PHNOM PENH: The 35th ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) meeting was held on 21-22 June via videoconference. The meeting was chaired by the President of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC) and Representative of Cambodia to AICHR, Keo Remy, and was attended by representatives of AICHR and the ASEAN Secretariat.
According to a press release issued by the CHRC on Wednesday, 22 June, during the meeting, representatives of Indonesia and the Philippines provided updates on the recent developments and initiatives on human rights in some ASEAN Member States.
The Meeting deliberated on a number of documents, such as the Annual Report of AICHR 2022, AICHR’s Statement to the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and the AICHR Priority Programs/Activities of 2023, in preparation for the annual interface meeting between the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and AICHR Representatives to be held in August 2022.
Representatives further discussed the progress made on the preparation and implementation of AICHR programs and activities, covering areas such as environmental rights, business and human rights, right to health, trafficking in persons, the rights of the child and the ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue 2022.
Strategies on how to implement the AICHR Five-Year Work Plan 2021-2025 were also discussed, along with the recommendations from the Regional Dialogue: Self-Assessment of AICHR Progress After 10 Years.
AICHR held its annual interface with the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR), with focused discussion on strengthening the cooperation of the two bodies, and also met with the Southeast Asian National Human Rights Institutions Forum (SEANF) to explore further cooperation on thematic issues and joint activities of mutual interest.
Lastly, AICHR discussed the plan to hold the 4th ASEAN-EU Policy Dialogue on Human Rights in 2022, and all AICHR and ASEAN representatives praised AICHR Cambodia for making excellent arrangements for the meeting.
The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was initiated by ASEAN leaders at the 15th ASEAN Summit in Thailand on 23 October 2009, to demonstrate ASEAN’s commitment to pursue forward-looking strategies to strengthen regional cooperation on human rights. The AICHR is an integral part of ASEAN’s organizational structure and acts as an overarching institution responsible for promoting and protecting human rights in ASEAN.
The AICHR reports to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and holds regular meetings twice a year, and additional meetings when necessary.