Asean Joint Statement on Update Report by Ms. Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at The 26th Session of the Human Rights Council, Delivered by H.E. Mr. Triyono Wibowo Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which consists of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
ASEAN would like to express its appreciation to the High Commissioner for providing the Human Rights Council with an updated report on important human rights issues and situations. ASEAN extends its support to the High Commissioner in the discharge of her mandate as contained in GA resolution 48/141.
One of the purposes enshrined in the ASEAN Charter is to strengthen democracy, enhance good governance and the rule of law, and to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, with due regard to the rights and responsibilities of the Member States of ASEAN.
This commitment is attested to by the establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). Currently, AICHR is conducting a series of Regional Consultations with stakeholders on the Review of the Terms of Reference (TOR) to assess its work and make recommendations on future efforts that could be undertaken in the promotion and protection of human rights within ASEAN.
ASEAN firmly believes that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing, and that all human rights must be treated in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis. ASEAN as a diverse regional organization also believes that universal human rights are best realized taking into account the regional and national specific contexts, which add value to the promotion and protection of all human rights. It is of utmost importance for the international community to uphold these noble principles in their work of promotion and protection of human rights.
ASEAN believes that it is imperative for the High Commissioner and her office to continue to ensure universality, objectivity and non-selectivity in their work and plans, and the elimination of double standards and politicization. In this regard, ASEAN is committed to continuing its close cooperation with the High Commissioner and her office.
Taking this opportunity, ASEAN would like to draw the attention of the international community to the fact that the human rights programme receives just three per cent of the UN regular budget while the OHCHR seems to be increasingly reliant on the voluntary contributions for two thirds of its budget needs. This requires our serious attention. We have to find ways and means to rectify the situation. We remain hopeful that this increased reliance on voluntary contributions should not affect the ability of the Office in the discharge and implementation of its strategic priorities and human rights programmes in a fair and objective manner, as mandated by Member States.
Finally, as this would be the last Council session for the High Commissioner, Madame Pillay, we wish to express our sincere appreciation for the goodwill and cooperation she has extended to all ASEAN member states during her tenure. We wish her every success in her future endeavours. ASEAN will continue to work closely with her successor to further contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights.
Geneva, 10 June 2014