The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) training was held at Amara Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw from the 26th to 27th of August 2014. It was jointly cooperated by Myanmar National Human Rights Commission and Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) and financed by Swedish International Development cooperation Agency (SIDA).
The Workshop was attended by (7) members and a senior staff of MNHRC and all the relevant Stakeholders were duly represented. The Defence Ministry was represented by the Assistant Judge Advocate General and another high ranking Official.
The Ministry of Home Affairs was represented by a Deputy Director and an Assistant Director while the Ministry of Border Areas also sent two deputy directors. The Ministry of Immigration and Manpower were represented by the deputy directors from both the Immigration and Manpower Departments. A deputy Director from Ministry of Foreign Affairs also attended the meeting. The Education Ministry was represented by a Professor and Lecturer from the law Department of Yangon University. A member of Parliament from the Pyithu Hluttaw (or) lower House took part as a participant while Myanmar Peace Centre also sent the Head of Department to attend the Workshop.
The Kachin, Kayin and Rakhine States Government sent State level Government officials to represent them. A minister from the Shan State Government also attended the meeting. The attorney General’s office for their part sent two deputy Directors as participants.
At the opening ceremony, the Chairman of MNHRC delivered an opening Statement and Ms. Sue Anne Koh from R.W.I made a short Introduction of R.W.I.
The resource person Professor Chris Maina Peter, (former committee member of CERD, current member of the International law Commission and law professor at the University of Sar-es-Salaam) then presented Part I and Part II of the introduction to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Form of racial discrimination. It was a very interactive and enlighting session as the Professor responded to the questions raised by the floor with relevant examples.
Mr. Peter Hosking (former proceedings Commissioner at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission) then led the workshop through a brain- storming session with the exercise of comparing articles of CERD and the articles in the Myanmar Constitution. The participants then realized that there was a lot in common in the articles contained in the Convention to the articles in the Constitution.
Day II of the Workshop also proved very interactive.
It was a very participative Workshop and all the participants went back feeling quite satisfactied with the outcomes of the workshop.