Representatives of civil society organizations from nine ASEAN nations have been meeting for the past two days in Bangkok, seeking ways to fast-track implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in what has to seem like an uphill struggle.
All nine countries have completed the first cycle of the convention against corruption implementation review, covering criminalization and law enforcement and international cooperation, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, which is hosting the event. Indonesia and Malaysia have completed the second cycle and Thailand, Vietnam and Laos are at work doing the same.
Unfortunately, the CSOs as the organizations are known are fighting against deeply entrenched corruption. The countries sending reformers to Bangkok are Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. Except for Singapore, which has its own problems with authoritarian ism, the record might make observers into skeptics.