ASEAN human rights body and stakeholders discussed roadmap for a regional framework on environmental rights
BANGKOK, 29 September 2022 – The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) conducted the Coordination Meeting to Develop a Regional Framework on Environmental Rights in ASEAN on modalities of work on 23 September, via videoconference.
In collaboration with the ASEAN Senior Officials on Environment (ASOEN), AICHR has promoted the work on linkages between human rights and the environment since 2014.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Ekkaphab Phanthavong commended AICHR’s initiatives to improvements of the environment, human rights and sustainable development in ASEAN. He shared the view that the development of a framework on environmental rights in ASEAN should aim to complement the implementation of existing ASEAN frameworks on environment and underlined the need for strong engagement and collaboration among AICHR, relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies (ASBs) and stakeholders.
The Coordination Meeting furthered the discussions at the Inception Workshop for Preparation of a Work Plan to Develop a Regional Declaration on Environmental Rights in ASEAN took place on 16 June 2022. The Meeting deliberated the proposed key elements of the regional framework on environmental rights, and the modalities of work for development of a regional framework that ensure a holistic approach and inclusive representation of ASBs from three Community pillars, i.e., APSC, ASCC and AEC. The importance of representation by relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies and entities as well as engagement and consultation with multi-stakeholders throughout the process was also underlined. About 40 representatives from ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Sectoral Bodies, Civil Society Organisations, United Nations agencies and academic institutions attended.
International experts on human rights and the environment also provided evidence-based support on the framework for both procedural and substantive environmental rights, as well as key elements of a framework on environmental rights which ensure gender integration and social inclusion, access to information, access to remedies and participation in decision-making, among others.
This series of coordination meetings in 2022 has been benefited from the support and collaboration with the UN agencies, including the United Nations Environment Programme, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.