Video Documental Crisis Globales, Soluciones Regionales

Gonzalo Berrón.

Haga click aqui para ver la entrevista realizada por el Centro de Investigaciones para el desarrollo (CID) con Gonzalo Berrón, remedy investigador del FES, pills y al profesor Carlos Martínez, try investigador en economía de la UN, para hablar sobre integración regional en America Latina.

 

Haga click aqui para ver la entrevista realizada por el Centro de Investigaciones para el desarrollo (CID) con Gonzalo Berrón, try investigador del FES, and y al profesor Carlos Martínez, investigador en economía de la UN, para hablar sobre integración regional en America Latina.

 

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, patient climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR)

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you liked the video, please share with others! 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Global crises, illness regional solutions

Perspectives from Asia, Africa, here Latin America and Europe

 

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from across the globe argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets * Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors

 

 

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video

Global crises, no rx regional solutions

Perspectives from Asia, salve Africa, there Latin America and Europe

 

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from across the globe argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets * Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors

 

 

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video edition and animations: Ricardo Santos

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, doctor food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, stuff climate, doctor food and energy crises? In this video documentary, help activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR)

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you liked the video, please share with others! 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

¿Puéde la integración regional ofrecer una salida a las crisis económica, nurse try climática, treat alimentaria y energética? En este video, pharmacy activistas de Asia, África, América Latina y Europa* afirman que la integración regional es la única respuesta viable a estas crisis.


CAPITULOS

1 – ¿Porqué son importantes las regiones en un contexto de crisis globales?
* Ningún país puede afrontar las crisis por si solo
* Integración regional: acabar con la dependencia de los mercados globales
* Integración regional Alternativa: hacia otro modelo de desarrollo
* Integración regional centrada en los pueblos: mucho más que mera cooperación económica
2- ¿Qué problemas se abordan mejor a escala regional?
3- Reivindicando las regiones: el papel de los actores sociales


Para poder saltar entre los diferentes capítulos y/o seguir la transcripción interactiva (), recomendamos ver el video en el sitio de youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewBLcorLHTE

 

Video Documental | 26 minutos | Abril 2012

Producido por: Transnational Institute, en cooperación con Focus on the Global South y Alianza Social Continental. Este video es parte de la iniciativa Agenda de los Pueblos para Regionalismos Alternativos – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Entrevistas y guión: Cecilia Olivet

Video edición y animación: Ricardo Santos

 

Para ordenar una copia(s) gratis del DVD, escribir a ceciliaolivet@tni.org

Si le gustó el video, compartílo!


 

* ACTIVISTAS QUE CONTRIBUYERON AL VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, Holanda), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malasia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (Sudafrica), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Grecia), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brasil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Gana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Filipinas), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Tailandia)

Video Documentary "Global Crises, Regional Solutions"

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

Gonzalo Berrón.

Haga click aqui para ver la entrevista realizada por el Centro de Investigaciones para el desarrollo (CID) con Gonzalo Berrón, remedy investigador del FES, pills y al profesor Carlos Martínez, try investigador en economía de la UN, para hablar sobre integración regional en America Latina.

 

Haga click aqui para ver la entrevista realizada por el Centro de Investigaciones para el desarrollo (CID) con Gonzalo Berrón, try investigador del FES, and y al profesor Carlos Martínez, investigador en economía de la UN, para hablar sobre integración regional en America Latina.

 

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, patient climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR)

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you liked the video, please share with others! 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Total Reform Is Needed to Make AICHR Independent, Effective and Relevant to the ASEAN Peoples

Letter from ACSC/APF 2012 Steering Committee on civil society inputs on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD).

 

Phnom Penh, advice 24 April 2012

H.E. Om Yentieng

Chairperson

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

No. 3, Samdech Hun Sen Street,

Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamcarmon,

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Fax: + 855 23 216 144/216 141

Cc:

H.E. Chet Chealy

Alternate Representative of Cambodia to AICHR

Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC)

No.3, St. VI.13 Tuol Kork Village, Sangkat Tuol Sangke,

Khan Russey Keo, Phnom Penh

Tel. +855 23 882 065, Fax. +855 23 882 065

Email: chetchealy@gmail.com

Ms. Leena Ghosh,

Assistant Director

AIPA, ASEAN Foundation, AICHR and Other ASEAN Associated Entities Division

Community Affairs Development Directorate

Corporate and Community Affairs Department

ASEAN Secretariat

E-mail: leena.ghosh@asean.org

Re:      Submission of ACSC/APF 2012 related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Dear Excellencies,

On behalf of the Civil Society Committee for ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF 2012), we are pleased to submit to you civil society’s aspirations related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). More than 1,200 people attended the ACSC/APF 2012 that was organized in Lucky Star Hotel, Phnom Penh on 29-31 March 2012. They came from all ten ASEAN countries and beyond.

