E29: ASEAN Through the Lens of a Human Rights Activist Working Inside ASEAN


Although ASEAN has been under fire for its powerlessness in the face of several human rights atrocities such as attacks on Rohingya ethnic minority in Myanmar, internal ASEAN officials, some of whom have lengthy human rights activism experience, remain optimistic that the association can be a force for good. What do they actually see in ASEAN’s non-interference and consensus principles? Why do they keep on appeasing the Myanmar Government while violence raged in Myanmar’s Rakhine State? Why do member states tend to be more closed off in ASEAN forums than in the UN forum? And more questions. Join us for a discussion with the Indonesian Representative of the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission of Human Rights (AICHR), Yuyun Wahyuningrum.

Episode details:

0.0 – 1.31

  • Current criticism towards ASEAN

  • Questions of the Episode.

1.35 – 3.37

  • Limits and Challenges of AICHR in Responding to Human Rights Issues in ASEAN.

  • Countries without human rights system.

3.49 – 9.27

  • Response to Critiques of “Non-Interference” and “Consensus” Principles in ASEAN (Part 1).

  • Background of the establishment of ASEAN that shapes current principles

  • How far should we make compromises?

9.29 – 12.09

  • Response to Critiques of “Non-Interference” and “Consensus” Principles in ASEAN (Part 2).

  • Lessons learned from the late Surim Pitsuwan: Practice first, Institutionalise later.

  • How seemingly trivial effort is actually a huge progress in ASEAN.

12.11 – 13.49

  • Response to Critiques of “Non-Interference” and “Consensus” principles in ASEAN (Part 3).

  • Development of the “Non-Interference” and “Consensus” principles in practice.

13.50 – 16.52

  • The need for AICHR to evolve.

  • How AICHR respond to sanitized human rights reports by ASEAN member states?

  • Practice first, institutionalise later.

17.19 – 21.24

  • Difference reporting attitude and openness in Geneva and in ASEAN.

  • Plan to Implement Advisory Notes and other changes in AICHR.

21.37 – 24.39

  • Why are some countries more open in UN forums compared to that in ASEAN?

24.40 – 25.52

  • Funding of ASEAN.

25.52 – 26.53

  • Closing.