Preps ahead of annual Asian Regional Forum; security; Thai FM

(19 Jul 2009) SHOTLIST AP Television 1. Wide of beach close to venue of ASEAN meeting 2. Wide of people on beach 3. Wide of police outside meeting venue 4. Mid of police officers 5. Mid of police officer 6. Mid of row of flags of ASEAN nations Pool 7. Pan right of meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers preparing to discuss progress towards establishing an ASEAN human rights body 8. Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win 9. Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda 10. Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya addressing meeting 11. Wide of meeting AP Television 12. Wide of Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya walking in to brief media 13. Mid of TV news cameras 14. SOUNDBITE (English) Kasit Piromya, Thai Foreign Minister: "The draft terms of reference reflects a maximum consensus among ASEAN countries at this time. It is important to make this human rights body credible, but at the same time take into account the real situation in ASEAN member countries. So these terms of reference to set up the human rights body or commission is the beginning of a very involving process." Pool 15. ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsawan walks to dinner 16. Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong shakes hands with Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya 17. Wide of foreign ministers gathering for dinner 18. Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win 19. Ministers heading to dinner 20. Various of ministers at dinner STORYLINE Southeast Asian officials were finalising an unprecedented regional human rights body on Sunday that has sparked criticism from activists that it would be too weak and have little impact in the region. Endorsement is expected on Monday at a conference of the region's foreign ministers in Phuket, Thailand, with official approval coming at a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, in October. Critics say the ASEAN human rights body is unlikely to have bite since the 10-nation bloc has traditionally operated by consensus and shuns interference in the internal affairs of its members, which include military-run Myanmar and Communist Vietnam and Laos. The body would not investigate or prosecute human rights violators, according to the terms under discussion. Instead, it would take a "constructive and non-confrontational approach" to promote and protect human rights. There is no provision in the draft for human rights experts to sit on the body. Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said ASEAN ministers were "generally in support" of the rules guiding the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. He said rules on the mandate and functions of the body could be strengthened five years after they go into force. "The draft terms of reference reflect a maximum consensus among ASEAN countries at this time," Kasit said of the rules. "It is important to make this human rights body credible but at the same time to take into consideration the real situation in ASEAN member countries." Such comments have drawn fire from private groups and academics. The conference is taking place amid international outrage over the trial of Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who faces up to five years in prison on charges of violating terms of her house arrest by allowing an uninvited American to stay at her home. Myanmar's human rights record is expected to feature at a meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum, which follows the Southeast Asian foreign ministers' meeting and includes 27 members including the United States, Russia and China. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who arrives on Tuesday, is expected to bring up both Myanmar and North Korea's nuclear programme. Last month, more than 200 groups urged in a letter to the drafters to make the rights body an "effective mechanism." You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/bfe84142997072a05e75935b3936c50e Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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