December Gains for Human Rights
The Working Group celebrates significant
mention of human rights in several documents surrounding
the Eleventh ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from
12-14 December 2005.
Civil society groups that gathered around the ASEAN Civil
Society Conference from 7-9 December included recommendations
to establish an ASEAN Human Rights Commission. Prior to
this, Malaysia Foreign Affairs Minister Dato' Seri Syed
Hamid Albar, in his opening
address, mentioned the efforts to establish an ASEAN
Human Rights Mechanism and Malaysia's hosting of the Working
Group's 2006 workshop.
On 12 December, Civil society groups presented their recommendations
to ASEAN leaders at the 11th ASEAN Summit.
In the Kuala
Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the ASEAN
Charter of the Eleventh ASEAN Summit, one principle stated
was the "promotion of democracy, human rights and obligations,
transparency and good governance and strengthening democratic
On 14 December, in the statement
of the First East Asia Summit Chair, Prime Minister Dato'
Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the "commitment for concerted
regional and global efforts" to respond to the challenge
of good governance and the promotion of human rights and
democracy, among others, was reiterated.