Statement of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) concerning its membership in the South East Asia NHRIs Forum (SEANF) (No. 6/ 2012)

The 9th Annual Meeting of the South East Asia NHRIs (National Human Rights Institutions) Forum (SEANF) held in Chaing Mai, Thailand on 12-14 September 2012 decided to accept the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) as its new member. The National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia (KOMNASHAM), the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) and the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT) had agreed in 2004, Bangkok, Thailand to carry out jointly or bilaterally, programmes and activities in areas of human rights of common concern and signed the ASEAN NHRIs Forum Declaration of Co-operation in Bali, Indonesia on 28 June 2007. The regional body was renamed as the South East Asia NHRIs Forum (SEANF) at its 6th Annual Meeting held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 11-13 November 2009. The 7th Annual Meeting of the SEANF held in 2010, accepted Timor Leste as the 5th member of the SEANF. The general objective of the Forum is to organize itself as a regional mechanism for the effective promotion, protection and fulfillment of human rights of the peoples of South East Asia region. To achieve this objective, the forum’s functions include, among others, advocating for the establishment and development of NHRIs among South East Asia countries and undertaking such activities that are conducive to achievement of the Forum’s objectives, including taking collective positions on issues of gross human rights violations within and outside the region. The Forum has shown keen interest in the formation of MNHRC and it was one of the external organizations that whole-heartedly welcomed the establishment of the MNHRC. As a reflection of its interest in the MNHRC’s work, a delegation of the Forum, consisting of all the Forum five members, visited the MNHRC on 14-15 June, 2012 and held two-day discussions with the members of the MNHRC concerning the implementation of its mandate in accordance with the Paris Principles. In implementation of its mandate which includes “a function to communicate with the UN organizations and foreign and domestic bodies engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights”, the MNHRC has actively interacted with the SEANF since it formation and applied for the membership of the Forum. The Forum invited the MNHRC to its 9th Annual Meeting held in Chaing Mai, Thailand on 12-14 September 2012 where the membership application of the Commission was considered. The Commission delegation headed by its Chairman attended the said annual meeting. On the first day session of the Meeting, five members of the Forum intensively considered the application of MNHRC for membership of the Forum and adopted the above-mentioned decision. As a member of the SEANF, the MNHRC is determined to work jointly or bilaterally for the effective promotion and protection of human rights of the peoples of both Myanmar and the South East Asia region in compliance with the Paris Principles.
Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

Dated- 17 September 2012