We also would like to use this opportunity to convey our interest to participate in the consultation that AICHR will be planning to do in the late June 2012. To ensure that the consultation would be meaningful, we encourage AICHR to make the draft available to the public. We understand that you value the trust and credibility from the people in ASEAN which can only be obtained through a transparent process.

Furthermore, we believe that AHRD is a very important document for the daily life of the people, which requires legitimacy from the population in ASEAN. With the advance of communication technology nowadays, AICHR could create a website to release the draft of AHRD which allows more public participation in making comments and inputs.

Please feel free to contact Steering Committee should you have further question or clarification at the email samath@ngoforum.org.kh and thida_khus@silaka.org. Hard copies will follow this email.

Please, Excellency, accept our highest consideration.

Chair, Steering Committee ACSC/APF 2012

Mr. Chhith Sam Ath                        Mrs. Thida Khus

 


 Aspirations of Civil Society’s during the ACSC/APF 2012 on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

1.    We are deeply disappointed at the secret, exclusionary and opaque drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has failed to consult ASEAN civil society to a meaningful extent on the regional level, and only a few representatives consulted on the national level. A draft produced by the Drafting Group in January was never officially published. CSO submissions were left without response, resulting in CSOs being left in the dark as to whether their input has been taken into account.

 2.    Substantively, the Working Draft, which has not been officially published, discloses worrying tendencies among the drafters which, if they prevail, would provide the ASEAN people with a lower level of human rights protection than in universal and other regional instruments. There is heavy emphasis on concepts such as duties, national and regional particularities and noninterference – all of which may be abused to legitimise human rights violations.

 3.    Problematic terms such as “good citizens” and “public morality” may open the door to abusive and discriminatory interpretations, in particular regarding women, LGBTIQ people, children, IPs and minorities and other often-marginalised groups. Several provisions for specific rights are inadequate, open to abuse, or else are missing key components. Thus freedom of expression and assembly, freedom of LGBTIQ people from discrimination and gender rights are not properly provided for.

 4.    We recommend that the AICHR, ASEAN and/or its Member States:

  • Immediately publicize the most current draft of AHRD so that civil society can participate substantively in the drafting process;
  • Continue and expand meaningful consultations on national level, in particular by those AICHR representatives who have not yet done so;
  • Conduct wide-ranging and inclusive consultations, at both national and regional levels, during which the latest drafts of the AHRD should be discussed. AICHR should seriously consider submissions from CSOs, national human rights institutes and other stakeholders, and provide them with feedback;
  • Translate drafts of the AHRD into national languages and other local languages of the ASEAN countries in order to encourage broader public engagement in the region;
  • Include a) the “Right to Peace”, b)  sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) provision AHRD – specifically the inclusion of reference to ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’, and c) sexual reproductive health and rights in AHRD;

 5.    Recommendation in regard to women’s human rights perspectives in AHRD:

  • AHRD should enable women’s access to justice in Southeast Asia;
  • ASEAN governments take all appropriate measures to modify or abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices which limit women from enjoying their fundamental freedoms and rights;
  • Women’s human rights perspectives, reflected in the CEDAW and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action must be integrated into AHRD;
  • There is no erosion of rights in the AHRD and no inclusion of ‘morality, moral value

or traditional values’ clauses that serve to undermine rights; and

  • The AHRD drafting process must be subjected to public consultation and must involve women.

 

DOWNLOAD LETTER IN PDF

Letter from ACSC/APF 2012 Steering Committee on civil society inputs on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD)

DOWNLOAD LETTER IN PDF


 Aspirations of Civil Society’s during the ACSC/APF 2012 on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

1.    We are deeply disappointed at the secret, exclusionary and opaque drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has failed to consult ASEAN civil society to a meaningful extent on the regional level, sovaldi and only a few representatives consulted on the national level. A draft produced by the Drafting Group in January was never officially published. CSO submissions were left without response, resulting in CSOs being left in the dark as to whether their input has been taken into account.

