As the legal and institutional framework, the ASEAN Charter describes the structure of time organisation, setting forth the mandate and function of various ASEAN’s mechanisms. The charter provisions on the mechanisms provide a general guide on how to engage ASEAN. Those mechanisms, and their mandate and functions are:
1) ASEAN Summit: ASEAN summit is the supreme policy-making body of ASEAN. This mechanism deliberates, provides policy guidance and takes decisions on key issues pertaining to the realisation of the objectives of ASEAN, important matters of interest to Member States and all issues referred to it by the ASEAN Coordinating Council, the ASEAN Community Councils and ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies.
2) ASEAN Coordinating Council: ASEAN Coordinating Council is an organ that is composed of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers. This organ will prepare the meetings of the ASEAN Summit, coordinate with the ASEAN Community Councils to enhance policy coherence, effi ciency and cooperation among them, coordinate the reports of the ASEAN Community Councils to the ASEAN Summit, consider the report of the Secretary General on the functions and operations of the ASEAN Secretariat and other relevant bodies, to approve the appointment and termination of the Deputy Secretaries General upon the recommendation of the Secretary General, and last but not least undertake tasks provided for in the ASEAN Charter or such other functions as may be assigned by the ASEAN Summit.
3) ASEAN Community Councils: ASEAN Community Council is comprised of the ASEAN Political-Security Community Council, ASEAN Economic Community Council, and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council. In each ASEAN Community Council meeting, each Member State of ASEAN designates its national representation. According to Article 9 of the ASEAN Charter, this organ should ensure the implementation of the relevant decisions of the ASEAN Summit, coordinate the work of the different sectors under its purview, and on issues which cut across the other Community Councils, and last but not least submit reports and recommendations to the ASEAN Summit on matters under its purview.
4) ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Body: Each ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Body has four general functions: (a.) function in accordance with their respective established mandates; (b.) implement the agreements and decisions of the ASEAN Summit under their respective purviews; (c.) strengthen cooperation in their respective fi elds in support of ASEAN integration and community building; and (d.) submit reports and recommendations to their respective Community Councils.
5) Secretary-General of ASEAN and ASEAN Secretariat: ASEAN Secretariat is comprised the Secretary-General and staff. The Secretary-General and the staff have the obligation to refrain from any action which 11 might reflect on their position as ASEAN Secretariat officials responsible only to ASEAN; not seek or receive instruction from any government or external party outside of ASEAN; and uphold the highest standards of integrity, efficiency, and competence in the performance of their duties. The ASEAN Summit appoints the Secretary-General of ASEAN for a non-renewable term of offi ce of fi ve-years. He/she will be assisted by four Deputy Secretaries General, which will be accountable to the Secretary-General in carrying out their functions.
6) Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) to ASEAN: Each ASEAN Member State appoints a Permanent Representative to ASEAN, with rank of Ambassador based in Jakarta. Collectively, they constitute a Committee of Permanent Representatives, who will support the work of the ASEAN Community Councils and ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies. They liaise with the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat on all subjects relevant to its work, and facilitate ASEAN cooperation with external partners. They also coordinate with ASEAN National Secretariats and other ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies and perform such other functions as may be determined by the ASEAN Coordinating Council.
7) ASEAN National Secretariats: According to the ASEAN Charter, each ASEAN Member State shall establish an ASEAN National Secretariat which will serve as the national focal points, be the reprisitory of information on all ASEAN matters at the national level, coordinate the implementation of ASEAN decisions at the national level, contribute to ASEAN community building. Beside these, they also coordinate and support the national preparations of ASEAN meetings and promote ASEAN identity and awareness at the national level.
8) ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR): AICHR is the “human rights body” mandated to be established under Article 14 of the ASEAN Charter. The primary purpose of this body is the promotion and protection of human rights in conformity with the purpose and principles of the Charter.
9) ASEAN Foundation: This organ will support the Secretary-General of ASEAN and collaborate with the relevant ASEAN bodies to support ASEAN community building by 12 promoting greater awareness of the ASEAN identity, people-to-people interaction, and close collaboration among the business sector, civil society, academia and other stakeholders in ASEAN. This organ will be accountable to the Secretary-General of ASEAN, who will submit report about this body to the ASEAN Summit through the ASEAN Coordinating Council.
ASEAN also has other organs that are related to human rights. This includes the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and A brief description on these bodies will be provided in Chapters IV and V. Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) and the ASEAN Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW).