Breaking up with tradition, ASEAN receives UN praise

13 December 2005

Democracy activist and 1991 Nobel Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was released a few hours ago. Placed repeatedly under house arrest since her party won the National League for Democracy won 83% of the seats in the 1990 parliamentary elections but was denied power by military, she had been under the same undisrupted house arrest since May 2003.

This liberation occurred as a result of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asia Nations) two-day summit which started yesterday.
Breaking with the ASEAN tradition of non-intervention in internal affairs, the south-east Asian leaders urged Myanmar for political reforms and the freeing of detainees.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised the ASEAN leaders for their call on Myanmar.

Myanmar has been living under a political regime since 1962, and is horrifically famous for being the poorest country of South-East Asia, its complete lack of any kind of freedom, and its extended use of child soldiers in armies (official or not).

Find out more on Myanmar here, more on the ASEAN summit decision here, and more on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi here.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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