ASIATODAY.ID, JAKARTA – Countries in Southeast Asia place the issue of human rights as a common agenda in strengthening solidity in the region.
“ASEAN is increasingly showing maturity to have honest and open dialogue, without naming and shaming. Through this Dialogue, we seek to bridge differences, build understanding, and forge a path towards meaningful change.” Said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Retno Marsudi in her Key Speech at the 5th ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue (AHRD) 2023 which was initiated and held by Indonesia at ASEAN Headquarters, Jakarta, Monday (6/11/2023).
The 5th AHRD meeting is a continuation of the ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue which was previously held by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in 2013, 2014, 2021 and 2022, as well as transitioning into a regular ASEAN activity as institutionalized through the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on the ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue which was adopted by ASEAN Leaders at the 43rd ASEAN Summit in September 2023.
Furthermore, Retno Marsudi elaborated on the three main things that are the focus of AHRD, namely:
First, the importance of maintaining a culture of dialogue. This is what is manifested through holding regular ASEAN Human Rights Dialogues in accordance with the commitment of ASEAN Leaders at the 43rd ASEAN Summit.
Second, strengthening the institutional framework for human rights issues in the region. The ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue needs to have guidance in discussing sensitive human rights issues constructively and appropriately through the development of the AHRD terms of reference.
Third, promote inclusivity by ensuring the involvement of human rights stakeholders. The participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and national human rights institutions in this Dialogue shows the evolution of ASEAN’s progress which needs to continue to be maintained and fostered.
The dialogue was constructive with the active involvement of participants in sharing views and recommendations for increasing cooperation and capacity to overcome current and future human rights challenges in the region, including various issues such as religious freedom, migrant workers’ rights, business and human rights, the environment. , the rights of children, women and people with disabilities.
AHRD is a forum for discussion and exchange of views regarding human rights developments and challenges in the region, including efforts to promote and protect the human rights of each AMS.
Different from the previous ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue, this Dialogue was not only attended by representatives of ASEAN Member States, AICHR Representatives from all ASEAN member countries as well as national human rights institutions, but was also attended by stakeholders, especially CSOs as a reflection of ASEAN which is more community-oriented. (AT Network)
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