UN officials meet with Aang San Suu Kyi; Suu Kyi’s son granted visa to enter Burma; Economic growth slows down in Thailand and Malaysia; Vietnam, Russia to boost cooperation in scientific research;
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  • Aung San Suu Kyi met on November 27 with United Nations official. Later, during interaction with the media, Aung San Suu Kyi praised the talks with Vijay Nambiar, chief of staff for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The Nobel peace prize laureate has been vocal about pursuing democratic reforms since her release on November 13. However, she has also been careful not to verbally challenge Burma's ruling Generals.1

    Aung San Suu Kyi’s youngest son is meeting her mother for the first time in 10 years after he was granted a visa to enter Burma. Kim Aris, 33, travelled from his home in London to Bangkok this month when possibilities emerged of his mother's impending release, however, his application for a Burmese visa was initially denied.2

    According to the recent reports, the economies of Thailand and Malaysia have grown the least in the past three quarters. In Thailand, it happened due to the fact that exports eased and agricultural output slowed down. Malaysia's GDP rose 5.3 per cent in the three months through September from the corresponding period a year earlier, after expanding 8.9 per cent in the second quarter, Bank Negara Malaysia noted in a statement. From the previous quarter, the Malaysian economy grew by 2.4 per cent.3

    On November 26, the 23rd meeting of the Joint Committee for the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre (VRTC) began in Moscow. Participants at the meeting listened to a report on the results of activities in 2010 and discussed a scientific technology plan for 21 projects in 2011. There was also an agreement on developing exploration projects and co-operating with other Russian and Vietnamese organizations.4

    Explaining the ASEAN’s position on the current situation in Korean Peninsula, the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa said that the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) is not advanced enough to interfere with the current situation. He added that “ASEAN ARF is already several years old, but the forum is not advanced enough to deal with these types of situations,” adding that this security and political forum serves more for discussion of conflict prevention and conflict resolution.5

    The Chair of ASEAN, Pham Gia Khiem has called on the parties concerned in the artillery shelling exchange on the Korean Peninsula to exercise restraint and resolve disputes by peacefully. He said that ASEAN is concerned over the artillery shelling exchange that occurred on November 23, 2010 on the Korean Peninsula and regrets the loss of innocent lives and damage to property. He also said that ASEAN was opposed to the use or threat of force in international relations.6

    The 7th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development is being held in Brunei Darussalam. This year's meeting which has been themed as ‘Strengthening the Family Institution: Caring for the Elderly', discussed several issues related to strengthening the family institution which focused on issues pertaining to the elderly in the ASEAN countries. The meeting adopted a joint declaration known as 'The Brunei Declaration on strengthening family Institution: Care for the Elderly'.7