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NEWS UPDATES 18 October 2009

Indonesia appoints representative to Asean HR body

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Indonesian government has appointed human rights activist Rafendi Djamin to represent it in the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), state news agency Antara quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying.

Director of Asean Political and Security Affairs Ade Sukendar said: "The process of appointing a human rights representative begins with national consultations in Jakarta in which the candidates need to be nominated by at least two organisations," he said. Every Asean member country must assign a representative in

AICHR which was established on the basis of Article 14 of the Asean Charter, he said. Asean foreign ministers have agreed the terms of reference of the AICHR establishment at the 42nd Asean Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in Phuket, Thailand, July 19, 2009.

Later at the 15th Asean Summit in Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, and on October 23, the Asean Heads of State/Government will inaugurate the AICHR.

"After the 10 Asean member countries appointed their AICHR representatives, they will meet for an introduction on the sidelines of the Asean 15th Summit, and then hold their first meeting next year in Jakarta to set an action and other issues," he said, adding that further meetings will be held next year in Vietnam - as the rotating chairman of Asean.

Ade said AICHR will at least meet twice a year to carry out the mandate of the AICHR terms of reference for the next five years which will focus more on human rights promotion efforts in the region.

AICHR is an inter-agency consultative organisation and an integral part in the structure of the Asean organisation. The Commission has a duty to formulate the promotion and protection of human rights in the region through education, monitoring, dissemination of values and international human rights standards as mandated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Vienna Declaration and other human rights instruments.

AICHR that serves as human rights institution in Asean is responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights in the regional grouping. In addition, AICHR will work with other related Asean agencies on human rights within the framework of coordination and synergy in the field of human rights.

Asean groups Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.



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