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Noel M. Morada

Abstract

Since the adoption of the asean Charter in 2008, the friction between the group’s traditional norms of sovereignty and non-interference and its people-oriented principles upholding universal norms such as human rights has become more pronounced in the case of Myanmar. This chapter examines asean’s diplomacy in dealing with Myanmar’s human rights protection issues. It argues that although in practice asean has put aside its non-interference principle in response to human protection problems within Myanmar including the crisis in Rakhine, the organisation’s collective efforts have been rebuffed by the previous military junta and the current civilian government which also invoked the same principle in protecting its sovereignty. While there are increasing calls from some asean members and other non-state actors in the region to consider relaxing the non-interference principle when it comes to humanitarian crisis issues affecting the region, it appears that reaching a consensus on this within the group would be extremely difficult given the strong resistance of some members to the idea.

Petcharamesree Sriprapha

Abstract

This chapter explores the challenges and prospects of mainstreaming RtoP in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (asean) through the analysis of the roles and performance of the asean human rights bodies, in particular the asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (aichr). The author argues that although asean has made some progress in institutionalizing the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, it will take more time for asean to mark substantial shift in intra-asean relations and suggests that, in Southeast Asia where sovereignty is still jealously guarded, norms and ideas such as RtoP cannot yet have a decisive impact in practice. Specifically, mainstreaming RtoP in asean is constrained by the principles of non-interference and consensus decision-making, which unfortunately remains the norm. In order for asean to effectively care for people, a paradigm shift is necessary. Such shift can be anchored in the asean Human Rights Declaration (ahdr) as well as employing the ‘asean minus X’ decision-making formula, activating the Troika, and dispatching of special envoys. These options, which are not new to asean and have historically helped in its engagement with human rights, could also enable asean to prevent and respond to systematic human rights violations and other issues which may amount to war crimes. As well, promoting national and regional dialogues on RtoP could influence asean member states, especially those who are not yet comfortable with the principle. Different workshops and seminars that the aichr has been organizing already provide the body opportunities for sharing and learning from other regions.

Maria Tanyag

Abstract

This chapter situates the growing academic and policy interest in advancing international normative frameworks namely the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and Women, Peace, and Security (wps) in asean within broader feminist critiques of the ‘protection gap’ that results from the ‘siloing’ of international security and peace agendas. It builds on recent works that suggest a rethinking of asean as constituted by three distinct community pillars (political-security, economic, and socio-cultural) for fully addressing human security and development in the region. Using the asean Regional Plan for Action (rpa) of the 2013 Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (evaw), which covers a ten-year period (2016–2025), this chapter makes a case for how the rpa can serve as a critical vector for broadening the significance of R2P and wps in the region to address sexual and gender-based violence as occurring both in crisis situations and ‘everyday life’.

Veneracion-Rallonza Ma. Lourdes

Abstract

Women, Peace and Security (wps) as a global agenda has gained traction since it was institutionalized in the United Nations Security Council (UNSCR) fifteen years ago. By December 2014, 46 out of 193 Member States of the United Nations have adopted their National Action Plans to systematically implement their respective country commitments to wps. To date, 24 of the countries with National Action Plans (NAP) are in Europe while 13 are in Africa; the Asia Pacific Region has 6 and the Americas have 3. In Southeast Asia, only the Philippines has developed a NAP within the framework of the wps while other countries integrated it in the existing broad policy and programmatic frames such as addressing violence against women. At the level of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (asean), taking on the agenda of WPS has yet to move beyond communicative rhetoric. This paper is an attempt to explore how wps can be made part of the regional agenda on human protection and mass atrocities prevention, by mapping out discursive and institutional entry points within several asean Member States and within asean itself through the idea of multi-focal norm entrepreneurship.

Conclusion

Learning Lessons across and between Regions: Norm Promotion and Capacity Building for Human Protection

Charles T. Hunt and Noel M. Morada

Introduction

Regionalism and Human Protection: Reflections from Southeast Asia and Africa

Charles T. Hunt and Noel M. Morada

Ifediora Obinna Franklin

Abstract

Ten years after its endorsement by the un General Assembly, the operationalisation of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) concept faces challenges of consistency and capacity. Too often, global politics at the world’s premier intergovernmental body, the un, hampers effective action. Regional arrangements have a crucial role to play in this regard, however, questions of capacity to live up to this expectation remain. The Peace and Security Council (psc) of the African Union (au), mandated to implement the African Peace and Security Architecture (apsa) has primarily focused on developing the African Standby Force (asf), which the au succeeded in bringing to its ‘Full Operational Capability’ (foc) in December 2015 for implementation. Deploying the asf in deserving cases, for instance in Burundi in 2016, raises issues of sovereign consent, risks and costs. To avoid these complexities, this chapter argues that regional arrangements under Chapter viii are primarily pacific tools of the Security Council; focusing on harnessing these peaceful mechanisms of conflict prevention offers potential for consistent and effective ‘first responses’ to crises, with fewer complications. Regional arrangements as mediation tools present great opportunity for peaceful settlement of local disputes. Support for mediation is typically by peace operations. This chapter proposes that mediation support by a ‘preventive arbitration’ tool through ‘popular participation’ under the African Governance Architecture (aga) may have a pivotal role in this respect. Therefore, a regional responsibility to protect, through greater mediation, requires mediating challenges of governance in Africa.

Orchard Phil

Abstract

Forcible displacement can constitute a mass atrocity crime. This is something that is considered within the non-binding Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. Efforts to implement the Guiding Principles at the regional level suggest one path to implement stronger legal protections for internally displaced persons (idps), in particular, against mass atrocity crimes. These regional processes, however, can vary in remarkable ways. In the African Union, the Kampala Convention has brought the Guiding Principles and protections against mass atrocity crimes directed at idps into regional hard law; it also includes robust implementation and enforcement mechanisms. At this stage, however, these mechanisms remain anticipatory rather than effective; consequently international assistance will be vital to entrench the rights anchored in the Convention. By contrast, asean has introduced no overt protections for idps. However, its developing legal human rights framework through the asean Declaration of Human Rights, coupled with the Association’s response to the Rohingya idp crisis in Myanmar, suggests that a policy-focused change, while incremental, may be happening.

Eze Chukwuemeka B.

Abstract

The West Africa region is arguably the most turbulent region in Africa; from the civil wars of Liberia and Sierra Leone to the political disputes in Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and recently Mali; the region has hosted the highest numbers of the United Nations (un) peacekeeping missions with mixed results. While the responsibility of peace, security and ensuring human protection resides with governments, Civil Society Organizations (csos) have demonstrated their capacity to complement government’s efforts in peace and security; and political leadership across the world has come to realise the strength of csos in anticipating, preventing and resolving conflicts because of their in-depth knowledge of context and expertise in working closely with communities. This paper assesses the contributions of csos towards the promotion of human rights protection, mass atrocities prevention and civilian protection in conflict-affected areas in West Africa; and argues for continued involvement of csos in human protection.

Morada Noel M.

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of how the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (asean) has responded to human protection issues such as human rights, mass atrocities prevention, and civilian protection in armed conflicts. It examines the evolution and dynamics of asean’s regionalism and the factors that shaped and transformed its norms. While asean has adopted the language of human security and human protection, traditional norms of sovereignty and non-interference remain sticky. The pluralist nature of asean also limits the organization from responding effectively to crisis situations within member states such as identity-based conflicts. However, there are also opportunities for continuing engagement on human protection issues with various stakeholders at the regional and domestic levels. Some asean member states are more open to mainstreaming the principle of Responsibility to Protect in the agenda of asean and recognize the importance of building the capacity of member states in preventing mass atrocities.