Consultation on Draft Guidelines Engagement between Indonesia Representative to theAICHR and Civil Society

January 30, 2014 - January 30, 2014

Following the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) meeting in February 2014, Indonesian Representative to AICHR invites civil society in Indonesia to participate in the national consultation to discuss the Draft Guidelines Engagement between AICHR and Civil Society.
The main agenda of the consultation in Indonesia was to obtain inputs from civil society organizations in Indonesia on the draft Guideline on AICHR’s relations with civil society, but also discussed other matters, such as the meeting agenda of the 14th AICHR Meeting in Yangon.
Priority agenda of AICHR in 2014 are:
1)    Finalizing the Guideline for AICHR’s relations to civil society (lead by Thailand)
2)    TOR Review (lead by Indonesia). There will be three consultations: a) with ASEAN organs (April 2014), b) with civil society (April 2014), c) regional and international organizations.
3)     Alignment with ASEAN organs,
4)    Continuing human rights dialogue,
5)    Finalizing thematic studies,
6)    Workshop on legal instruments (will likely organized by ASEAN Secretariat on behalf of AICHR in May 2014)
7)    Workshop on best practices on reporting human rights obligations (lead by Vietnam)
As for civil society’s inputs to the Guideline:
1)    The Guideline should be solely to address the relations between AICHR and civil society. AICHR’s relations with NHRI or other ASEAN organs should be discussed in different paper. This is because the different nature of the character of the organizations between CSO and state’s organs (NHRI or ASEAN organs).
2)    The Guideline should be the tools to encourage civil society’s engagement with AICHR in various ways. More over, the public participation should be based on the belief that those who are affected by any actions or decisions of AICHR have a right to be involved in decision-making process.
3)    The Guideline should ensure that the position of AICHR and civil society is not in subordination but rather equal.
4)    The Guideline should stipulate principles of engagement and not to take engagement with civil society as a tool to rather limit and control the process and the AICHR.
5)    The Guideline should articulate the advantages for civil society to be affiliated with AICHR. This could be the incentive to engage with AICHR. Civil society organization should also right to withdraw from its status to AICHR’s affiliation if they think there is no advantage in engaging AICHR.
6)    There should a more predicted schedule when the applications will be assessed in AICHR. Information should be given properly, sufficiently and timely.
7)    Any organizations regardless they have affiliation status or not with AICHR should be able to submit their written statements, attend AICHR seminar or public discussion and organize parallel events along with AICHR’s meetings.
8)    There is a need to clarify the motivation behind the type of participation arenas (consultation, dialogue, interface meeting, seminar, etc).