Working Group for ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism
News and Updates

Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Extends Support to Working Group

Working group members met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia. (From left to right) Sinapan Samydorai of the Singaporean Working Group, Sunsanee Suthisunsanee of the Thai Working Group, Marimuthu Nadason of the Malaysia Working Group, Cambodia Working Group Chair Kem Sokha, Philippine Working Group Chair Wigberto Tañada, Regional Working Group Co-chair Marzuki Darusman, Secretary General of Malaysia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Fuzi Tansri, Malaysia Working Group Chair Dato Param Cumaraswamy, Undersecretary for Policy Planning Division of Malaysia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zulkifli Adnan.

The Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism (Working Group) met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia on November 17 to discuss the implementation of the human rights provisions of the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP). Also discussed were the preparations for the 5th Workshop on the ASEAN Regional Mechanism on Human Rights scheduled in early 2006 in Kuala Lumpur.

Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tan Sri Ahmad Fuzi extended the support of the Malaysian Foreign Ministry in the eventual creation of an ASEAN Human Rights Commission. Fuzi said that Malaysia was one of the ASEAN countries who supported the idea to have an ASEAN Human Rights Commission during the discussion on the ASEAN Security Community.

The Working Group also discussed with the Ministry the possibility of ASEAN funding the implementation of the human rights provisions of the VAP, particularly the establishment of a commission on women and children, elaboration of an ASEAN instrument on migrant workers and the promotion of education and public awareness on human rights in the region.

During the 38th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Vientiane, Lao P.D.R. (July 2005), ASEAN signed an Agreement on the Establishment of an ASEAN Development Fund (ADF) to support the financing of the VAP. The Ministry, however, expressed that the fund is still not big enough to fund the implementation.

Malaysia is currently the chair of the 39th ASEAN Standing Committee.