The Special Meeting 01/2019 of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was convened from 29 July to 1 August 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Prof. Amara Pongsapich, Representative of Thailand to the AICHR, and was attended by AICHR Representatives from all ASEAN Member States

The AICHR discussed progress of the implementation of the Priority Programmes/Activities of AICHR 2019 which covers a wide range of issues, including the right to education, children’s rights, the rights of persons with disabilities, environmental impact assessment, human rights and the sustainable development goals, freedom of opinion, expression and information, among others. The AICHR also discussed the institutional matters in relation to the cooperation with ASEAN stakeholders towards mainstreaming human rights in all three pillars of ASEAN, and the strategic planning process for the development of the AICHR’s Five-Year Work Plan 2021-2025.

The AICHR held its annual interface with the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) on 30 July 2019. At the Interface, the AICHR presented the Annual Report 2019 of the AICHR, which highlighted the achievements of AICHR as well as the future directions to further strengthen its capacity and fulfill its human rights promotion and protection mandates. In her Statement, the Chair of AICHR highlighted the notable works of the AICHR deriving from the first decade of its establishment, i.e. the development of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) and the Phnom Penh Statement on the adoption of the AHRD in 2012, and the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities adopted in 2018. These three important documents reflect the key milestones in an evolutionary process that the AICHR has advanced its human rights cooperation framework in contributing towards ASEAN Community building. The AICHR Annual Report 2019 could be accessed through this link.

The AICHR also met with the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism (WG-AHRM) and exchanged views on how the Working Group could assist the AICHR in discharging its mandate with a view to further enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN.

The Meeting expressed its appreciation to the AICHR Thailand for the excellent arrangements of the Meeting. The AICHR will convene its next meeting in November 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.