The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) successfully convened its 22nd Meeting from 23 to 25 November 2016 in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. The Meeting was chaired by Mr. Phoukhong Sisoulath, the Representative of Lao PDR to AICHR and the Chair of AICHR for 2016.
As part of its efforts to mainstream human rights in three pillars of ASEAN, the Meeting was briefed on the outcomes of recently held AICHR activities, the AICHR-SOMTC Consultation on Human Rights-Based Approach in the Implementation of ACTIP and APA in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the AICHR Seminar on Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility on Human Rights in ASEAN in Singapore. For its efforts to realize a more inclusive ASEAN society, the Meeting also took note of the two AICHR activities pertaining to disabilities, namely the 2nd Regional Dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community and the AICHR Training Programme on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
During this three-day meeting, the Representatives of AICHR extensively discussed programmes and activities that the AICHR will undertake in 2017 to further regional cooperation on fulfilling human rights in ASEAN – related issues, which will cover issues such as the right to education, sustainable development goals, and sharing good practices regarding international human rights law; as well as the continuation of several AICHR programmes, including the AICHR youth debate, regional dialogue on disability, workshop on human rights, environment and climate change, and the AICHR-SOMTC second consultation. Further, the first AICHR Judicial Colloquium on the Sharing of Good Practices Regarding International Human Rights Law is scheduled to be held on 6 – 8 March 2017 in Kuala Lumpur. The Colloquium seeks to encourage greater peer-to-peer interaction between senior apex court judges of ASEAN Member States in line with Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Marking the end of Lao PDR’s Chairmanship of the AICHR, the Meeting concluded with the handover of the AICHR Chairmanship from the Representative of Lao PDR, Phoukhong Sisoulath, to the Temporary Representative of the Philippines, Belinda M. Ante, Ambassador of the Philippines to the Lao PDR. The Philippines will hold AICHR Chairmanship in 2017.