News

    ASEAN Leaders Open Summit in Cambodia

    Presidents and prime ministers pose for a photograph during the opening ceremony of the 20th ASEAN summit and the celebration of the 45th Anniversary of ASEAN at the Peace Palace, in the Office of the Council of Ministers in Phnom Penh, April 3, 2012.
    Presidents and prime ministers pose for a photograph during the opening ceremony of the 20th ASEAN summit and the celebration of the 45th Anniversary of ASEAN at the Peace Palace, in the Office of the Council of Ministers in Phnom Penh, April 3, 2012.

    Leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations - ASEAN - are gathered in Phnom Penh for a two-day summit that is expected to deal with simmering maritime disputes and a scheduled North Korean rocket launch.

    Host President Hun Sen focused on economic issues in his opening remarks Tuesday, urging the participating countries to work to narrow the gap between the region's richest and poorest countries.

    "Within the region, although the development gap among ASEAN members has been noticeably narrow, it is still huge," he said. "This requires to double our efforts to promote further growth and improve equitable distribution of the fruits of growth at both the national and the regional among members countries."

    The official agenda stresses talks on ASEAN's goal of developing a European-style single market within the next three years. But several of the participants have acknowledged the leaders will not be able to avoid discussions on pressing security issues.

    The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei all claim parts of the potentially resource-rich South China Sea, putting them at odds with Beijing, which claims all of the 3.5 million-square-kilometer waterway. The Philippines and Vietnam have both accused Chinese vessels of intruding into their exclusive economic zones and disrupting oil exploration activities.

    Manila has called for a summit of nations with claims on the South China Sea in order to reach an agreement on the use of the seas.

    Concern about North Korea

    Meanwhile, several ASEAN members have raised concerns about North Korea's planned rocket launch this month. Pyongyang says the rocket will place a weather satellite into orbit, but the United States and other nations say the real purpose of the launch is to test a missile that could deliver a nuclear weapon.

    During a preliminary meeting Monday, ASEAN foreign ministers praised Burma over its handling of parliamentary by-elections that saw democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi win her first seat in parliament.  Her National League for Democracy party won at least 40 of the 44 seats it contested in the April 1 balloting.

    ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.



    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.