Opening remarks by Mr. Rafendi Djamin, Indonesian representative for ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

    Excellencies, Ambassadors,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    At first, allow me to express my utmost gratitude to the African Commission on Human Right and Peoples’ Rights, especially to the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa for inviting me to attend this session. It is a great honor for me to be able addressing remarks in this important event, moreover, the honor also goes to the institution that I represent to, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

    As you guest here, allow me to use this unique opportunity to introduce ou to the ASEAN Human Rights body, the ASEAN Intergovernmental commission on Human Rights (AICHR) is relatively new, it was established in 2009. AICHR consists of 10 commissioners from ASEAN member states, and it is chaired by the Representative of the Member State holding the Chairmanship of ASEAN, the current Chair is held by the Representative from Brunei Darussalam.

    The establishment of AICHR itself is a reflection of the commitment all ASEAN member states to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedom of ASEAN’s people. It’s also a realization of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993

    As a new body, AICHR at its earliest stage was focusing on the institutional framework of AICHR, in this regard, we adopted the AICHR Five-Year Workplan (2010-2015), and the Guidelines on the Operations of AICHR.

    In order to set up norms in the region, we also adopted the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration in 2012. The Declaration is a milestone for the work of AICHP to set up human rights’ norms in the region. However, we also understand that actions must louder than the words, therefore the ext step will be focusing the implementation of the Declaration in order to ensure the promotion and protection the rights of the ASEAN’s People.

    We also have ongoing program to conduct thematic study, currently AICHR is undertaking two thematic study, the migration and human rights, and Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights.

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    The universality of human rights is a certainty; therefore existing regional mechanisms shall work together closely and continually. I believe my presence here is an initial step to the bigger picture of the cooperation between the African Commission on Human Rights and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and AICHR.

    Moreover, since the AICHR is relatively new as regional mechanism, AICHR can learn from ACHPR’s experiences, especially in order to promote and protect human rights. I have observed various works of ACHPR such as right of women and children, migrants and human rights, prevention of torture, economic and social rights, and rights of displaced persons; those are some issues that can be cooperated with. Personally, I will encourage all my fellow AICHR’s commissioners to increase the cooperation between ACHPR and AICHR into more substantial cooperation, especially in order to implement ASEAN Human Rights Declaration.

    I am in a view that the enhancement of the cooperation between existing regional human rights mechanisms is a part of efforts to pursue universal commitment on human rights.


    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Since all of you will have a meeting today, I will not make any delay for you to have more important and substantial discussion. Let me again send my highest appreciation for having me here



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