 2.    Substantively, the Working Draft, which has not been officially published, discloses worrying tendencies among the drafters which, if they prevail, would provide the ASEAN people with a lower level of human rights protection than in universal and other regional instruments. There is heavy emphasis on concepts such as duties, national and regional particularities and noninterference – all of which may be abused to legitimise human rights violations.

 3.    Problematic terms such as “good citizens” and “public morality” may open the door to abusive and discriminatory interpretations, in particular regarding women, LGBTIQ people, children, IPs and minorities and other often-marginalised groups. Several provisions for specific rights are inadequate, open to abuse, or else are missing key components. Thus freedom of expression and assembly, freedom of LGBTIQ people from discrimination and gender rights are not properly provided for.

 4.    We recommend that the AICHR, ASEAN and/or its Member States:

  • Immediately publicize the most current draft of AHRD so that civil society can participate substantively in the drafting process;
  • Continue and expand meaningful consultations on national level, in particular by those AICHR representatives who have not yet done so;
  • Conduct wide-ranging and inclusive consultations, at both national and regional levels, during which the latest drafts of the AHRD should be discussed. AICHR should seriously consider submissions from CSOs, national human rights institutes and other stakeholders, and provide them with feedback;
  • Translate drafts of the AHRD into national languages and other local languages of the ASEAN countries in order to encourage broader public engagement in the region;
  • Include a) the “Right to Peace”, b)  sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) provision AHRD – specifically the inclusion of reference to ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’, and c) sexual reproductive health and rights in AHRD;

 5.    Recommendation in regard to women’s human rights perspectives in AHRD:

  • AHRD should enable women’s access to justice in Southeast Asia;
  • ASEAN governments take all appropriate measures to modify or abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices which limit women from enjoying their fundamental freedoms and rights;
  • Women’s human rights perspectives, reflected in the CEDAW and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action must be integrated into AHRD;
  • There is no erosion of rights in the AHRD and no inclusion of ‘morality, moral value

or traditional values’ clauses that serve to undermine rights; and

  • The AHRD drafting process must be subjected to public consultation and must involve women.

 

Phnom Penh, 24 April 2012

H.E. Om Yentieng

Chairperson

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

No. 3, Samdech Hun Sen Street,

Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamcarmon,

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Fax: + 855 23 216 144/216 141

Cc:

H.E. Chet Chealy

Alternate Representative of Cambodia to AICHR

Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC)

No.3, St. VI.13 Tuol Kork Village, Sangkat Tuol Sangke,

Khan Russey Keo, Phnom Penh

Tel. +855 23 882 065, Fax. +855 23 882 065

Email: chetchealy@gmail.com

Ms. Leena Ghosh,

Assistant Director

AIPA, ASEAN Foundation, AICHR and Other ASEAN Associated Entities Division

Community Affairs Development Directorate

Corporate and Community Affairs Department

ASEAN Secretariat

E-mail: leena.ghosh@asean.org

Re:      Submission of ACSC/APF 2012 related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Dear Excellencies,

On behalf of the Civil Society Committee for ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF 2012), we are pleased to submit to you civil society’s aspirations related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). More than 1,200 people attended the ACSC/APF 2012 that was organized in Lucky Star Hotel, Phnom Penh on 29-31 March 2012. They came from all ten ASEAN countries and beyond.

We also would like to use this opportunity to convey our interest to participate in the consultation that AICHR will be planning to do in the late June 2012. To ensure that the consultation would be meaningful, we encourage AICHR to make the draft available to the public. We understand that you value the trust and credibility from the people in ASEAN which can only be obtained through a transparent process.

Furthermore, we believe that AHRD is a very important document for the daily life of the people, which requires legitimacy from the population in ASEAN. With the advance of communication technology nowadays, AICHR could create a website to release the draft of AHRD which allows more public participation in making comments and inputs.

Please feel free to contact Steering Committee should you have further question or clarification at the email samath@ngoforum.org.kh and thida_khus@silaka.org. Hard copies will follow this email.

Please, Excellency, accept our highest consideration.

Chair, Steering Committee ACSC/APF 2012

Mr. Chhith Sam Ath                        Mrs. Thida Khus


Letter from ACSC/APF 2012 Steering Committee on civil society inputs on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD).

