Press Release: Advocating for a More Constructive Engagement with Stakeholders, and a Fond Farewell

The Nineteenth (19th) Meeting of the

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

27 – 29 November 2015

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Indonesia reaffirmed its position in encouraging the AICHR to continue engaging constructively with stakeholders in the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN. Despite being the final meeting of the year, and the farewell meeting for most Representatives (including himself), Rafendi Djamin continued his active role to advocate various issues as the Representative of Indonesia to the Commission. As head of the Indonesian Delegation during the 19th Meeting of the AICHR, Rafendi re-tabled several proposed activities, and put forward a new initiative for the AICHR to be carried out in 2016.

Indonesia, in collaboration with Thailand, re-proposed two (2) Thematic Studies to be carried out – namely on the Right to Life, with focus on safeguarding the protection of the rights of people facing death penalty; and on the Juvenile Justice System, with a view to develop guidelines/framework on the regional juvenile justice system that could be referred to by ASEAN Member States in their own judicial system. Rafendi Djamin hoped that the incoming new Representative of Indonesia would carry on the negotiations to implement the aforementioned Thematic Studies, in collaboration with the Representative of Thailand.

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Following up on the recommendations of the recent successful AICHR-SOMTC Joint Workshop on Trafficking in Persons and Human Rights in Yogyakarta, Indonesia has proposed for an “AICHR Annual Consultation on Human Rights-based Approach on the Implementation of the ACTIP and its ASEAN Plan of Action (APA)”. The consultation aims for collating best practices on human rights-based approach in preventing, protecting and rehabilitating victims of trafficking in persons as well as providing a forum for AICHR and relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies to constructively engage with the Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) and contribute in the development of the roadmap on implementation of the ACTIP and APA. The proposal was supported in principle by the meeting and Indonesia was applauded for the for its initiative as well as for the successful convening of the Workshop in Jogjakarta.

Indonesia, as a member of screening panel, called on the endorsement of all application by the CSOs for Consultative Relationship with AICHR. Indonesia is of the view that critics by the CSO could be used as a motivation for AICHR to further progress and therefore should not be the basis for not accepting the application. The sixteen (16) applications by CSOs for Consultative Relationship with the AICHR are currently pending for the AICHR’s subsequent ad-referendum approval in mid-December.

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The final day of the Meeting witnessed the handover of Chairpersonship of the AICHR from Malaysia to Lao PDR. As a parting gimmick, Rafendi Djamin presented an appreciation video, especially for the outgoing Representatives whose term ends along with the end of Malaysia’s Chairpersonship. Indonesia along with other Representatives conveyed their compliments and appreciation to all Representatives, and especially to H.E. Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for his able leadership as Chair of the AICHR, and for being the most gracious host of the final meeting of the AICHR in 2015.

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It is expected that in December 2015, or by January 2016, at least seven (7) ASEAN Member States (including Indonesia) will announce the appointment of its new Representative to the Commission. As he comes to full circle to complete his two terms as the Representative of Indonesia, Rafendi Djamin looked forward to Indonesia’s continuing role in leading the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN through the AICHR, by his incoming successor.


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