On 30 October 2014, the Asia Pacifc Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and the Department of International Relations, Faculty of Political Science at Chulalongkorn University organized in Bangkok, the first public seminar in the region on the High Level Advisory Panel’s (HLAP) Report, Mainstreaming the Responsibility to Protect: Pathway Towards a Caring ASEAN Community.
The public seminar was conducted in Thai and was attended by some 70 participants from academe, government, civil society, media, and offcials from the military and police, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice.
Similarly, on 27 January 2015, the Centre, in cooperation with Human Rights Working Group (HRWG)-Indonesia and the Embassy of The Netherlands, organized a public seminar on the HLAP Report at the Erasmus Huis in Jakarta. Some 50 participants from various sectors attended the seminar, which was conducted in Bahasa Indonesia.
Based on these two public seminars on the HLAP Report, it is clear that
R2P is not perceived as an alien concept or as being in confict with ASEAN values and norms. However, it needs to be contextualized and properly understood through dialogue,
building public awareness and deeper knowledge, and engaging further various stakeholders at the national and regional levels as part of mainstreaming the norm.
A number of participants in these seminars saw the importance of incorporating R2P in local values, government policies, and in ASEAN’s existing mechanisms to enhance capacity of states and societies in the region to prevent mass atrocities. It is important to note that, in the Jakarta seminar, there were suggestions on what the next HLAP Report should focus on, specifcally on R2P’s relationship with other norms in the region, enhancing the capacity of states and ASEAN as a regional organization, as well as the challenge of promoting accountability for past atrocity crimes.
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