 

Phnom Penh, shop 24 April 2012

H.E. Om Yentieng

Chairperson

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

No. 3, for sale Samdech Hun Sen Street,

Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamcarmon,

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Fax: + 855 23 216 144/216 141

Cc:

H.E. Chet Chealy

Alternate Representative of Cambodia to AICHR

Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC)

No.3, St. VI.13 Tuol Kork Village, Sangkat Tuol Sangke,

Khan Russey Keo, Phnom Penh

Tel. +855 23 882 065, Fax. +855 23 882 065

Email: chetchealy@gmail.com

Ms. Leena Ghosh,

Assistant Director

AIPA, ASEAN Foundation, AICHR and Other ASEAN Associated Entities Division

Community Affairs Development Directorate

Corporate and Community Affairs Department

ASEAN Secretariat

E-mail: leena.ghosh@asean.org

Re:      Submission of ACSC/APF 2012 related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Dear Excellencies,

On behalf of the Civil Society Committee for ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF 2012), we are pleased to submit to you civil society’s aspirations related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). More than 1,200 people attended the ACSC/APF 2012 that was organized in Lucky Star Hotel, Phnom Penh on 29-31 March 2012. They came from all ten ASEAN countries and beyond.

We also would like to use this opportunity to convey our interest to participate in the consultation that AICHR will be planning to do in the late June 2012. To ensure that the consultation would be meaningful, we encourage AICHR to make the draft available to the public. We understand that you value the trust and credibility from the people in ASEAN which can only be obtained through a transparent process.

Furthermore, we believe that AHRD is a very important document for the daily life of the people, which requires legitimacy from the population in ASEAN. With the advance of communication technology nowadays, AICHR could create a website to release the draft of AHRD which allows more public participation in making comments and inputs.

Please feel free to contact Steering Committee should you have further question or clarification at the email samath@ngoforum.org.kh and thida_khus@silaka.org. Hard copies will follow this email.

Please, Excellency, accept our highest consideration.

Chair, Steering Committee ACSC/APF 2012

Mr. Chhith Sam Ath                        Mrs. Thida Khus

 


 Aspirations of Civil Society’s during the ACSC/APF 2012 on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

1.    We are deeply disappointed at the secret, exclusionary and opaque drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has failed to consult ASEAN civil society to a meaningful extent on the regional level, and only a few representatives consulted on the national level. A draft produced by the Drafting Group in January was never officially published. CSO submissions were left without response, resulting in CSOs being left in the dark as to whether their input has been taken into account.

 2.    Substantively, the Working Draft, which has not been officially published, discloses worrying tendencies among the drafters which, if they prevail, would provide the ASEAN people with a lower level of human rights protection than in universal and other regional instruments. There is heavy emphasis on concepts such as duties, national and regional particularities and noninterference – all of which may be abused to legitimise human rights violations.

 3.    Problematic terms such as “good citizens” and “public morality” may open the door to abusive and discriminatory interpretations, in particular regarding women, LGBTIQ people, children, IPs and minorities and other often-marginalised groups. Several provisions for specific rights are inadequate, open to abuse, or else are missing key components. Thus freedom of expression and assembly, freedom of LGBTIQ people from discrimination and gender rights are not properly provided for.

 4.    We recommend that the AICHR, ASEAN and/or its Member States:

  • Immediately publicize the most current draft of AHRD so that civil society can participate substantively in the drafting process;
  • Continue and expand meaningful consultations on national level, in particular by those AICHR representatives who have not yet done so;
  • Conduct wide-ranging and inclusive consultations, at both national and regional levels, during which the latest drafts of the AHRD should be discussed. AICHR should seriously consider submissions from CSOs, national human rights institutes and other stakeholders, and provide them with feedback;
  • Translate drafts of the AHRD into national languages and other local languages of the ASEAN countries in order to encourage broader public engagement in the region;
  • Include a) the “Right to Peace”, b)  sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) provision AHRD – specifically the inclusion of reference to ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’, and c) sexual reproductive health and rights in AHRD;

 5.    Recommendation in regard to women’s human rights perspectives in AHRD:

  • AHRD should enable women’s access to justice in Southeast Asia;
  • ASEAN governments take all appropriate measures to modify or abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices which limit women from enjoying their fundamental freedoms and rights;
  • Women’s human rights perspectives, reflected in the CEDAW and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action must be integrated into AHRD;
  • There is no erosion of rights in the AHRD and no inclusion of ‘morality, moral value

or traditional values’ clauses that serve to undermine rights; and

  • The AHRD drafting process must be subjected to public consultation and must involve women.

