From December 4 to 5, the 2023 ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Regional Consultation on the Midterm Review and Progress of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025 took place in Bangkok, Thailand, both in-person and virtually. Organized in collaboration with AGENDA and ADF, with support from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Human Rights Commission, the consultation brought together AICHR representatives, ASEAN Sectoral Bodies representatives, the ASEAN Secretariat, and representatives from National Human Rights Institutions and Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs).
The first day featured presentations covering various themes, including the Midterm Assessment Modalities of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025 (EMP 2025) design and process. Officials and past Co-Chairs of the Task Force discussed their views on the Midterm Review (MTR). Other sessions delved into challenges and good practices in national data gathering, regional initiatives and partnerships for promoting human rights, and creating an enabling environment for the inclusive participation of persons with disabilities in economic life.
On the second day, participants were divided into three groups based on the ASEAN community pillar. The groups identified challenges, opportunities, and recommendations for the EMP 2025’s final evaluation and further implementation. Recommendations included continuing capacity building, establishing platforms for cross-sector collaboration, improving disability data, and creating guidelines for EMP 2025 implementation. Each community pillar group emphasized strengthening cross-pillar collaborations, mainstreaming disability rights, mobilizing resources, and reinforcing regional diplomacy. The 2023 AICHR Regional Consultation proved to be a pivotal event, fostering collaboration and generating valuable recommendations for advancing disability rights within the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025. The collective effort demonstrated a commitment to creating an inclusive and accessible ASEAN for persons with disabilities, with an eye towards future reviews and consultations.