5th ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue: Narrowing differences, moving towards meaningful changes

WVR - The 5th ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue marks a significant development in promoting a culture of openness to develop a deeper understanding of human rights issues and challenges in ASEAN.
Đối thoại Nhân quyền ASEAN lần thứ 5
Delegates attending the 5th ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Source:asean.org)

On November 6, the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) organized the 5th ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue, 2 months after the ASEAN Leaders' Declaration on Human Rights Dialogue was adopted at 43rd ASEAN Summit.

The Delegates who attended the Dialogue comprised representatives of the ASEAN Member States (AMS), AICHR, the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN, and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) from some ASEAN members, and invited stakeholders, including the civil society organisations (CSOs) having consultative relationship with AICHR, and the ASEAN Secretariat.

During the opening session, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Retno Marsudi delivered keynote speech underscoring that the ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue signified an important milestone in ASEAN on human rights framework.

The Indonesian Foreign Minister said that the event marked a significant development in promoting a culture of openness to develop a deeper understanding of human rights issues and challenges in ASEAN and promote inclusiveness by ensuring the participation of various stakeholders. Moreover, the Dialogue on human rights helps bridge differences, build understanding and create pathways towards meaningful change.

Thematic discussions during the Dialogue covered the issues of freedom of religion and belief, protection of journalists, the rights of migrant workers, the rights of women, children, and persons with disabilities, gender balance and equality, business and human rights, human rights past abuses, death penalty, the environment and climate change…

Delegates exchanged best practices to promote and protect human rights as well as ways to overcome challenges to implement the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD); sharing experiences on AMS's accession and implementation of international human rights conventions, including reporting requirements and follow-up on recommendations, as well as their participation in the Universal Periodic Review process, etc.

In commemoration of the 11th anniversary of the AHRD on 18 November 2023 and the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Delegates reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening cooperation in promotion and protection of human rights in the region in line with the AHRD and UDHR.

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