JAKARTA, 28 April 2014 – The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened its 15th Meeting, at the ASEAN Secretariat from 22 – 24 and 26 – 27 April 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 had an extensive agenda which featured discussions with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) and the representatives of the Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD).
The Meeting adopted the AICHR Priority Programmes/Activities for 2015, the Concept Paper and budget of the AICHR Regional Workshop on the Reporting obligations experience and best practices to be held on 3 – 4 July in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, and the Concept Note of the Regional Consultation on the Review of the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the AICHR to be held on 27 – 28 June in Bangkok, Thailand. The AICHR also finalised their Annual Report 2014, in preparation for submission to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) in August 2014. The AICHR also agreed to formulate their inputs to the efforts undertaken by the ASEAN Coordinating Council-Working Group (ACCWG) on the drafting of the ASEAN Post-2015 Vision.
In their annual interface meeting with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the AICHR and the Secretary-General exchanged thoughts on the possible interim measures that could be undertaken to strengthen the unit at the ASEAN Secretariat supporting the work of the AICHR. The AICHR informed the Secretary-General of their priorities and planned activities for 2014 and 2015, which include the regional consultations on the review of the TOR of AICHR. The inputs from the regional consultations would be consolidated for the AICHR’s consideration at their meeting in Singapore in July 2014. The AICHR discussed the drafting of the convention on prevention and elimination of violence against women. The Secretary-General shared the developments with regards to the Post-2015 Vision and the activities to celebrate the ASEAN Community 2015.
The AICHR met with the CPR as part of their annual regular interaction since 2010 to strengthen the cooperation between the two ASEAN organs. The two bodies discussed the development of the ASEAN Post-2015 Vision and the celebrations for the ASEAN Community 2015. The CPR has been mandated to compile the list of activities to celebrate the welcoming of the ASEAN Community in 2015, which can be undertaken at both the regional and national level. The AICHR also explored the possibility of conducting another joint activity with the CPR in 2015 on the socialization of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) to the ASEAN Community Councils.
The AICHR met with focal points from the Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD) to discuss how the two bodies can concretely work together. The AICHR is interested to work with the SOMSWD on the issue of social protection, the rights and welfare of persons with disabilities and the elderly, especially the operationalization of the SOMSWD’s ASEAN Declaration on Social Protection, Bali Declaration on the Enhancement of the Role and Participation of the Persons with Disabilities on ASEAN Community and the Mobilisation Framework of the ASEAN Decade of Persons with Disabilities (2011-2020).
The Meeting expressed their appreciation to the ASEAN Secretariat for the hospitality and excellent arrangements. The AICHR plans to conduct a one day meeting in June 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand, back-to-back with the second regional consultation on the AICHR’s contribution to the review of the TOR.
The AICHR and ACWC Consultation Meeting
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JAKARTA, 28 April 2014 – In an effort to foster greater engagement and functional cooperation, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) held a consultation meeting with the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) on 25 April 2014 at the ASEAN Secretariat. This was the second meeting between the two human rights mechanisms in ASEAN after their first meeting in November 2011, in Bali, Indonesia. The consultation meeting was co-chaired by H.E. U Kyaw Tint Swe, the Chair of the AICHR and H.E.Datin Paduka Intan Md. Kassim, the Chair of the ACWC.
The AICHR and ACWC discussed the implementation of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Elimination of Violence Against Children in ASEAN. The AICHR and ACWC also exchanged views on possible areas and mechanisms for cross sectoral cooperation and coordination.
Joint collaboration through the AICHR’s and ACWC’s respective work plans, the commonalities as well as possible joint programmes, projects and activities corresponding to the commitments in both Declarations was explored. The AICHR and ACWC identified four priority areas of cooperation, namely trafficking in persons especially women and children, disability, education, and gender, peace and security.
The AICHR and ACWC agreed to functional cooperation and better coordination to move forward towards strategic partnership, including joint activities and information sharing on human rights.
The Consultation Meeting concluded with a discussion between AICHR and the ACWC with the Regional Programme Manager of UN Women to discuss the possibility and modality of support from the UN Women on the identified functional cooperation programmes, projects and activities.
The consultation meeting is the first step for the two bodies to foster better cohesion and to work together for the promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of ASEAN. Future meetings of the two bodies will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.
Young ASEAN Leaders Put Ideas into Action
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KUALA LUMPUR, 28 April 2014 – More than 100 young Southeast Asian leaders aged 18 to 35 from ten ASEAN Member States attended the opening ceremony of the “Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Generation-Ideas into Action” workshop held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last week. H.E. Dr. AKP Mochtan, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs, emphasised that one of the purposes of ASEAN is “to promote a people-oriented ASEAN in which all sectors of society are encouraged to participate in, and benefit from, the process of ASEAN integration and community building. This highlights a very strong societal focus on ASEAN development, underlining the intent to raise the quality of life of its peoples through participatory approach. The call for participation applies also for the youth, which is one of the most valuable assets we have,” DSG Mochtan said at the Welcome Dinner session.
The focus of the YSEALI workshop is to build leadership skills among young Southeast Asians by giving them management tools to tackle what they have identified as their generation’s greatest challenges: civic engagement, education, economic development, and environmental protection. During the workshop, participants developed ideas to improve social and economic conditions in their communities and forge new partnerships with other young leaders from neighbouring countries to jointly carry out community projects.
The YSEALI workshop also gave participants the opportunity to learn about the U.S.-ASEAN partnership and develop skills in project management, marketing, and financial management.
The young Southeast Asian Leaders participating in the workshop were guided by mentors with experience in rural and organizational development, civil society leadership, environmental engineering, economic empowerment through entrepreneurship, and youth empowerment. Among these mentors were the Managing Director of Teach for Malaysia, the Executive Director of MyShelter Foundation, and the Co-Founder of GenYnot.
The workshop, funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by StartupMalaysia.org, is the inaugural training program under President Obama’s YSEALI. The opening ceremony was attended by U.S. Department of State Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel, U.S. Ambassador Joseph Y. Yun, the Malaysian Minister of Youth and Sports YB Encik Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, the Malaysian Secretary General of Treasury, Ministry of Finance and Chairman of MaGIC Ybhg Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, and Ambassadors to Malaysia of ASEAN countries.
More information on the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) can be found online atyoungsoutheastasianleaders.state.gov.
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Click here for the full speech of DSG Mochtan.
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