Joint Press Release of Interface Meeting between the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD)

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) held its Interface Meeting with the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD) on 10 July 2023 via videoconference. The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Wahyuningrum, Chair of AICHR and Representative of Indonesia to AICHR and Mr. Chua Choon Hwa, Representative of Malaysia and the Chair of SOMSWD.

AICHR and SOMSWD welcomed the strengthened cooperation and growing engagement over the past years between the two bodies on the rights of persons with disabilities, the rights of the child, the rights of older persons, the rights of vulnerable groups in ASEAN, and poverty eradication for the enhanced social welfare and development.

AICHR and SOMSWD underlined the importance of ensuring synergy and coherence in the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN, and reaffirmed their commitment and collective efforts to enhancing alignment of work across relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies in the implementation of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and collective efforts to address the challenges of ageing in the context of ASEAN.

AICHR and SOMSWD updated each other on their work plans, respectively the AICHR Five-Year Work Plan 2021-2025 and the SOMSWD Work Plan 2021-2025, as well as the programmes and initiatives to be implemented in 2023 to advance the protection of social welfare and rights of vulnerable groups in ASEAN.

The Meeting was updated on AICHR planned activities in 2023-2024, which include the Regional Consultation on the Follow-up of the Mid-term Review and Progress of the Enabling Masterplan, and the AICHR Workshop on Poverty Eradication and Economic, Social, Cultural Rights in the context of AHRD and SDGs.

Meanwhile, SOMSWD informed of the planned activities in 2023, namely Mid-term Review of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2021-2025, Roll-out of the ASEAN Regional Action Plan to Implement the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Ageing: Empowering Older Persons in ASEAN, ASEAN ICT Forum 2023 in line with the implementation of the Regional Plan of Action for the Protection of Children from All Forms of Online Exploitation and Abuse in ASEAN (ASEAN RPA on COEA), and the implementation and monitoring of the Road Map to Implement the Ha Noi Declaration on Strengthening Social Work Towards a Responsive and Cohesive ASEAN Community, particularly for social workers in the field of justice system.

AICHR and SOMSWD reaffirmed their commitment toward strengthening cross-pillar and cross-sectoral coordination, as well as collaboration in advancing the promotion and protection of human rights in the region. Further, the two bodies are determined to foster strong partnerships with governments, civil society, private sector, and all relevant stakeholders in their advocacy and efforts in building ASEAN an inclusive, sustainable, harmonious, and socially responsible community that promotes high quality of life, equitable access to opportunities for all, and promotes and protects human rights.


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