ASEAN and its roles in preventing mass atrocities (Yuyun Wahyuningrum, 2013)


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ASEAN and its roles in preventing mass atrocities (Yuyun Wahyuningrum, 2013)

  1. 1. Exploring Cooperation to Prevent Mass Atrocities in ASEAN Yuyun Wahyuningrum, Senior Advisor on ASEAN and Human Rights, Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) Indonesia, e-mail: Global Convening to End Mass Atrocities, Istanbul, Turkey, 17-19 June 2013
  2. 2. About ASEAN Founding Members • Thailand • Malaysia • Indonesia • Philippines • Singapore Additional Members Population 580 million Area 4.5 million square km. Combined GDP USD $ 737 Billion Trade USD $ 720 Billion • Brunei Darussalam 1984 • Viet Nam 1995 • Lao PDR 1997 • Myanmar 1997 • Cambodia 1999
  3. 3. ASEAN (Association of the Southeast Asia Nations) 10 member countries Established. 1967 ASEAN Charter 15 Dec 2008
  4. 4. ASEAN: Evolution of a Shared Vision 1967 – vision of SE Asia community First few decades - interstate relations, nation building, economic development New Millennium – ASEAN Community by 2015, state-to-people relations, strengthening social pillar, people-oriented organization
  5. 5. Main Thrusts of 3 Pillars of ASEAN Community Political Security • • • • Rules-based community Peaceful, evolutionary, sharedsense of responsibility, and possessing comprehensive security Dynamic, supports efforts to form a global outreach and mutual interdependence Promotion and Protection of Human Rights Economic     Common market and shared base of production Competitive with other regions A region with few developmental gaps A region that is integrated and yet able to retain its own momentum in moving forward external economic relations Social Cultural       Human resources Development Provide adequate social welfares and services Social rights and justice Environmental sustainability ASEAN identity The narrowing of developmental gap between Member States
  6. 6. Interrelation of the Three Pillars to the Establishment of the ASEAN Community ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) ECONOMY SOCIAL CULTURE ASEAN SocioCultural Community (ASCC) “Enhancing “Nurturing human, competitive-ness cultural and natural for economic resources for growth and sustained POLITICAL development development in a SECURITY through closer harmonious and economic people-centered integration” ASEAN”. (339 (154 Action Plan) Action Plan) ASEAN Political Security Community (APSC) “Enhancing peace, stability, democracy and prosperity in the region through comprehensive political and security cooperation” (142 Action Plan)
  7. 7. ASEAN Political Security Blueprint 1. 2. The promotion and protection of human rights in accordance with the ASEAN Charter, the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action Promotion of peace and stability through: Tolerance and respect for diversity Conducting dialogue among different groups, and Pursuing poverty alleviation and narrowing development gaps 3. The promotion norms that enhance ASEAN defense and security cooperation Developing and publishing an ASEAN Security Outlook Holding voluntary briefings on regional political and security developments and Developing an ASEAN early warning system (based on existing mechanisms) to prevent the occurrence and/or escalation of conflicts
  8. 8. ASEAN Political Security Community 4. Support for conflict resolution and pacific settlement of disputes through: Promoting the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) Strengthening existing modes of pacific settlement of disputes Undertaking conflict management and conflict resolution research studies, and Developing ASEAN modalities for good offices, conciliation and mediation 5. The strengthening of research activities on peace, conflict management and conflict resolution by identifying priority research topics, with a view to: Providing recommendations on promoting peace, conflict management and conflict resolution Enhancing existing cooperation among ASEAN think tanks to study peace, conflict management and conflict resolution Undertaking studies to promote gender mainstreaming in peace-building, peace process, and conflict resolution, and Developing a pool of experts from ASEAN Member States as resource persons to assist in conflict management and conflict resolution activities.
