The meeting, held from May 22-26, gave updates on recent developments on human rights in the region, including new laws and regulations at the national level related to human rights, and human rights initiatives by ASEAN member states as presented by the AICHR Representatives of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The flags of ASEAN and its member states

Participants discussed the implementation of AICHR’s Priority Programs/Activities with a focus on business and human rights, the environment and climate change, the right to education, rights of persons with disabilities, children’s and women’s rights, disinformation, hate speech, and human rights. Also discussed was victim-oriented protection to counter radicalization and violent extremism, prevention, and countering torture, among other topics.

In preparation for the annual interface between the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and AICHR to be held in July, the zero drafts of the AICHR Annual Report 2023, the Statement of AICHR to the 56th AMM, and the Priority Programs/Activities of AICHR 2024 were put on the table. Preparations for the AICHR - U.N. Dialogue on Human Rights, AICHR Study Visit to Switzerland, and the 5th ASEAN - E.U. Policy Dialogue on Human Rights were also deliberated.

On May 24, the AICHR met with the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting Responsible for Information (SOMRI), represented by SOMRI Vietnam, for discussions on priorities and initiatives pertaining to human rights, information, and media. It also met with representatives of the ASEAN University Network – Human Rights Education (AUN HRE) to discuss further cooperation in the promotion of human rights and peace in higher education in Southeast Asia.

The AICHR convened other interfaces with stakeholders and dialogue partners, which include a meeting with the Southeast Asia National Human Rights Institutions Forum (SEANF), and a meeting with the U.S., which discussed possible areas of cooperation in 2023 and beyond.

On May 25, the AICHR exchanged views and continued to assess the general concept of the proposed “ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Institutionalizing ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue” following the briefing on the proposed elements as Indonesia’s chairmanship initiative presented by the Director for ASEAN Political-Security Cooperation of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On May 26, the commission held its fourth Interface with the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) with Consultative Relationship with AICHR to further promote an enabling environment for meaningful and constructive engagement and interaction between AICHR and the accredited CSOs for the promotion and protection of human rights.

Source: VNA