market and production base with free flow of goods, services and skilled labour and freer flow of capital by 2020 with full integration in eleven key sectors by 2010 to maximize its influence in the Asia-Pacific region and its contribution to regional stability.

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012


ASEAN affirmed its commitment to fully tackle poverty and development gap among Member States by developing and implementing an ASEAN Roadmap towards realizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through better coordination and participation of all key stakeholders, including public and private sectors, civil societies and UN special agencies to narrow the development gap within ASEAN Member States through initiatives such as the IAI Work Plan II (2009-2015) that covers the three pillars of the ASEAN Community blueprints. ASEAN put special effort to ensure that the implementation stage of this Work Plan will be able to addresses the concerns of the LDCs in ASEAN (19th ASEAN Summit, 2011).

Regarding to tension between South and North Korea in Korean Peninsula, ASEAN reaffirm their support to the efforts made to achieve denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner and call for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. To this end, ASEAN reiterate that the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), of which six of its participants are all members of the Six-Party Talks, and as it has been evident during the last 18th ARF in Bali, July 2011, could be explored in contributing and further creating a conducive atmosphere for dialogue and consultation among the parties concerned (19th ASEAN Summit, 2011, 41). ASEAN in dealing with the raising power of China and India, the ASEAN Leaders announced three Leaders Joint Statements namely: the Joint Statement on the ASEAN Community in the Global Community of Nations, the Joint Statement on the Establishment of an ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation to address priority issues such as ASEAN Connectivity, food and energy security, conflict resolution and management, regional architecture, a people-oriented and people-centered ASEAN, disaster management, the East Asia Summit, and the ASEAN Community in a global community of nations. ASEAN also pleased with the implementation of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Plan of Action

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012


(PoA) for 2011-2015 through various projects to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations and promote the ASEAN-China Commemorative FINALFINAL. To this end, ASEAN also deliberated on the draft ASEAN-China Leaders Joint Statement to be adopted at the Commemorative Summit (19th ASEAN Summit, 2011, p. 3435). As for India, ASEAN were pleased with the implementation of the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity and its Plan of Action for 2010-2015 and looked forward to the further implementation of the documents into tangible projects and activities (19th ASEAN Summit, 2011, p. 35).

This 15-pages research paper determine Cambodia to be the Chair of ASEAN in 2012 is the utmost challenges moment and this paper aims to review the challenges, highlight the results have been accomplished by previous Chairs along with some critiques and the future tasks regarding to the position and roles of Cambodia to lead the regional intergovernmental organization in its second time. And the core research question is What are the challenges for Cambodia as the Chair of ASEAN in 2012 and How to succeed those issues.

Paper used all secondary data and figures collected from various sources such as ASEAN Secretariat Website, United Nations Website, World Bank Website, Asia Development Bank website, Royal Government of Cambodia website, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia website, higher educational institutes and universities and national and international research institutes as hard copies as well as virtual copies. Those documents were reviewed and put into synthesis matrix and wrote as literature review by using qualitative approach to figure out new concepts and thoughts about challenges of ASEAN that Cambodia will face and have to overcome.

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012


Furthermore, Paper used general to specific approach to write the abstract, problem and solution approach to write introduction, use critique approach to challenge with highlighted findings or results, hypothesis with two variables (independent and dependent variables), to test and analyze the correlativeness between problems to solutions and outcomes of ASEAN in the last decade to prove that those issues are really the challenges for Cambodia in 2012.

According to ASEAN Secretariat in 2010, ASEAN VISION 2020: In Kuala Lumpur December 2005, ASEAN has been agreed that its Charter was the very importance tool that overcame the greatest challenges of its 30 years of existence and they believe it will use fore another 30 years next and then. From year to year, ASEAN welcomed new comer to their home. Today and tomorrow, the challenge for ASEAN is to maintain its connectivity. First, ASEAN must be able to respond effectively to globalization and its dramatic impact on the economy, political life and even values of ASEAN members. Second, the new threats of international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, plus the new strategic developments and balance in East Asia that have and will come with the dramatic rise of China, and possibly soon also of India. If they work together as one, they will answer rightly these new challenges for sure. To do so, they must strengthen and deepen ASEAN cooperation in many fields. An ASEAN Charter is only the beginning, but it is a very important symbol and could provide a stronger ground for the organization to proceed further. The charter, therefore, should not only be charted to maintain the status quo, but it should give new dynamism to ASEAN and should be forward out-looking. Otherwise, the existing norms, rules, and practices will be far from reality. The charter should also make ASEAN more people-oriented and move away from being state-centric like in the moment. The charter would not only provide ASEAN with a legal entity, but it should define ASEAN's goals and objectives and

