IDRC: Strengthen Inclusivity & Research Capacity in Asia

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IDRC, as title partner for Asia Centre’s 8th International Conference "Democracy and Elections in Asia" from 23 to 25 August 2023, called for greater inclusivity and the strengthening of research capacity in Asia. IDRC made these calls through the two panels it convened at the three-day conference, in which speakers discussed the key challenges women in Asian countries face to engage in politics and how researching democracies can be improved. These calls were framed by the opening remarks of Caroline Ford, Director for Democratic and Inclusive Governance at IDRC, who said that civic spaces serve as a vital platform for…

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Asia Centre Panel Discussion at ASEAN Civil Society Conference / ASEAN Peoples’ Forum Side Event 2023

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Emergency measures imposed by governments across Southeast Asia during the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted human rights and democracy in the region, leading to the shrinking of civic spaces and repression of human rights activists, CSOs, independent journalists, and other civic actors. Although most of these measures were initially and publicly meant for public health and safety, these governments, in practice, used these to curb civic freedoms. These include laws that criminalise protestors, silence calls for public accountability, restrict electoral campaigning, and closely surveil the population. In this context, Asia Centre, in partnership with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL),…

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Team Malaysia Wins Hackathon on ASEAN-EU Relations: Will Travel  to Germany

Between 21 and 23 July 2023, the Asia Centre and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Southeast & East Asia jointly organised the #Reshaping Europe: Hackathon on the ASEAN-EU Relations. The primary objective of the Hackathon was to provide young leaders with an opportunity to propose initiatives aimed at enhancing the relationship between ASEAN and the EU. During the event, ten teams of two participants each from Southeast and East Asia worked on developing and presenting their project ideas to a wider audience. Participants were required to align the goals of their initiatives with trade and economic cooperation between ASEAN and…

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Oxfam Young Leaders Fellowship Programme 2023 Kicks Off

A total of seven speakers, one facilitator, three project coaches, and two field visits made up the programme activity for Induction Meeting for eight Oxfam Fellows from 10 to 14 July 2023 in Bangkok, co-convened by Asia Centre and Oxfam. The Induction Meeting was part of the Oxfam Young Leaders Fellowship Programme 2023, which aims to provide tools to empower young people with hands-on training and close mentorship to strengthen their capacity to make social change happen. The eight fellows, constituting the inaugural cohort of the fellowship programme, who participated in the event are Lamia Mohsin from Bangladesh, Sanjana Chettri and…

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Asia Centre Leads UNESCO Media Assessment in Cambodia

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On 3 February 2023, Asia Centre’s Dr. James Gomez presented the research plan for the project “Assessment of Media Development in Cambodia” to officials from the Royal Government of Cambodia, representatives and journalists from media organisations and representatives of civil society organisations who are part of a National Steering Committee (NSC) set up to support the assessment effort. The Assessment, led by Asia Centre, is being undertaken in partnership with the UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh and the Department of Media and Communication (DMC) of the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP). It is an evaluation of Cambodia’s media development…

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Asia Centre Participates in Workshop on Freedom of Religion or Belief

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  3 November 2018 - Dr. Robin Ramcharan analysed the role of youth interaction with religious leaders in constraining religious extremism during a workshop on freedom of religion or belief (FoRB), organised by the Rule of Law Program of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and its partners in Singapore, from 29 to 30 October 2018.  He noted analysis worldwide that showed the impact of marginalization and of religious-dissonance on the progression of youth from their regular lives towards extremist thoughts  and sometimes violence. Research has shown that religious leaders can play a vital role in youths’ search for theological consistency in their…

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IFC #4: Asia Centre marks UN Day with debate on “Rice before Rights”

International Faculty Club (24 October 2018) - The argument that development priorities take precedence over civil and political rights threatens to upend the international human rights movement, which has advocated for the indivisibility of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs) and civil and political rights (CIVPOL).  This argument is advanced by China and those attracted by its model of governance and growth. However, as Canadian Ambassador Donica Pottie noted pointed out during the roundtable on ‘Rice before Rights”, held on 24 October 2018, western countries share responsibility for this situation, as they chose to emphasize civil and political rights over ESCRs in their…

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Asia Centre and Monash University co-host Roundtable on the Rohingya Crisis

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Asia Centre and Monash University co-hosted a roundtable on the Rohingya Crisis on 15 December 2017, which was held at the National Centre for South Asian Studies at Monash. Experts and discussants pondered the causes and the future of the humanitarian efforts, including the November 2017 agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar for the return of over 700,000 Rohingya to Rakhine State. Whereas the UN and wider international community have responded within constrained parameters, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) appears to be impotent in the face of one of the worse cases of gross and massive violations of human…

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Ambassador of Bangladesh Highlights Rohingya Crisis in Human Rights Dialogue at Asia Centre

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The desperate plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar was raised by the Ambassador of Bangladesh, H.E. Ms. Saida Muna Tasneem during an address at Asia Centre to youth from South Asia and Thailand. As Bangladesh bore the brunt of the influx of refugees, Ambassador Tasneem made an impassioned plea for the world and Southeast Asia to both care about and act resolutely to address the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, which the international community has called “Ethnic Cleansing”. The United States has also labeled the situation ‘ethnic cleansing’.   It will be recalled that over 600,000 Rohingya refugees have fled…

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Innovative Initiatives for Sustainable Development at UN SDG Week

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On Thursday 30 November, Asia Centre participated in the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Week organized by UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.     This year’s event focused on innovation – integration – inclusiveness and implementing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific. The SDG Week brought together government organizations, intergovernmental partners and agencies, regional organizations, businesses, think tanks, academia and other stakeholders to engage in discussions on effective implementation of the SDGs.   Throughout the SDG week Asia Centre showcased its work at the Pavilion of Partnerships alongside other social enterprises,…

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