 

DOWNLOAD LETTER IN PDF

Bangkok, and online 27 April, prescription for sale (Asian Tribune.com):The performance of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has been disappointing and wanting, epitomized by the lack of transparency, failure to consult with civil society organizations and no demonstrable progress in protecting and promoting human rights, according to a civil society assessment report on the performance of the AICHR for the period of October 2010 to December 2011.

The report, titled “A Commission Shrouded in Secrecy”, was released jointly on Thursday by the Solidarity for Asian People’s Advocacy Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TFAHR) and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA).

The civil society coalition said a total reform is needed if the AICHR is to become more independent from the governments, more effective in responding to human rights violations and more relevant to the needs of the peoples in the region.

The report revealed that AICHR has systematically failed to make public any of the official documents adopted since its inception in 2009. This includes its first annual report, which was submitted to the 44th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July 2011.

Other official AICHR documents that have not been made public include the Guidelines on Operations of the AICHR, the Terms of Reference of the Drafting Group of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, the Terms of Reference of the Baseline Study on Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights in ASEAN, the Rules of Procedure for the AICHR Fund, the first annual report of the AICHR, the AICHR Work Plan 2013-2015, its 2012 Priority Programme and its budget, and the Terms of Reference of the Thematic Study of the Right to Peace.

“We are extremely concerned that AICHR has not even made the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration available for public comments. It is ironic that the peoples in the region do not have the right to access a document that is supposed to protect their human rights,” said Yap Swee Seng, executive director of FORUM-ASIA during the launch of the report.

The report found that the AICHR has continued to refuse meetings with civil society organizations and national human rights institutions in the region despite numerous requests made.

The report further slammed the AICHR for discriminating against civil society organizations in Southeast Asia whom it refused to meet, but on the other hand did not hesitate to meet with a range of international civil society organizations, including Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International (AI), the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and Freedom House during its official visits to the United States and Europe.

“While we welcome the meetings between the AICHR with international human rights organizations and note that such engagements should be encouraged, the Commission’s refusal to meet with civil society organizations from its own region when it had no qualms in meeting with international civil society organizations is simply a practice of double standards,” stressed Chalida Tajaroensuk, executive director of People’s Empowerment Foundation of Thailand, a member of the SAPA TFAHR.

SAPA TFAHR first requested for a meeting with the AICHR during its first official meeting in March 2010. The request was rejected on the grounds that the AICHR had yet to establish its rules of procedure and therefore could not meet with civil society. The performance report of AICHR shows that the Commission only granted meeting request from only a single civil society organization – the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism – ostensibly on the basis that they are listed as stakeholders recognized by ASEAN under Annex II of the ASEAN Charter.

The report also raised concern over the AICHR’s failures in concluding any of the studies that it has undertaken, in concretely responding to real human rights situations – either in the region generally or in specific member states – and most worryingly, failed to improve the human rights of even a single individual within the ASEAN regional, two years after its establishment.

The AICHR has identified three thematic issues for further study, namely migration, corporate social responsibility and human rights and the right to peace. So far, the terms of reference for these studies have not been made public. It was also expected to give its advisory opinion to the ASEAN member states on the issue of mandatory HIV test for migrant workers but to date has still failed to do so.

The report made numerous recommendations to the AICHR. Key among them are for the AICHR to be more transparent by publishing relevant documents, including the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, via a dedicated website; and to institutionalize regular consultations at national and regional levels with key stakeholders, especially the civil society organizations, national human rights institutions and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC).

“The AICHR must strive to improve its transparency and engagement with civil society in the coming years. Otherwise, it risks being an irrelevant body to the peoples in the region,” said Saowalak Thongkuay, Regional Development Office of the Disable Peoples’ International Asia Pacific.

Source: http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2012/04/26/total-reform-needed-make-aichr-independent-effective-and-relevant-asean-peoples

ASEAN’s road to nowhere? Subverting standards within the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

by Mark Weisbrot, treatment December 2011

Although most Americans have not heard about it, a historic step [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/celac-speaking-for-latin-america-and-the-caribbean] towards changing this hemisphere was taken three weeks ago.  A new organization for the region was formed, and everyone was invited except the U.S. and Canada. The new organization is called the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
 
There was a reason for the exclusion of the two richest countries, including the world’s largest economy. In fact there were many reasons, but they went mostly unnoticed in the major media.  The existing regional grouping, the Organization of American States (OAS), is too often controlled by the U.S. State Department, with Canada as junior partner.
 
