Press Release 36th Meeting of AICHR, 28 February – 3 March 2023, ASEAN Secretariat
The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened the 36th Meeting of AICHR from 28 February to 3 March 2023 at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta, Indonesia. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Wahyuningrum, Representative of Indonesia to AICHR, and was attended by Representatives/Alternate Representatives of AICHR, and the ASEAN Secretariat.
The Meeting welcomed Indonesia as the Chair of AICHR in 2023. In her opening remarks, the Chair highlighted the ASEAN deliverables in 2023 with human rights implications, as well as possible linkage and contribution of AICHR’s work to advance human rights promotion and protection efforts in ASEAN.
The Meeting was updated on recent developments on human rights in the region including new laws and regulations at the national level related to human rights, as well as human rights initiatives by ASEAN Member States as presented by the AICHR Representatives of Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Viet Nam.
AICHR continues implementing its Five-Year Work Plan 2021-2025 (FYWP) and annual Priority Programmes/Activities with a focus on business and human rights, children rights, environment and human rights, rights of persons with disabilities, among others. The AICHR Youth Debate on Human Rights, the ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue 2023, as well as the 5th ASEAN-EU Policy Dialogue on Human Rights, and other engagements with stakeholders and external partners are planned for 2023.
AICHR also adopted the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the ASEAN Environmental Rights Working Group (AER Working Group). The AER Working Group will be tasked to develop a regional framework on environmental rights.
Institutional matters were deliberated, including (i) the handling of communications to AICHR, and (ii) the strategy in the implementation of the AICHR FYWP 2021-2025 and preparation of the mid-term review of AICHR FYWP. AICHR unanimously agreed to invite Timor-Leste as an observer in its forthcoming meetings.
At this Meeting, the AICHR Representatives held their annual interface with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, who shared their views and deliberated on AICHR’s work for the advancement of human rights cooperation and dialogue in ASEAN.
AICHR also held its annual interface with the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) with discussions focused on strengthening the cooperation and collaboration between AICHR and CPR on the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN. Representatives of Timor-Leste were invited by the CPR and AICHR, who attended the AICHR-CPR interface meeting as observers.
AICHR held the 3rd Interface Meeting with the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), and the 1st Interface Meeting with the ASEAN Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW), which respectively discussed priorities and alignment of work across AICHR and the ASEAN sectoral bodies in promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN.
AICHR met with the European Union and Australia respectively to discuss cooperation programmes and activities in line with the framework of the AICHR FYWP 2021-2025 and the work plan of AICHR in 2023.
Upon the invitation of the Government of Indonesia for a Country Learning Visit to Indonesia, AICHR visited the City of Bogor on 2 March 2023. During the visit, AICHR Representatives met with Drs. Dedie A. Rachim, M.A., Deputy Mayor of the City of Bogor, and had dialogue on various human rights issues with stakeholders in Bogor.
The Meeting expressed its appreciation to AICHR Indonesia and the ASEAN Secretariat for the excellent arrangements of the meeting.