3 Hum. Rts. Defender 1 (1994)

handle is hein.journals/hurighdef3 and id is 1 raw text is: ee
THE UNIVERSITY OF
NEW SOUTH WAIFS

Human Ri hts
Dei,.,fen   er

University of New South Wales PO Box I Kensington 2033 Australia             Vol 3 No 1 1994
Ph (61 2) 6972807 Fax (61 2) 3137209 ISSN 1039-2637

Asia Pacific regional NGO
network established

Seventy human rights advocates
from 58 organisations based in fifteen
countries of the Asia-Pacific region
held a meeting in Bangkok on Feb 2
and 3 to create a new regional NGO
facilitating group.
By establishing a network the
NGOs present have taken their suc-
cessful Vienna strategy further. For
the first time an active regional net-
work will facilitate human rights cam-
paigns and activities, not just in
relation to the UN system, but on a
local, national and regional basis.
Speaking on behalf of the or-
ganisers, Boonthan Verawongseof the
Bangkok-based Coordinating Com-
mittee of Human Rights Organisa-
tions in Thailand (CCHROT) and the
Asian Cultural Forum on Develop-
ment (ACFOD) said The meeting this
year is the follow-up to Vienna and
the first opportunity for the human
rights advocates to strategise for the
future

The new regional network will be
occupied on a number of fronts. With
a number of important international
meetings coming up, like the UN
World Conference on Women (Beij-
ing, 1995), UN World Summit on So-
cial Development (Copenhagen, 1995)
and the UN Conference on Population
and Development (Cairo, September
1994), a regional network will be cru-
cial to effective lobbying and or-
ganisation for human rights to get
onto these agendas.
The previous regional meeting,
the NGO Forum held in April 1993, a
preparatory meeting for Vienna, had
accomplished great things - an NGO
Declaration which countered the ef-
forts of some Asian governments to
undermine the universality and in-
divisibility of human rights and a
new sense of cooperation and
solidarity for Asia-Pacific NGOs to
take their issues to the international
community.

At Vienna the Asia-Pacific NGOs,
despite great difficulties posed by the
venue and the general NGO disor-
ganisation, were the most effective
regional group. They influenced the
final outcomes as well as the NGO
plans for further global networking,
continued page 3
Release for Aung
San Suu Kyi?
Something is happening in Burma
but it is hard to say just what, let alone
what it means. First came the news
that Burma's ruling military junta
may release opposition leader Aung
San Suu Kyi, (under house arrest since
July 1989), in July of this year. Media
reports around the world predicted
her release when topranking junta
leader General Khin Nyunt, first
secretary of the State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC), told
Japanese reporters that the legitimate
period of her arrest will expire in July.
However a member of the Nation-
al League for Democracy said it was
dangerous to believe promises by
generals. There is nothing new since
they always say that she is free to leave
the country any time she likes if she
renounces politics he said. But I
don't think she will accept that... he is
just playing with words. He will ig-
nore what he said like the junta ig-
nored the result of the 1990 election
he added.
Continued page 14

Human Rights Defender Vol 3 No I Feb 1994 Pue I

Features in this issue
Iran woos Central Asia -----------------------Page 4
Retrospective punishment 'George Zdenkowski --Page 6
World Round-up  -   ---------Page 8
From Vienna to Beiing - Jomna Kerr--------Page 9
Carpet-bagrs get wise to child labour ------Page 12
Indefinite detention Sam Garkawe----- --Page 12
World Summit for Social Development --7-----Page 3
Diplomacy Training Program - -----------Page1

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