Working Group for ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism
News and Updates

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 institutions."

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.