AEPF 7 – Clusters

13 October 2008
Article
The AEPF is organised around three clusters comprising the Forum’s major themes:
  • Peace and Security
  • Sustainable Social and Economic Rights, and Environmental Justice
  • Participatory Democracy and Human Rights
Each theme will be tackled in two sessions: plenaries and workshops. The plenary sessions will deal with general, overarching issues. And the workshop sessions shall focus on a deeper and detailed discussion of themes. The IOC and NOC jointly plan the content of the Forum. The proposal for the preparation of the workshops is that each Workshop Theme will be coordinated by a designated organisation in China, Asia and Europe. This will ensure maximum consultation on the agenda and in participation as well. In relation to the plenaries, the focus will be on the global and cross cutting issues of Asia-Europe concerns. Cluster 1: Peace and Security The meetings gathered major resource persons and key campaigners who have been following peace and security issues in Asia and Europe. Most, if not all, have proven capacities to mobilise organisations and movements and have links with groups outside their own countries. With diverse backgrounds and varying fields of capacities in information and education campaign, research, organising, policy advocacy, media and networking, the AEPF-7 will provide an opportunity for the participants from Asia and Europe to level out both in their respective readings of the current global peace and security trends and situation as well as share updates and strategies. There is a conscious and deliberate effort to focus on peace and security issues, share updates and analysis, and level out on a common understanding of the emerging situation and on conceptions of alternatives. AEPF is thus considered as a major platform for social movements in Asia and Europe to craft common strategies for action, decide on major issues for policy advocacy with governments and stakeholders in Asia and Europe as well as share skills and capacities for much needed information dissemination work. In light of China’s centrality on the issue of peace and security especially in Asia, extra effort has been undertaken to invite progressive Chinese participants to the meeting. The Peace and Security Cluster at AEPF-7 has a number of objectives:
  • To provide a space where participants can develop common analysis of the situation in Asia and Europe.
  • To gather key peace and security figures and campaigners in Asia and Europe, paving the way for the revival and consolidation of Asian regional network on peace and security. To help activate an Asia network to prepare and strategise for further collaboration and cooperative efforts beyond AEPF-7 in Beijing and plan on future activities in between interregional caucuses.
  • To provide an opportunity to initiate efforts to link up with key European organisations and individuals dealing with peace and security issues.
  • To provide an opportunity to establish initial links with civil society organisations in China.
Cluster 2: Sustainable Social and Economic Rights, and Environmental Justice The Cluster on Sustainable Social and Economic Rights, and Environmental Justice is coordinated by the Asia House (Germany) and Monitoring Sustainability of GlobalisatioN (Malaysia). An active area of concern of the Cluster at this time is the ongoing activities on issues related to EU-ASEAN Free Trade Agreements. The Sustainable Social and Economic Rights, and Environmental Justice Cluster at AEPF-7 has a number of objectives:
  • to highlight alternative development paradigms to be the focus of research, advocacy, and campaigns beyond the AEPF-7.
  • to highlight topics dealing with the Millennium Development Goals, food sovereignty and security, the implications of investment flows for the society and the ecology, free trade agreements, corporate social responsibility, migration, decent work and labour rights, alternatives to privatisation of essential services, alternative financing for development, climate change and ecological justice, alternative energy policies, and social security.
  • To provide an opportunity to initiate efforts to link up with key European organisations and individuals dealing with Sustainable Social and Economic Rights, and Environmental Justice issues.
  • To provide an opportunity to establish initial links with civil society organisations in China.
Cluster 3: Participatory Democracy and Human Rights The link organisations for the Participatory Democracy and Human Rights Cluster include the Institute for Popular Democracy (Philippines), Développement et Civilisations Lebret-Irfed (DCLI, France), FORUM-Asia (Thailand), Indonesian Partnership on Local Governance Initiative (Indonesia), and One World Action (UK). With financial support from the Delegation of the European Commission to the Philippines and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Manila, the Cluster organised the Asia-Europe Caucus for Democracy and Human Rights on 6-8 June 2008 in Manila, Philippines as a preparatory and strategy meeting for the AEPF-7 and beyond. The Caucus brought together 39 key civil society activists and scholars (33 from Asia and 6 from Europe) to reflect on the Asia-Europe situation and thereby came up with common strategy and vision for alternative futures, as well as engagement with the ASEM process. The Participatory Democracy and Human Rights Cluster at AEPF-7 has a number of objectives:
  • to facilitate the consolidation of an Asia-Europe interregional network of democracy and human rights activists and scholars alike to begin active cooperation in between the biennial interregional forums.
  • to consolidate and coordinate, at the national and transnational levels, people-cantered, participatory democratic forces—progressive civil society, social movements, and media as without more inclusive politics, accountable government and women’s rights, the most marginalised—disabled people, people living with HIV/AIDS, urban poor, workers, migrants, refugees, indigenous peoples—will continue to have their rights denied.
  • to facilitate the consolidation of the democratic forces—civil society, media, and social movements—through the creation of a platform where Asian civil society, together with their European counterparts, can reflect upon their analysis of the political-economic situation in the regions of Asia and Europe so as to come up with common strategy and joint responses on democracy and human rights issues;
  • provide a venue where civil society and social movements in the AEPF network could plan and discuss the conduct of the post-AEPF-7 activities in every country that can be coordinated at the inter-regional level;
  • to consolidate the legitimate demands and aspirations of Asian and European civil society in recommendations for “Peoples’ Agenda for Democracy and Human Rights” which will be advanced at both the ASEM and beyond.
  • a common strategy of collective action with ideas for concrete and practical projects for AEPF-7 and beyond
  • an activated inter-regional network of organisations, individuals, and scholar-activists working on issues of democratisation and human rights