Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government continues to encourage the promotion of democracy and human rights in the Southeast Asian region, Foreign Ministry Director General of ASEAN Cooperation, Jose Tavares, said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

"If you look at democracy and human rights in ASEAN, there have always been ups and downs. I can proudly say Indonesia remains atop. We continue to encourage respect for democracy and human rights in ASEAN," he said.

He made the remarks during a public discussion titled "A Debriefing on the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits: The Scorecard in Pushing Forward for ASEAN Centrality".

ASEAN and its member states have adopted a guidance to respect human rights, namely ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. The declaration explains ASEAN member states` commitment to human rights for their respective population.

"The problem is the practice of upholding human rights in ASEAN. One of the problems is handling drug crimes in ASEAN member states," he said.

To that end, Joae opined that ASEAN member states must begin to step forward for democracy and human rights.

He said the Indonesian government has always made efforts to improve respect for democracy and human rights in ASEAN by encouraging ASEAN member states to report track record on developments in human rights for discussion in ASEAN.

Reporting by Yuni Arisandy, Suharto

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