Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is urging members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to embrace the ideals of democracy and human rights.
In a speech marking Monday's 38th anniversary of the regional body's founding, Mr. Yudhoyono says ASEAN members should listen to the calls of their people for peace, prosperity, and accountability of their leaders.
Mr. Yudhoyono also said Burma's decision to skip its scheduled 2006 chairmanship of ASEAN is a sign of the group's "maturity."
A handful of ASEAN members had pressed Burma to pass the chair because of its failure to implement democratic reforms.
The head of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Caucus on Burma, Zaid Ibrahim, urged member governments to keep up the pressure on Burma to ensure there is a genuine effort toward democracy.
Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.