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012


the institutional framework for achieving them. It should also define the rights and obligations of member-states, working procedures and principles, as well as specifying dispute settlement mechanisms among member states. Its objectives and principles should be forward looking, where shared prosperity and wellbeing of the people will enhance human security. The charter should also help to develop and consolidate democracy and the rule of law with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It should promote and develop a community of caring societies. The charter should strengthen a common ASEAN identity among the peoples in the region, as well as contribute to international and regional affairs. ASEAN should commit to the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide and adhere to the constitutional and democratic change of government. In terms of developing institutions, ASEAN should entertain the idea of establishing a Council of ASEAN Community, consisting of ministers responsible for the realization of the three pillars of the ASEAN Community, namely Security, Economic and Sociocultural Community. In addition to strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Secretary General, the ASEAN Standing Committee should be elevated to consist of permanent representatives from each member-state that are accredited to ASEAN to represent their respective government, and are capable of making decisions on their behalf. Only then can ASEAN consolidate its activities and reduce the many ASEAN meetings from the current total of more than 300 in various fields of cooperation annually. ASEAN should also have an ASEAN Court of Justice, comprising designated judges nominated by each member-state such as the International Court of Justice. One other body that might be important to assist the ASEAN Security Community would be an ASEAN Peace and Reconciliation Council that could act as an advisor, research body and early warning system in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict building. To make ASEAN more people-oriented, an ASEAN Consultative Assembly, consisting of members of parliaments and representatives of civil society, could

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012


provide advices, feedbacks and perspectives. Decision making needs to be redefined and redesigned, when consensus is required and when voting can be used. In the case of voting, what should be seen as adequate: 50+1, two-thirds, or three-quarters? What also is important is the problem of members' contributions to the ASEAN Budget. The system now, whereby every member pays the same amount, is no longer realistic. A new formula that is more tenable and could increase the budget adequately should be contemplated. All eyes have now returned to the Eminent Person Group that was established by ASEAN Leaders and consisted of the best sons of ASEAN. They should first come up with proposals that will boost the hope and confidence of ASEAN's population as a whole; so that ASEAN can fully understand the challenges and can come up with proposals that will make ASEAN relevant for the next 40 years. Now 2012, it is the utmost moment for Cambodia as the Chair of ASEAN that how she can contribute, assist and guide this regional intergovernmental body to accomplish another success, especially the dreams reaffirmed in the Charter in the 19th ASEAN Summit in Bali, Indonesia, such as one community by 2015; ASEAN Vision in 2020 in full reality; a Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality; Ten-Member Nations to live in peace and conflicts will be solved peacefully through common regional legacy; strengthening of national and regional resilience; the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia functioning lively as a binding code of conduct for their governments and peoples, to which other states with interests in the region adhere; a Southeast Asia free from nuclear weapons, their region free from all other weapons of mass destruction; their rich human and natural resources contributing to their development and shared prosperity; Regional Forum as flexible means for sure way to promote conflict-resolution; a Southeast Asia where their mountains, rivers and seas no longer divide them but connect them altogether in friendship and cooperation; and the dream that their body as an effective force for peace, justice and moderation in the AsiaPacific and in the world.

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012



I would like to pay respect for Dr. Ms. TING Layheng who guided and consulted me since the beginning on topic, title, questions design, methodology, writing approaches, so on and so on.

And I would like to thank also to scholars and researchers for copy rights use both national and international organizations, institutes and educational academies were stated in the references list both their name, works and their organization or educational institute that

published many documents related to the ASEANs works, achievements, challenges, and new dreams new visions that ASEAN as well as ASEAN peoples were facing today and will face tomorrow.

All those data and figures became the valuable sources for me to consult, write, compare and analyze my 25-page research paper. I believe in the power of sharing knowledge like ASEAN believe in the caring society as ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations.

The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012


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The Challenges For Cambodia As The Chair Of ASEAN in 2012