Why Asean Should not Be Awarded The Nobel Peace Prize

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Words: 1362 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Apr 11, 2022

Words: 1362|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Apr 11, 2022

The word 'peace' means freedom from war and violence, especially people who live in the community together happily without disagreements. The Nobel Peace Prize is the prize that has been awarded to individuals and organizations that provided the improvement of peace, human rights, and democracy. For example, the European Union (EU) received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012. The union played a significant role for over six decades in transforming most of Europe from a continent of war to a peaceful continent (Nobel Media, 2012). According to the ASEAN Miracle, the authors mentioned that ASEAN's success in ensuring peace in the world's most diverse region should deserve a Nobel Peace Prize being a catalyst for peace in the region. However, the authors have not mentioned the situation beyond interstate conflicts, which are intrastate conflicts. ASEAN still has a weak mechanism to solve the problems and disputes within the region. Therefore, in this essay, I will discuss three main reasons why I indeed disagree with the statement that ASEAN should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize: pseudo-democracy, internal religious conflicts, and human rights violations within member state's countries.

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The first reason to support that ASEAN should not be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is pseudo-democracy. Pseudo-democracy is a word that describes a political system called itself democratic but offers no real choice for the citizens. For example, the lack of choice comes from the limited number of diverse parties available for a vote. Singapore is one of the excellent examples. The People's Action Party (PAP) has governed Singapore continuously since 1959. Since then, Singapore has had only three prime ministers; the first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, his colleague Goh Chok Tong, his son Lee Hsien Loong. However, Lee Kuan Yew changed the resource-poor country into one of the world's wealthiest nations during his occupation. It was a one-state party system since then. It also has been mentioned if Singapore implemented the Western liberal democratic, they could not have been achieved (Mutalib,2000). There were many reasons why PAP easily won big in every election. There were strong government control, media censorship, oppressive laws, and civil lawsuits against the opposition. PAP gained the power to change the constitution more than 50 times due to the majority seats in parliament, such as election rules. Therefore, it is hard for the opposition parties to win the election. However, plenty of citizens support the government and do not figure out any electoral system problems. According to the PAP's ability, they offered a high living standard and eliminated corruption for the citizens. However, a more genuinely competitive election than what it used to be would improve accountability and lead to a more strong policy debate, especially during uncertain times. One-party rule is dangerous for a nation, which can lead to groupthink and arrogance (Heijmans,2020). The decision might dismiss citizen's real concerns from one-party rule. Besides, PAP also implemented the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma), which gives the government the authority to request Social media companies like Facebook to block pages if the post on that platform goes against government-issued correction. For example, some of the opposition party's members faced defamation cases toward PAP leaders and needed to pay a large amount of fine (Heijmans,2020). Therefore, pseudo-democracy is one of the reasons to support why ASEAN should not be granted the Nobel Peace Prize.

The second reason to support why ASEAN should not be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is the internal religious conflicts. Internal or subnational conflicts are the most deadly and widespread violent conflicts in Southeast Asia. It is defined as an armed conflict control of their territory, where an opposition group uses violence to conquer local political authority and self-rule(Adriano&Parks,2013). In many Southeast Asian countries, such as the Philippines, Myanmar, and Thailand, conflicts are often rooted in religious and ethnic differences and struggles over minority rights. For example, In Southern Philippines, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The conflict is considered one of the world's longest-running violent conflicts. It is rooted in the interests of land and natural resources, especially the Muslims' struggle to preserve and protect their identity (TAF,2016). Since the fourteenth century, the Muslim belief arrived at the southern island. Then, the spread of Catholicism from Spanish colonization beginning in the seventeenth century. Spaniards created the word 'Moro' to describe the Muslim population (Berkley,2013). Nowadays, the majority of Filipinos are Catholic Christians, particularly in the middle and northern regions of the country. After, the Christians came to dominate the southern island politically, economically, and culturally which created a legacy of bitterness that insists on the present day. I will mention the key events that occurred within the island. In the 1950s and 1960s, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) sought to unite Southern Muslim communities and separate them from the Philippines government. Hence, it created the full-scale civil war after Martial law's announcement by President Ferdinand Marcos in 1972. Around 160,000 casualties and destruction originated from the Mindanao conflict. However, the government and the MNLF signed an agreement. ARMM granted self-governance but not independence. The conflicts and outbreaks of violence still occur today, such as the battle of Marawi. Marawi is the capital city of Lanao del Sur, which is situated in Mindanao. In 2017, government forces attacked with local armed fighters which are Abu Sayyaf and the Maute. President Rodrigo Duterte announced martial law throughout the island and followed by the war. About 300,000 civilians were forced to leave their homes. This five months battle caused a humanitarian crisis. The entire city was destroyed. Civilians suffered from infections and waterborne diseases and limited food and medical supplies. The battle resulted in the deaths of thousands of fighters, government soldiers, and civilians (Moes,2017). Lastly, internal religious conflicts are factors that support why ASEAN should not be granted the Nobel Peace Prize.

The third reason to support why ASEAN should not be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is human rights violations. Extrajudicial killings in the Philippines is one the human rights crisis that happened in Southeast Asia. Since 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte has gained political power. He continued his murderous 'war on drugs'' and received much international criticism. According to the Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) report, 4,948 suspected drug users and dealers died during the police operation in July 2016. Moreover, thousands of people were killed by mysterious criminals (HRW,2019). For example, an activist church worker, a provincial politician, and a businessman were a victim of extrajudicial killing. They were killed by unidentified gunmen who were riding motorcycles and wearing ski masks. It has been reported around 22,983 deaths from the wars on drugs. In 2018, the government continued its actions and expanded into areas outside of the capital, such as Cebu and Bulacan's cities. Duterte mentioned that he would continue his anti-drug campaign until his term ends in 2022. Surprisingly, PDEA announced that there would be drug screening tests on teachers and students starting at ten-year-old. They said that children might have the potential to become drug users. This kind of action violated children's rights and their privacy. Additionally, police have killed dozens of children, such as killing 17-year-old Kian Lloyd Delos Santos in 2017.

A Manila court found three police guilty of the murder of 17 years old's boy. The killing was caught on surveillance cameras. Finally, human rights violations within the Philippines are factors that support why ASEAN should not be granted the Nobel Peace Prize.

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In summary, pseudo-democracy, internal religious conflicts, and human rights violations within the member state's countries are three key reasons to support why ASEAN does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. The situations that happened within the region were not considered as 'peace.' They did not have an interstate war, but the intrastate conflicts and wars still occurred within the nations. Furthermore, there was not a strong enough mechanism and framework for solving the problems and crisis, such as non-interference principles and sanctions. It is clearly seen that the norms and rules of the ASEAN, in the 21st century, is the weakness to strengthen peace, democracy, and human rights. From my perspective, there is still a long way for ASEAN to be deserved for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

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Why ASEAN Should Not Be Awarded The Nobel Peace Prize. (2022, April 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 22, 2024, from
“Why ASEAN Should Not Be Awarded The Nobel Peace Prize.” GradesFixer, 11 Apr. 2022,
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