The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) chaired by H.E. Pehin Dato Dr. Awang Hj. Ahmad bin Hj. Jumat, the Representative of Brunei Darussalam and the Chair of AICHR welcomed Mr. Stavros Lambrinidis, the European Union (EU) Special Representative for Human Rights. This was the first dialogue between the AICHR and the newly established EU Special Representative.
Mr. Lambrinidis stated that his meeting with the AICHR symbolises the strong recognition by the EU of ASEAN’s centrality and the AICHR in promoting and protecting human rights in the region, as well as of ASEAN’s evolution on human rights, through the establishment of the AICHR as the first regional human rights mechanism in Asia. He said that human rights are the fundamental cementing block that created the EU, and human rights are now integrated as a component in the EU foreign policy. Although he is mandated to implement the EU’s human rights foreign policy based on a recently adopted strategic framework, Mr. Lambrinidis explained that one of his priorities is to collaborate with regional organisations around the world, including ASEAN through the AICHR.
The meeting exchanged views with Mr. Lambrinidis on the possible cooperation between the AICHR and the EU, and will try to exchange views and communications regularly, in line with the Bandar Seri Begawan Plan of Action to Strengthen the ASEAN –EU Enhanced Partnership (2013 – 2017). The meeting discussed developing a concrete work programme of cooperation covering several areas, such as the fulfilment of the AICHR Five Year Work Plan, and the implementation of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD).
The AICHR and the EU Special Representative were appreciative of the opportunity to meet and wished for continued regular communication.