One week before the official Asia-Europe government meeting (ASEM) gathers in Milan, over 400 people from 42 countries in Europe and Asia gathered at the 10th Asia-Europe Peoples forum (AEPF) to present their demands and recommendations.
The 10th Asia Europe People’s Forum (AEPF10) tackled five major themes, or People’s Visions, which represent AEPF’s hopes for citizens of the ASEM member countries and the communities they live in. This is their final declaration.
Two years ago, at the 9th AEPF, Sombath Somphone gave the keynote speech at the opening session of the Forum in Vientiane. Two months after this vibrant AEPF in Laos he disappeared. This year his wife Shui Meng Ng gave the keynote speech, to remind us of Sombath's vision.
On June 15th it is six months since Sombath disappeared. Amnesty International has released a report in which they state that Sombath “is most likely a victim of an enforced disappearance at the hands of the authorities.”
Review of 15 years of Asia European Peoples' Forum reveals its crucial role as the only permanent network and forum linking Asian and European movements and organisations, but also calls for reform to strengthen its work in the future.
The AEPF this year in Brussels brought together citizens for dialogue, solidarity and action, as a platform from which to oppose corporate-dominated, undemocratic and neoliberal responses to ongoing crises.
The Asia Europe People’s Forum 2008 held from 13-14 October will discuss critical issues from alternative energy policies to regional security and militarisation to developing models of participatory democracy.
The Asia-Europe People's Forum (AEPF) is an inter-regional network of progressive civil society and social movements across Asia and Europe. Since 1996, AEPF has critically engaged the ASEM and has been organising the biennial gathering of people from Asia and Europe parallel to the official ASEM Summit Meetings. It has sustained its advocacy and commitment for peace and security, economic and social rights and democracy and human rights in Asia-Europe relations.