18th APF Annual Meeting and Biennial Conference, 2013
Graphic: Democracy protestors
The APF's Second Biennial Conference focused on the opportunities and challenges involved in countries charting a peaceful course to democracy.
With a number of countries in the Asia Pacific undergoing fundamental political transformations, the Second APF Biennial Conference has focused on the opportunities and challenges involved in charting a peaceful course to democracy
Around 150 representatives from national human rights institutions (NHRIs), governments, civil society organisations and UN agencies from across the Asia Pacific met in Doha in October 2013 to discuss strategies for working together in order to support a genuine and inclusive transition to democracy.
Speakers considered developments in a number of West Asian countries, while the Chair of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission outlined progress that had been made in the south-east Asian nation.
Participants also examined a range of related topics during the two-day conference, including the role of:
- Women in political and democratic reform
- NHRIs in working with police and security forces
- NHRIs in democracy and good governance.
A conference session also highlighted the practical steps being taken by NHRIs in the region to promote and protect the rights of women and girls, as part of commitments made under the APF Regional Action Plan and the Amman Declaration and Programme of Support.
The second APF Biennial Conference was held on 2-3 October 2013, hosted by the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar.
The event, which had previously been held on an annual basis, is one of the largest regular human rights gatherings in the region.
The 18th APF Annual Meeting was held on 1 October 2013, prior to the conference. Among other business, Forum Councillors considered membership applications from the newly-established NHRIs of Oman and Samoa. Forum Councillors also participated in a dialogue on supporting human rights defenders with representatives from the Asian NGO Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI).
On 4 October 2013, the APF held an invitation-only meeting on Establishment of NHRIs and Paris Principles Compliance.
Meeting papers and presentations
APF 18 Program (English and Arabic)
Forum Council Meeting
Report on APF Participation in UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia
Forum Council-ANNI Dialogue
Opening Address, ICC Chairperson
Topic 1: Peaceful Transition to Democracy
The Role of NHRIs in Countries in Transition in the Arab World (English and Arabic)
Presentation by U Win Mra, Myanmar National Human Rights Commission
Topic 2: Working with the Police and Security Forces
Monitoring Places of Detention: A Practical Guide; APT (English and Arabic)
Preventing Torture: An Operational Guide for NHRIs; APF, APT, OHCHR (English, Arabic, French, Spanish)
Presentation by Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia
Topic 3: Democracy and Good Governance
Presentation by Dr Mousa Burayzat, Jordan National Centre for Human Rights (Arabic)
Topic 4: APF Action Plan on Rights of Women and Girls
Amman Declaration and Programme of Action (English and Arabic)
APF Regional Action Plan on the Human Rights of Women and Girls (English and Arabic)
Presentation by Dr Sima Simar, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
Presentation by Professor Gillian Triggs, Australia Human Rights Commission
Presentation by Ahmed Tholal, Human Rights Commission of the Maldives
Topic 5: NHRIs and Women in Political and Democratic Reform
Report of the UN Working Group on Women and Political Participation (English and Arabic)
Presentation by Dr Sameera Al-Tuwaijri, UN Women
Presentation by Khin Ohmar, Burma Partnership
- Democracy protestors - Amine Ghrabi, Flickr