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ASEAN Declaration on the Creation of the Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

Published October 23, 2009

The Cha-Am Hua Hin Declaration on the Creation of the Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights was adopted on October 23, 2009 at the ASEAN Summit in Thailand.

WE, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), on the occasion of the 15th ASEAN Summit in Thailand;

RECALLING Article 14 of the ASEAN Charter on the establishment of an ASEAN human rights body and ASEAN’s commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

WELCOMING the entry into force of the Terms of Reference (TOR) on the basis of which the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) shall operate;

DO HEREBY:

1. APPLAUD the inauguration of the AICHR as giving concrete expression to the implementation of Article 14 of the ASEAN Charter and ASEAN’s commitment to pursue forward-looking strategies to strengthen regional cooperation on human rights;

2. ENDORSE the implementation of the TOR of the AICHR as prepared by the High Level Panel and formally determined by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers;

3. CONGRATULATE the Representatives to the AICHR on their appointment by ASEAN Member States;

4. EMPHASISE the importance of the AICHR as a historic milestone in ASEAN community-building process, and as a vehicle for progressive social development and justice, the full realisation of human dignity and the attainment of a higher quality of life for ASEAN peoples;

5. ASSURE the AICHR of full support and provision of adequate resources by ASEAN Member States;

6. ACKNOWLEDGE the contribution of stakeholders in the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN, and encourage their continuing engagement and dialogue with the AICHR;

7. RECOGNISE that the TOR of the AICHR shall be reviewed every five years after its entry into force to strengthen the mandate and functions of the AICHR in order to further develop mechanisms on both the protection and promotion of human rights. This review and subsequent reviews shall be undertaken by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting;

8. EXPRESS confidence that ASEAN cooperation on human rights will continue to evolve and develop so that the AICHR will be the overarching institution responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN.

ADOPTED in Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, this Twenty-Third Day of October in the Year Two Thousand and Nine.

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