Second International Meeting Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC)

05 October 2017

2-4 February 2016 in Manila, the Philippines

 

Introduction

 

In close collaboration with the Government of the Philippines, and Switzerland as chair of the GAAMAC Streering Group, the Second International meeting of the “Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes” (GAAMAC II) on “Preventing Atrocities: How to Strengthen National Atrocity Prevention Architectures” was held from 2 to 4 February 2016 in Manila, the Philippines.

GAAMAC is an inclusive, state led networks created in 2013 by States and NGOs joining together to engage in atrocity prevention. GAAMAC provides a platform for exchange, dialogue and the dissemination of learning and good practice in prevention. It supports State to build their capacities to prevent mass atrocity crimes (war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, ethnic cleansing) as well as to develop and implement national prevention strategies and serves as a space for exchange and sharing among different communities of practice and stakeholders.

The objective of the meeting in Manila was to convene interested government representatives and relevant civil society stakeholders to identify their current needs and challenges in atrocity prevention and, through peer-to-peer exchange and learning, to strengthen their capacities in this field.

Remarks by Secretary General of AIPA, Hon. P.O. Ram

 

At the meeting, AIPA Secretary General Hon. Mr. P.O. Ram stated that since early 1990 to 2009 the highest governing body of AIPA which is the General Assembly has been approving numbers of resolution covering major issues such as the promotion of human rights, promoting gender equality, combating domestic violence, promoting the protection of women and children and strengthening the implementation of CEDAW.

Resolutions also called on AIPA Member Parliaments to work for democracy based on the freely expressed will of the people through open, transparent, free and fair elections to choose their own representatives and, in this context, build a knowledge-based society in order to support the practice of democracy.

A specific resolution to protect and safeguard ASEAN Citizens from human rights abuses and human rights violations, from rejections of fundamental freedoms, transparency, accountability and effective governance was also adopted. However there is no particular resolution on atrocity prevention, although ASEAN does accept there are violations of human rights and trafficking of women and children.

Hence, through their cohesive effort, ASEAN is moving in the right direction towards having a peaceful region, with respect for one another’s rights. They understand that any disintegration occurring in any one state in the region would lead to the weakening of the integrity of the regional organization.

Furthermore, the Report of the High Level Advisory Panel on the Responsibility to Protect in Southeast Asia which was presented at the United Nations, New York on the 9th of September 2014 whose recommendations provided for the prevention of Atrocity Crimes both at the regional and national levels, as set out below:

At the regional levels, the panel recommends:

  1. Raising awareness and public knowledge of the Responsibility to Protect
  2. Developing and strengthening regional capacity for early warning and assessment through existing institutions, mechanisms and relevant sectoral bodies within ASEAN.
  3. Strengthening regional consultation and exchange on issues relating to the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and the protection of vulnerable populations from these crimes, in accordance with ASEAN frameworks and instruments.
  4. Giving Consideration to the incorporation of the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity into the future agenda of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.
  5. Supporting relevant civil society efforts to promote human rights protection and advance the norms and principles of atrocities prevention.

For national governments in Southeast Asia, the panel recommends that:

  1. They continue and further develop national dialogue amongst stakeholders on building a national architecture to support the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
  2. ASEAN Member States consider signing, ratifying and implementing relevant international treaties and conventions relating to the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and protection of vulnerable populations.
  3. ASEAN Member States consider appointing senior-level officials as national focal points for the Responsibility to Protect, to coordinate national efforts and lead engagement in regional and global dialogue.

Governments in Southeast Asia, the panel recommends that:

  1. They continue and further develop national dialogue amongst stakeholders on building a national architecture to support the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
  2. ASEAN Member States consider signing, ratifying and implementing relevant international treaties and conventions relating to the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and protection of vulnerable populations.
  3. ASEAN Member States consider appointing senior-level officials as national focal points for the Responsibility to Protect, to coordinate national efforts and lead engagement in regional and global dialogue

The noble objectives of GAAMAC deserve every support, and AIPA will certainly seek for its guidance to strengthen AIPA’s commitments both regionally and at National Level

Manila, the Philippines, 4 February 2016

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