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AICHR to hold its second meeting in Danang, Vietnam, 28 June – 2 July

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The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AIHCR) will hold its second official meeting in Danang, Vietnam from 28 June to 2 July 2010.

The meeting will be chaired by the representative of Vietnam, Mr. Do Ngoc Son. It is expected that the rest of nine members of the commission will be attending as well.

In the historic first meeting of the AICHR last March in Jakarta, the AICHR rejected interface meeting requests from the civil society organizations and the four national human rights institutions in ASEAN countries on the ground that the ten members have yet to agree on the Rules of Procedure (RoP) of the commission. It also turned down the human rights violations cases submitted by a group of victims of human rights violations and civil society organizations.

The Solidarity for Asian Peoples’ Advocacy Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TFAHR), a coalition of more than 70 non-governmental organizations in Southeast Asia that campaigns for an independent and effective AICHR, has earlier submitted a civil society proposal of the RoP for the consideration of AICHR members in its first meeting.

“We call on all members of the AICHR to seriously consider the recommendations of civil society organizations on the RoP,” said Yap Swee Seng, executive director of the Bangkok based Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development and co-convenor of the SAPA TFAHR.

“The AICHR members should hold consultation with their national NGOs on the work plan and RoP of the AICHR before attending the second meeting of AICHR,” said Haris Azhar, who co-convenes the SAPA TFAHR with Yap. Haris Azhar is the deputy coordinator of the Federation of Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) from Indonesia.

The AICHR is expected to discuss and adopt the workplan and RoP of the commission among other issues in its up-coming second meeting.