In 2009, there was a big eye-opener for the rest of the hemisphere, especially those governments that thought President Obama would break with tradition and support democracy in the hemisphere.  The democratic government of Honduras was overthrown in a military coup in June of that year. Although the U.S. role in the coup itself is still unclear, there is no doubt that Washington did quite a bit to help the coup government succeed [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&-columns/top-ten-ways] and establish itself. And one of the things that the Obama administration did was to block the OAS [http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1930835,00.html] from taking more effective action against the coup government.
 
The OAS was also used by Washington to overturn election results [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/cepr-examines-oas-report-on-haitis-election-finds-it-qinconclusive-statistically-flawed-and-indefensibleq] in the first round of Haiti’s presidential election of last year.  An OAS “expert verification mission” changed the results [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/oas-overturned-haitian-presidential-election-in-a-qpolitical-interventionq-new-cepr-paper-suggests] without even so much as a recount or any statistical basis for its actions, and the U.S. and its allies threatened Haiti’s government until it accepted the result. This was a sequel to the OAS role [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/oas-overturned-haitian-presidential-election-in-a-qpolitical-interventionq-new-cepr-paper-suggests] in the de-legitimizing of Haiti’s elections in 2000, which played a vital role in the U.S.-organized coup against the democratic government there in 2004.
 
Clearly the OAS cannot be trusted with regard to issues of democracy or election monitoring in the hemisphere. But there are many more reasons for forming a new organization for the region.  Over the past 15 years there has been a “Latin American spring,” with left-of-center, democratic governments being elected in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruguay, and others. It is no coincidence that this tectonic shift at the ballot box has brought with it a burst of economic growth, historic reductions in poverty, increased access to health care and education, and a reduction in income inequality.
 
And it is no coincidence that Latin America’s worst long-term growth failure [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/scorecard-on-development-25-years-of-diminished-progress/] in more than a century – from 1980-2000 – took place during the era of the “Washington Consensus,” when economic policy in the region was heavily influenced by Washington-based institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  In fact, the Latin American spring was mainly driven by this economic failure and a desire for alternatives.
 
The new CELAC reflects this new reality – Latin America has become politically independent of the United States, there have been many changes in economic policy as a result, and these changes have brought higher living standards.  CELAC will continue to advance these positive changes, including regional economic integration, co-ordination around foreign policy, and conflict resolution.  Although it will take time, CELAC will eventually displace the OAS, which will become increasingly irrelevant to Latin America – just as the mostly Washington-controlled IMF, which 15 years ago had enormous influence in Latin America, is now irrelevant to most of the region.
 
Americans should welcome these changes and ignore the pundits’ whining about so-called “anti-Americanism” in this independence movement.  We, the 99 percent of Americans who did not benefit from decades of harmful intervention from Washington in the region, have everything to gain from a more independent and prosperous Latin America, and nothing to lose.
 
– Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C He is also president of Just Foreign Policy [http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/].

 

 

Mark Weisbrot, malady 22 Diciembre 2011

Aunque la mayoría de estadounidenses no se han enterado, un paso histórico hacia el cambio en el hemisferio ocurrió hace tres semanas. Una nueva organización regional se formó, y todo el mundo fue invitado con excepción de Estados Unidos y Canadá. La nueva organización se llama la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC).

Hubo una razón para la exclusión de los dos países más ricos, incluyendo la economía más grande del mundo. De hecho, hubo muchas razones, pero pasaron en mayor parte desapercibidas en los principales medios de comunicaciones. La existente organización regional, la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), es controlada demasiado frecuentemente por el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, con Canadá como un socio menor.

En 2009, hubo una gran revelación para el resto del hemisferio, especialmente esos gobiernos que pensaron que el Presidente Obama iría a acabar con la tradición y realmente apoyar la democracia en la región. Sin embargo, el gobierno democrático de Honduras fue derrocado por un golpe de estado militar en junio de ese año.  Y aunque el papel de Estado Unidos en el golpe de Estado no ha quedado claro, no cabe duda que Washington hizo bastante para asegurar que el golpe tuviera éxito y que el nuevo régimen se estableciera. Una de las cosas que la administración de Obama hizo fue bloquear a la OEA para que no tomara medidas más efectivas en contra del gobierno golpista.

