Special Meeting of AICHR and the Meeting of the AMM with the AICHR

6 – 9 August 2014, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened a Special Meeting, in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on 6 – 9 August 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 focused on the preparations for the meeting of the AICHR with the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM). The AICHR also adopted several concept papers regarding their activities for 2014: Follow Up Workshop on the Post Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2015 and Human Rights; AICHR-SOMTC Joint Workshop on Human Rights-based Approach to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; Regional Workshop on Comparative Domestication of Human Rights Treaty Obligations with National Law in ASEAN; AICHR Workshop on Human Rights Regional Mechanisms; AICHR Workshop on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR); and AICHR’s Training Course/Training of Trainers (TOT) on ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism for ASEAN Member States Law Enforcement Officers.

The AICHR also continued discussion on its contribution to the review of the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the AICHR. The Meeting agreed to a set of proposals on strengthening the work of the AICHR on human rights promotion and protection.

On 8 August 2014, the AICHR met the AMM to submit their Annual Report 2014 and the AICHR Priority Programmes/Activities 2015 with its annual budget. The report of the first completed AICHR thematic study on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Human Rights and the AICHR’s inputs to the Central Elements of the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision was also presented.

At this Interface Meeting between the AMM and the AICHR, the Chair of AICHR informed the Foreign Ministers that it had two regional consultations on the review of the TOR. The Foreign Ministers were informed that during these consultations there were numerous calls to enhance the balance between promotion and protection mandates and to strengthen the AICHR’s cooperation on human rights with all stakeholders including civil society organisations. The AICHR also reiterated its request for the establishment of a dedicated secretariat within the ASEAN Secretariat to support its work.

The Chair of the AMM expressed appreciation to the AICHR for the efforts made to implement its Five Year Work Plan and the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. He stressed that as the overarching institution on human rights, the AICHR should continue to enhance coordination and consultation with ASEAN bodies, human rights mechanisms and other stakeholders so that the collective endeavours of the AICHR will bring greater benefit.

The Foreign Ministers looked forward to receiving the assessment of the AICHR’s work and the AICHR’s contribution to the review of the TOR. The AMM commended the initiative of the AICHR to conduct regional consultations with various stakeholders towards this effort. The Foreign Ministers took note of the AICHR’s input to the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision in which human rights should be a central element and incorporated into the three ASEAN community pillars. Lastly, the AMM took note of the request of the AICHR to have a dedicated secretariat.

The AICHR will hold their 16th Meeting on 3 – 5 October 2014, in Yangon, Myanmar. The Meeting thanked the Representative of Myanmar and the Government of Myanmar for the hospitality and excellent arrangements for the meeting.

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