The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened its Special Meeting 01/2020 from 25 to 27 August 2020 via videoconference. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Amb. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thai Yen Huong, Representative of Viet Nam to the AICHR and was attended by Representatives/Alternate Representatives of the AICHR, and the ASEAN Secretariat.

At this Meeting, the AICHR discussed modalities and measures to ensure the continuity of AICHR’s work in the promotion and protection of human rights amidst COVID-19. The thematic areas for implementation in 2020 have been adjusted to focus on business and human rights, right to health, children’s rights, right of migrant workers, and right to life. The AICHR also deliberated strategies, including the conduct of online activities for the enhancement of its outreach and visibility as well as the representation of AICHR at international and regional fora and events.

The AICHR Representatives held their annual interface with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi, and deliberated the role of AICHR in contribution to the whole-of-ASEAN Community responses in mitigating the impact of the pandemic and to the ASEAN comprehensive recovery plan. The Secretary-General of ASEAN reaffirmed the ASEAN Secretariat’s support to AICHR in their work towards achieving the targets set forth in AICHR’s work plans of 2020 and beyond.

At the annual meeting between the AICHR and the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR), the discussions focused on cross-sectoral and cross-pillar collaboration in advancing human rights, necessary support to the implementation of the Five-Year Work Plan of the AICHR 2021-2025, and possible AICHR-CPR collaboration.

The AICHR also met with Australia and the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism to discuss potential areas for future cooperation of mutual interest under the framework of the Five-Year Work Plan of the AICHR 2021-2025.

The Meeting expressed its appreciation to AICHR Viet Nam for the excellent arrangements of the virtual meeting.