The 1st Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights and the Rule of Law, entitled ‘Administration of Justice,’ was conducted in Lund, Sweden from 11th-13th December, 1997. It was organized in conjunction with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (Sweden) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France.
At the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of ministers of Foreign Affairs in Singapore in February 1997, Sweden and France announced the plans for a seminar to be held in 1997 with participants from all ASEM countries. The first round of seminars/workshops was arranged by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and took place in Lund, Sweden on the theme “Human Rights and the Rule of Law: Administration of Justice”. Three participants were invited from each ASEM country, representing the government, the academe and an NGO, respectively. Each government representative was its country’s leading delegate at the UN Commission of Human Rights in Geneva or had a comparable position. The seminar was purely academic and non-official in character; entirely a non-political event. The aim was to provide an opportunity for European and Asian experts to meet and discuss matters of great importance and concern in the field of Human Rights and the Rule of Law. No final conclusions or common statements were drafted during the seminar. The Asia-Europe Foundation participated in this seminar and was eventually appointed as secretariat of the series in 2000.