La OEA también fue utilizada por Washington para revertir los resultados en la primera etapa de las elecciones presidenciales en Haití el año pasado. Una “misión de verificación de expertos” de la OEA cambió los resultados sin ni siquiera hacer un recuento de votos y sin pruebas estadísticas en las cuales podía basar sus acciones. Es más, los Estados Unidos y sus aliados amenazaron al gobierno de Haití hasta que aceptara los resultados del cambio. Esto formó parte de un seguimiento al papel que tuvo la OEA con respecto a la deslegitimación de las elecciones del 2000 en Haití, que jugó un papel muy importante en el golpe de Estado del 2004, orquestado por los Estados Unidos contra el gobierno democráticamente electo de Haití.

Está claro que no se puede confiar en la OEA cuando se trata de asuntos de democracia o monitoreo de elecciones en el hemisferio. Pero hay muchas más razones para formar una nueva organización en el hemisferio. Durante los últimos 15 años ha ocurrido una “primavera latinoamericana,” con la elección de gobiernos de centro-izquierda como en Brasil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay, y Uruguay, entre otros. No es coincidencia que este movimiento tectónico en las urnas haya traído consigo una explosión de crecimiento económico, reducciones en pobreza de nivel récord, aumentos en acceso a la salud y la educación, y una reducción en la desigualdad de ingresos.

Y no es coincidencia que el crecimiento fracasado a largo plazo de América Latina  – de 1980 a 2000 – tomó lugar durante la era del “Consenso de Washington,” cuando la política económica en la región era fuertemente influenciada por instituciones basadas en Washington, como el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI). De hecho, la primavera latinoamericana se debió principalmente al fracaso económico y al deseo de la gente de tener otras alternativas.

La nueva CELAC refleja esta nueva realidad – América Latina se ha convertido en una región independiente de Estados Unidos. Como resultado, ha habido muchos cambios en la economía política de los países, y estos cambios han traído consigo niveles de vida más altos. CELAC continuara a avanzar estos cambios positivos, inclusive la integración económica regional, coordinada alrededor de la política exterior y la resolución de conflictos. Aunque tomara tiempo, CELAC eventualmente remplazará a la OEA, que se irá haciendo más irrelevante para América Latina – así como el FMI, que hace 15 años tenía una influencia enorme sobre América Latina, pero que ahora se ha vuelto irrelevante para la mayoría de la región.

Los estadounidenses deberían darle una bienvenida a estos cambios e ignorar a los ‘expertos’ que se quejan del tal “anti-americanismo” en este movimiento independiente. Nosotros, el 99 por ciento de estadounidenses que no nos beneficiamos de décadas de intervenciones dañinas de Washington en la región, tenemos todo para ganar de una América Latina independiente y prospera, y nada que perder.


Mark Weisbrot es codirector del Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), en Washington, D.C. Obtuvo un doctorado en economía por la Universidad de Michigan. Es también presidente de la organización Just Foreign Policy.

 

Source: http://www.cepr.net/index.php/other-languages/spanish-op-eds/creacion-de-nueva-organizacion-regional-representa-un-gran-paso-adelante-para-el-hemisferio

Mark Weisbrot, discount 22

Aunque la mayoría de estadounidenses no se han enterado, un paso histórico hacia el cambio en el hemisferio ocurrió hace tres semanas. Una nueva organización regional se formó, y todo el mundo fue invitado con excepción de Estados Unidos y Canadá. La nueva organización se llama la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC).

Hubo una razón para la exclusión de los dos países más ricos, incluyendo la economía más grande del mundo. De hecho, hubo muchas razones, pero pasaron en mayor parte desapercibidas en los principales medios de comunicaciones. La existente organización regional, la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), es controlada demasiado frecuentemente por el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, con Canadá como un socio menor.

En 2009, hubo una gran revelación para el resto del hemisferio, especialmente esos gobiernos que pensaron que el Presidente Obama iría a acabar con la tradición y realmente apoyar la democracia en la región. Sin embargo, el gobierno democrático de Honduras fue derrocado por un golpe de estado militar en junio de ese año.  Y aunque el papel de Estado Unidos en el golpe de Estado no ha quedado claro, no cabe duda que Washington hizo bastante para asegurar que el golpe tuviera éxito y que el nuevo régimen se estableciera. Una de las cosas que la administración de Obama hizo fue bloquear a la OEA para que no tomara medidas más efectivas en contra del gobierno golpista.

