Phnom Penh – The Association of South-East Asian Nations adopted a declaration of human rights Sunday despite concern that it would fall short of international standards.

Leaders from the 10-member bloc signed the declaration on the first day of the 21st ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

“This certainly can be used to monitor the practice, the protection, the promotion of human rights here in the ASEAN countries,” secretary general Surin Pitsuwan said.

“It’s an important benchmark for ASEAN to be kept honest in terms of its human rights obligations,” said Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.//DPA