In accordance with the ASEAN Charter the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) is tasked to “develop an ASEAN Human Rights Declaration with a view to establishing a framework for human rights cooperation through various ASEAN Conventions and other instruments dealing with human rights” (Article 4.2, TOR AICHR).
The Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta supports the HRWG in contributing to the process of drafting the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration in order to make it as robust as possible. The idea is that the draft should uphold international human rights standards as prescribed by the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and the other relevant international instruments to which ASEAN Member States are parties; to be added value to the existing international standards and bringing home their relevance to the South-East Asia region; and as the basis for improving cooperation in the region to promote and protect human rights.
In his remarks, Ambassador Homme highlighted that a ASEAN Human Rights Declaration should aim to go beyond individual constitutions and add value for states in their efforts to improve their ability to secure human rights for their citizens, as this is important to succeed in creating stability and further prosperity for the people in Asia. Furthermore the Ambassador conveyed the Norwegian view that human rights are universal values which almost all countries in the world in principle have acknowledged, accepted and agreed too. For Norwegian foreign policy, human rights is about respect for and follow up of the international treaties to which we are parties and have obligations. Last but not least Ambassador Homme welcomed the Indonesian efforts to promote democracy and human rights in the region and he also underlined the importance of the bilateral human rights dialogue between Norway and Indonesia, in 2012 in its 11th year. Please find the Ambassador’s speech here.
Other speakers at the discussion included Pak Ade Padmo Sarwono, Pak Ali Syafaat and Dr. Satya Arinanto and participants from
Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia and Indonesia.