Pledges Support for the Working Group for an ASEAN Human
Full show of support: Dr. Surin
Pitsuwan (center) stands with leading human
rights advocates from the Working Group.
Recognizing that “the issue of human rights is currently
defining the Association
of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)”, Secretary-General
Pitsuwan held a meeting with the Working Group for
an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism (Working Group) at the
sidelines of the ASEAN
Ministerial Meeting in Singapore on July 19, 2008.
He noted the efforts of the Working Group- which span
a period of more than ten years- in bringing about an
intergovernmental human rights mechanism. Dr. Pitsuwan
encouraged the Working Group to “keep exerting pressure”
on stakeholders especially since the ratification of the
is coming within sight. “The Charter, which will
give ASEAN a legal personality and will consolidate ASEAN
member-states into a single community, will legitimize
(the enforcement of) human rights practices in the region,”
he said. The Charter also contains a provision which promises
the establishment of an ASEAN
human rights body.
Dr. Pitsuwan offered the support of the ASEAN secretariat
in co-organizing activities with the Working Group which
will contribute to the development of the ASEAN human
WG Co-Chairperson Marzuki Darusman
and ASEAN Secretary-General Dr.
Pitsuwan share a light moment prior to the meeting.
In response, Working Group Secretary-General
Carlos Medina Jr. thanked Dr. Pitsuwan and said that
they were looking forward to a fruitful partnership with
the ASEAN secretariat. He said the Working Group will
also look into ways they can support the ASEAN secretariat
in implementing its human rights projects.