The EU and ASEAN are committed to promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms
Promoting universal respect for the protection of human rights is an obligation for all. ASEAN and the EU are therefore committed partners in the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms as stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments.
Over the years, the EU and ASEAN have held regular policy dialogues on human rights and the EU Special Representative for Human Rights has made significant efforts to increase dialogue in Southeast Asia through regular visits.
The third Policy Dialogue on Human Rights took place in Brussels, Belgium on 27 November 2019, co-chaired by Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights, and Amara Pongsapich, the Representative of Thailand to ASEAN and current Chair of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).
Recent developments in ASEAN and the EU were discussed, followed by an exchange of views on issues that included:
The dialogue was part of a four-day visit by ASEAN representatives to human rights institutions in Vienna, Austria and Brussels supported by E-READI that included consultations with civil society organisations (CSO), during which participants from Southeast Asia and Europe discussed the protection and promotion of human rights in ASEAN and the EU.
In preparation for the third Policy Dialogue on Human Rights, the AICHR Roadshow on the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration and the Role of AICHR, was held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on 13 November 2019.
Regional mechanisms are needed to ensure that human rights are upheld, as some issues such as human trafficking, migration and refugees cannot be effectively dealt with at the national level. We should therefore work together to continue to be innovative and forward looking in our human rights strategies and ensure that respect for human rights is hardwired into all our policies and practices.Eamonn Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Human Rights