The Special Meeting of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was convened on 2 – 3 July 2016 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Prior to this, the AICHR had conducted its 2ndRegional Dialogue on the Mainstreaming of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from 29 June – 1 July, 2016. During the Meeting, the AICHR reviewed the progress of its work since their last meeting held at the ASEAN Secretariat in April 2016 and finalized its Annual Report to be submitted to ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting. They discussed new projects such as the AICHR Judicial Colloquium on the Sharing of Good Practices regarding International Human Rights Law and Human Rights Cases in Domestic Courts.
The AICHR met with the representatives of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) and the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD) to discuss possible joint cooperation. A key outcome of this interface was the agreement to regularize the interactions by meeting annually to further enhance synergy between the three bodies on their programmes. In addition, the AICHR approved in principle the establishment of a task force with a mandate to develop a regional action plan to mainstream the rights of persons with disabilities in the ASEAN Community.
The AICHR also met with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to explore future collaboration to promote and support human rights work in the region.
The Meeting expressed its appreciation to the Government of Thailand for the gracious hospitality and excellent arrangements for the meeting. The next meeting of the AICHR will take place on 23 to 24 July 2016 in Vientiane, Lao PDR where they will have an interface with the ASEAN Foreign Ministers.