July 23, 2019
Latest News

Southeast Asian leaders seek agreement on garbage in seas

By Noel Caballero

Bangkok, June 22 (efe-epa).- Southeast Asian leaders are trying this weekend to approve a declaration on garbage in the seas to tackle the problem of ocean plastic pollution and advance a commercial mega-trade in the region.

The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which began its plenary session in the Thai capital Bangkok on Saturday, intends to address the problem.

Four of its members, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, are considered, along with China, to be responsible for half of the plastic pollution of the world’s oceans.

"ASEAN faces unprecedented challenges such as climate change, trade competition, development gaps and disparate security threats, as well as economic transformations and social changes in the wake of the fourth industrial revolution," Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, said in his opening speech.

Under the slogan "Advancing together towards sustainability," the group is seeking to progress favorable measures for the environment.

Several countries in the region are to reinforce their laws to prohibit the importation of non-recyclable waste.

During the summit, the countries hope to sign the "Bangkok Declaration," the group’s first agreement to tackle marine trash.

Environmental group Greenpeace asked the leaders of Southeast Asia for a range of measures, including an "immediate ban on all imports of plastic waste," as well as reducing single use plastic and promoting the circular economy that does not produce waste.

Since China banned the importation of non-recyclable plastic waste in 2018, shipments were largely transferred to southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Asean, which was founded in 1967 and consists of Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, is a strong supporter of multilateralism and hopes to become by 2030 the fourth most important economic bloc in the world.

Foreign ministers and heads of economy from the ten nations spoke on Saturday on how to find common ground with the Regional Integral Economic Association, a free trade agreement that would create the largest economic alliance in the world by bringing together almost 40 percent of global GDP.

The talks, involving the ASEAN nations along with Australia, China, South Korea, India, Japan and New Zealand, with a combined population of 3.4 billion people, are scheduled to conclude at the end of the year.

Busadee Santipitaks, Thai Foreign Ministry, told the media that the leaders will seek a consensus on the "Code of Conduct in the South China Sea," a region where some ASEAN countries have a territorial dispute with China.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said in Manila on Friday before leaving for the Thai capital that it is not correct for China to claim "an entire ocean," a sovereign claim that clashes with the stance of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

The political leaders will also talk about the Rohingya crisis, which began in 2017 with the operation of the Burmese Army in the west of the country and has caused the flight to Bangladesh of some 728,000 members of this ethnic minority.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah on Saturday asked his counterparts to bring to court those responsible for the crisis, which the United Nations has described as "ethnic cleansing with marks of genocide."

It is a difficult issue due to the "principle of non-interference in internal affairs" that governs the bloc and for which up to now Burma, led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate and de facto leader of the Government, Aung San Suu Kyi, has maintained a strict veto.

The ASEAN summit will continue on Sunday. EFE-EPA


News history

By María Rodríguez

Tame elephants mediate between humans, wild elephants in Indonesia's Aceh

By Ricardo Perez-Solero,

Buddhist novices perform rituals in mass ordination ceremony

Thai and foreign Buddhist devotees took part in several rituals Saturday as part of a mass ordination ceremony at Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple on the...

Princess Mako honors memory of Japanese who died in Bolivia

Okinawa I, Bolivia, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- Princess Mako of Japan honored this Friday the memory of her migrant compatriots who died in Bolivia at a monument in...

Indonesia to close Komodo Island to protect indigenous dragons

Jakarta, Jul 19 (efe-epa).- Komodo Island, a popular tourist destination and home to the world’s largest lizards, will close in 2020 in a bid to protect its...

First library seeks to bring change to Pakistani gun-making town

By Jaime Leon

Indonesian Hindus flock to Mt. Bromo volcano for soul-cleansing

Tenggerese Hindus gathered on top of Mount Bromo, an active volcano in East Java, Indonesia, for a purification ritual.

KLM diktat to cover up while breastfeeding in flights causes global outrage

The Hague, Netherlands, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- Dutch airline KLM is facing a storm of criticism for asking mothers to cover up while breastfeeding their babies...

Recruiting armies of bugs to chomp back Florida's invasive plants

By Ana Mengotti

DR Congo vaccinates Goma to curb Ebola expansion

Kinshasa, July 17 (efe-epa).- The Democratic Republic of Congo is planning to vaccinate about 100 people in the northeastern city of Goma who had contact...

US judge denies bail to church leader accused of child rape, pornography

Los Angeles, USA, Jul 16 (efe-epa).- The leader of the so-called "Luz del Mundo" ("Light of the World") church will remain imprisoned in a United States...

Dried-up Aculeo Lagoon shows the woes of climate change in Chile

By Alberto Peña

By Nerea González

Trump doubles down on tweets against Democratic congresswomen

By Lucia Leal.

Residents of historic Panama neighborhood fight gentrification

By Maria M.Mur.

National health alert in Philippines after over 450 dengue deaths

Manila, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- Philippines on Monday declared a national alert due to a dengue outbreak, with over 106,630 cases recorded in the first half of...

San Juan Parangaricutiro, Mexico's Pompeii buried by Paricutin volcano

By Manuel Soberanes Cobo

The Japanese island in the heart of South America

By Gina Baldivieso

More and more reports of sexual abuse against minors in Panama

By Ana de Leon

Protesters in US urge end to migrant detention centers

By Laura Barros

US lawmakers spotlight conditions for migrant kids detained on the border

Washington, Jul 12 (efe-epa).- With fear of the guards, feeling ill, with little sleep and no soap in sight, so the hours go by for thousands of children...

Japanese government apologizes for discriminating against lepers for decades

Tokyo, Jul 12 (efe-epa).- The prime minister of Japan on Friday apologized to leprosy patients and their families who suffered discrimination and isolation...

Trump gives up on adding citizenship question to 2020 Census

Washington, Jul 11 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Thursday abandoned his bid to have a question about citizenship added to the 2020 US Census,...

Pelosi says Trump is terrorizing immigrants with threat of raids

Washington, Jul 11 (efe-epa).- The speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said Thursday that President Donald Trump's threats to round-up...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.