Press Release – 15th Meeting of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened its 15th Meeting, at the ASEAN Secretariat from 22 – 24 and 26 – 27 April 2014. The meeting was chaired by H.E. U Kyaw Tint Swe, the Representative of Myanmar to AICHR and the Chair of the AICHR. The Meeting had an extensive agenda which featured discussions with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) and the representatives of the Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD).

The Meeting adopted the AICHR Priority Programmes/Activities for 2015, the Concept Paper and budget of the AICHR Regional Workshop on the Reporting obligations experience and best practices to be held on 3 – 4 July in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, and the Concept Note of the Regional Consultation on the Review of the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the AICHR to be held on 27 – 28 June in Bangkok, Thailand. The AICHR also finalised their Annual Report 2014, in preparation for submission to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) in August 2014. The AICHR also agreed to formulate their inputs to the efforts undertaken by the ASEAN Coordinating Council-Working Group (ACCWG) on the drafting of the ASEAN Post-2015 Vision.

In their annual interface meeting with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the AICHR and the Secretary-General exchanged thoughts on the possible interim measures that could be undertaken to strengthen the unit at the ASEAN Secretariat supporting the work of the AICHR. The AICHR informed the Secretary-General of their priorities and planned activities for 2014 and 2015, which include the regional consultations on the review of the TOR of AICHR. The inputs from the regional consultations would be consolidated for the AICHR’s consideration at their meeting in Singapore in July 2014. The AICHR discussed the drafting of the convention on prevention and elimination of violence against women. The Secretary-General shared the developments with regards to the Post-2015 Vision and the activities to celebrate the ASEAN Community 2015.

The AICHR met with the CPR as part of their annual regular interaction since 2010 to strengthen the cooperation between the two ASEAN organs. The two bodies discussed the development of the ASEAN Post-2015 Vision and the celebrations for the ASEAN Community 2015. The CPR has been mandated to compile the list of activities to celebrate the welcoming of the ASEAN Community in 2015, which can be undertaken at both the regional and national level. The AICHR also explored the possibility of conducting another joint activity with the CPR in 2015 on the socialization of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) to the ASEAN Community Councils.

The AICHR met with focal points from the Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD) to discuss how the two bodies can concretely work together. The AICHR is interested to work with the SOMSWD on the issue of social protection, the rights and welfare of persons with disabilities and the elderly, especially the operationalization of the SOMSWD’s ASEAN Declaration on Social Protection, Bali Declaration on the Enhancement of the Role and Participation of the Persons with Disabilities on ASEAN Community and the Mobilisation Framework of the ASEAN Decade of Persons with Disabilities (2011-2020).

The Meeting expressed their appreciation to the ASEAN Secretariat for the hospitality and excellent arrangements. The AICHR plans to conduct a one day meeting in June 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand, back-to-back with the second regional consultation on the AICHR’s contribution to the review of the TOR.