ASEAN Integration: Human Dignity and Responsibility to Humanity from a Buddhist Perspective

Lim Kooi Fong


Human beings, as individuals, are free to choose their own course of action for achieving liberation. Humans are a mindful species, and as such: human responsibilities and human rights should complement, not supersede one another.  Emphasizing social and moral responsibility must not lead to a removal of that basic intuition of human rights that seeks legal protection for the individual’s freedom of self-determination.  On the other hand this right cannot prevail without any limitations.  It finds its limits - as already stated in the Human Rights Declaration from 1948 - at the right of others and “the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare”.  Community wellbeing must not be crushed by unfettered individual liberty.  This is the basis and foundation for the mindful development of a healthy and sustainable integrated ASEAN community.   

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