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Tuesday, 11 July 2023 14:25

Foreign Minister: ASEAN Must Not Ignore Human Rights Issues in the Region

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VOINews, Jakarta - Foreign Minister Retno stated that ASEAN must continue to nurture cooperation based on goodwill and willingness to learn from each other, during the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) meeting on Tuesday (11/7) in Jakarta.

"ASEAN must not ignore human rights issues. Our differences should not be an excuse for us to abandon pressing human rights issues in our own region," she said. 

In this regard, Minister Retno highlighted two areas of ASEAN's cooperation in the field of human rights - the need to nurture a tradition of dialogue and to project ASEAN values at global level.

Minister Retno stated that the global crisis and rivalries have exacerbated the challenges in advancing human rights globally. She encouraged ASEAN to lead by example by prioritizing constructive engagements over finger-pointing exercises.

She emphasized the need for ASEAN countries to reject double standards and the politicization of human rights issues. She urged ASEAN to remain committed to push for the resolution of various human rights issues in the region.

Regarding the enhancement of AICHR's role, the Foreign Minister expressed her hope that AICHR's programs would not be limited to capacity-building alone but could also include other initiatives with tangible impacts.

During the meeting, the situation in Myanmar still dominated the discussions. Apart from the Myanmar situation, the meeting also addressed the issue of trafficking in persons as well as the impact of climate change on human rights.

AICHR Representatives also raised concerns about the escalation of violence and the lack of progress in the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus (5PC). On the implementation of the 5PC, Minister Retno stated that this issue would be discussed at the AMM Retreat. (VOI)

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