  9. 9. ASEAN Political Security Community Directing activities in ASEAN Political Security Pillar toward efforts to prevent mass atrocities require a flexible interpretation, because it is clear that the pillar was not drafted with mass atrocities prevention in mind. At the moment Indonesia is proposing a review on the Pillar before the 2015 ASEAN Community – can be the entry point to highlight the missing link with mass atrocities prevention activities and implication to the building of ASEAN Community
  10. 10. Limitations ASEAN is self-limited in playing role in R2P implementation The language of the TOR of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and other ASEAN’s documents appear to be contrasting with R2P as they emphasize “respect for sovereignty” and “non-interference in internal affairs of states” as paramount values ASEAN does not make reference to mass atrocities or four crimes that constitute R2P
  11. 11. The 3Cs in Human Rights Architecture ASEAN Human Rights Systems Conventions: Norms/ Commission/Committee ASEAN Human Rights Court?? Instruments ACWC 2010 AICHR 2009 ACMW 2008
  12. 12. The ensuing process of drafting the TOR of the ASEAN Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was another difficult battle. As SOM failed to agree on a draft for the TOR, it was brought up during the Foreign Ministers Meeting in Hua Hin in 2009. It was already endorsed by 9 countries except Indonesia consensus to accept the existing mandate of AICHR with a condition that when ASEAN review the Terms of Reference in 2014, the AICHR’s mandates would have a balanced mandate both in terms of promotion and protection of human rights. Then, the condition was agreed. That understanding was contained in the Leader’s Statement, “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 develop mechanisms on both the protection and promotion of human rights.”
  13. 13. Main Obstacles to the Creation of Political Culture for Respect for Human Rights While the region’s economy is growing and more dynamic as compared to many other regions, some obstacles remain: a) lack of democracy, b) imbalance concept of development, c) excessive notion of non interference in domestic affairs, and d) the claim of Asian values are obstacles to the creation of a political culture to foster respect for human rights. This also explains why the works of the AICHR in the past few years did not progress as we expected. The AICHR suffers from a lack of direction and focus. In addition, the continuing debate on the AICHR TOR characterizes the different political and human rights cultures of ASEAN member states.
  14. 14. AICHR looked hollow when gross violation of human rights took place in ASEAN and the commission did not respond to these violations. One recent example is the plight of Rohingyas people. Clearly, a weak AICHR mandate excused it from taking active protection measures But there are many creative ways to move the weak TOR into action. The main problem is actually the absence of political will
  15. 15. ASEAN on the atrocity prevention and crisis response how organizations in our community might work to engage them more effectively on these issues.
  16. 16. Human rights violation in mass atrocities
  17. 17. ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR)
  18. 18. Non-interference While ASEAN views the principle of non interference as a “sacrosanct” principle, the organization overlooked the fact that it is one of the UN Charter’s principles (Article 2 para. 7). Over the past 67 years, the principle is seen as a dynamic concept. On the other hand, ASEAN still clings to this concept in a static manner. In purely legal terms, interference is not just columns of tanks crossing the border into another territory. Raising a certain issue in a bilateral, regional or international forum and consequently adopting a resolution on the matter may also constitute interference in a country’s domestic affairs.
  19. 19. These sort of issues are often raised and discussed in ASEAN forums. The country in question would be tacitly or overtly involved in the discussion, only to suddenly reject a resolution adopted by the forum, citing non-interference of domestic affairs. However, the static view of the non interference principle is no longer applicable to gross violations of human rights, which under the Vienna Consensus 1993 is a matter of international concern.
  20. 20. Non-Interference? Non-interference is the center-piece of the so-called ‘ASEAN way’ of regionalism Non-interference is going to stay. It is ASEAN Identity (ASG Interview) Is it Non-interference principle that hinder ASEAN to prevent mass atrocities and respond to crisis? Or the absence of political will of Member States? Or is it a matter of asking help? SEE presentation/paper Michael Vatikiotis (June 6)
  21. 21. Asian values ASEAN’s member countries attribute the organization’s conservative attitude to its argument of Asian values. The debate between human rights as universal values on one hand, and as a regional particularity on the other hand, reached its peak during the Second World Conference on Human Rights in 1993. In his book “Development as Freedom”, Prof. Amartya Sen dismissed Asian values as nothing but “authoritarian values”. But how ASEAN can defend this values based on non-derogable human rights. Can you defend arbitrary detention, violation to rights to life, torture, unfair trial and extreme poverty from the perspective of Asian values?
  22. 22. While the more democratic states attempt to strengthen ASEAN’s international credibility by improving human rights conditions and ASEAN profile, they do not push to the extent of jeopardizing the existing relationship between states We cannot expect ASEAN will make its progress on the respect of human rights as matter of policy except if ASEAN also makes progress in its promotions of democracy. Not only because the two are inter-related but more than that one major element of human rights namely the civil and political rights, are in essence prerequisites to democracy.
  23. 23. Although the promotion of democracy and human rights are now an official agenda as mandated by the ASEAN Charter, its translation to ASEAN Blueprint on Political and Security Community is relatively weak (compared with the ASEAN Blueprint on Economic Community); old habit, dies hard.