Steps towards ICCPR ratification by Myanmar (Part 2)

Published on 15 Feb 2017, 08:37 AM

High-level visit to Myanmar by CCPR Centre delegation with Judge Krister Thelin, former member of Human Rights Committee

Workshop in Nay Pyi Taw jointly organised by CCPR Centre and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Myanmar

Myanmar is already a Party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It has also signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Against this backdrop, CCPR Centre has launched last year a 2-years project to enhance process and assist national efforts towards ICCPR ratification by Myanmar. In the framework of this project, a high-level visit to Myanmar was carried out by CCPR Centre delegation together with Judge Krister Thelin, a former member of UN HR Committee, from 31 January to 3 February 2017. (For more information on the project and previous activities, please refer to the link on the side of this page)

During the high-level visit, the CCPR Centre delegation organized a workshop in Nay Pyi Taw with relevant national agencies and met different stakeholders in Yangon including the delegation of European Union as well as national and international civil society organisatoins.

"It is clear that, while the provisions of ICCPR may yet be unknown to many in the government, the will to learn and the commitment to reconcile domestic law with ICCPR was manifested during the discussions at the workshop. It augurs well for the future work of Myanmar's accession to ICCPR"

- Judge Krister Thelin, former member of UN Human Rights Committee

Workshop with national agencies

The main purpose of the high-level visit was to organise a workshop with relevant national agencies in order to deepen the understanding of ICCPR. It was organised on 1 February 2017 in Nay Pyi Taw in cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar and CCPR Centre, and attended by more than 30 participants from, among others:

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Ministry of Office of the State Counsellor
  • Ministry of Information
  • Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture
  • Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population
  • Ministry of Education (Science and Technology)
  • Ministry of Health and Sports
  • Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement
  • Ministry of Ethnic Affairs
  • Union Attorney General’s Office
  • Amyotha Hluttaw (House of Nationalities / upper house)
  • Union Supreme Court
  • National Human Rights Commission

The workshop was opened by U Kyaw Moe Tun, Director-General of the International Organizations and Economic Department (IOED), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). Following introductory presentation by the Asia Pacific Coordinator of the CCPR Centre, the main part of the workshop consisted of in-depth explanation of ICCPR provisions by Judge Krister Thelin, former member of UN HR Committee combined with Q&A sessions respectively. The workshop was closed by U Thant Sin, Deputy Director General of the IOED MoFA.

Way forward

Reflecting on the outcome of the workshop, CCPR Centre delegation had an informal de-briefing meeting with the representatives of IOED MoFA on the following day, whereby continuation of the cooperation was agreed. Based on the more comprehensive analysis of the workshop outcomes as well as feedbacks from the participants, CCPR Centre will further carry out relevant activities in consultation with its counterparts in the country. Next high-level visit including the second and more focused workshop with national agencies is planned in November 2017.

At the same time, CCPR Centre is also planning to organise a workshop with civil society actors to deepen their knowledge about ICCPR in the first half of 2017.

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