La OEA también fue utilizada por Washington para revertir los resultados en la primera etapa de las elecciones presidenciales en Haití el año pasado. Una “misión de verificación de expertos” de la OEA cambió los resultados sin ni siquiera hacer un recuento de votos y sin pruebas estadísticas en las cuales podía basar sus acciones. Es más, los Estados Unidos y sus aliados amenazaron al gobierno de Haití hasta que aceptara los resultados del cambio. Esto formó parte de un seguimiento al papel que tuvo la OEA con respecto a la deslegitimación de las elecciones del 2000 en Haití, que jugó un papel muy importante en el golpe de Estado del 2004, orquestado por los Estados Unidos contra el gobierno democráticamente electo de Haití.

Está claro que no se puede confiar en la OEA cuando se trata de asuntos de democracia o monitoreo de elecciones en el hemisferio. Pero hay muchas más razones para formar una nueva organización en el hemisferio. Durante los últimos 15 años ha ocurrido una “primavera latinoamericana,” con la elección de gobiernos de centro-izquierda como en Brasil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay, y Uruguay, entre otros. No es coincidencia que este movimiento tectónico en las urnas haya traído consigo una explosión de crecimiento económico, reducciones en pobreza de nivel récord, aumentos en acceso a la salud y la educación, y una reducción en la desigualdad de ingresos.

Y no es coincidencia que el crecimiento fracasado a largo plazo de América Latina  – de 1980 a 2000 – tomó lugar durante la era del “Consenso de Washington,” cuando la política económica en la región era fuertemente influenciada por instituciones basadas en Washington, como el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI). De hecho, la primavera latinoamericana se debió principalmente al fracaso económico y al deseo de la gente de tener otras alternativas.

La nueva CELAC refleja esta nueva realidad – América Latina se ha convertido en una región independiente de Estados Unidos. Como resultado, ha habido muchos cambios en la economía política de los países, y estos cambios han traído consigo niveles de vida más altos. CELAC continuara a avanzar estos cambios positivos, inclusive la integración económica regional, coordinada alrededor de la política exterior y la resolución de conflictos. Aunque tomara tiempo, CELAC eventualmente remplazará a la OEA, que se irá haciendo más irrelevante para América Latina – así como el FMI, que hace 15 años tenía una influencia enorme sobre América Latina, pero que ahora se ha vuelto irrelevante para la mayoría de la región.

Los estadounidenses deberían darle una bienvenida a estos cambios e ignorar a los ‘expertos’ que se quejan del tal “anti-americanismo” en este movimiento independiente. Nosotros, el 99 por ciento de estadounidenses que no nos beneficiamos de décadas de intervenciones dañinas de Washington en la región, tenemos todo para ganar de una América Latina independiente y prospera, y nada que perder.


Mark Weisbrot es codirector del Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), en Washington, D.C. Obtuvo un doctorado en economía por la Universidad de Michigan. Es también presidente de la organización Just Foreign Policy.

 

Source: http://www.cepr.net/index.php/other-languages/spanish-op-eds/creacion-de-nueva-organizacion-regional-representa-un-gran-paso-adelante-para-el-hemisferio

Mark Weisbrot, case 22 Diciembre 2011

Aunque la mayoría de estadounidenses no se han enterado, buy un paso histórico hacia el cambio en el hemisferio ocurrió hace tres semanas. Una nueva organización regional se formó, y todo el mundo fue invitado con excepción de Estados Unidos y Canadá. La nueva organización se llama la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC).

Hubo una razón para la exclusión de los dos países más ricos, incluyendo la economía más grande del mundo. De hecho, hubo muchas razones, pero pasaron en mayor parte desapercibidas en los principales medios de comunicaciones. La existente organización regional, la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), es controlada demasiado frecuentemente por el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, con Canadá como un socio menor.

En 2009, hubo una gran revelación para el resto del hemisferio, especialmente esos gobiernos que pensaron que el Presidente Obama iría a acabar con la tradición y realmente apoyar la democracia en la región. Sin embargo, el gobierno democrático de Honduras fue derrocado por un golpe de estado militar en junio de ese año.  Y aunque el papel de Estado Unidos en el golpe de Estado no ha quedado claro, no cabe duda que Washington hizo bastante para asegurar que el golpe tuviera éxito y que el nuevo régimen se estableciera. Una de las cosas que la administración de Obama hizo fue bloquear a la OEA para que no tomara medidas más efectivas en contra del gobierno golpista.

La OEA también fue utilizada por Washington para revertir los resultados en la primera etapa de las elecciones presidenciales en Haití el año pasado. Una “misión de verificación de expertos” de la OEA cambió los resultados sin ni siquiera hacer un recuento de votos y sin pruebas estadísticas en las cuales podía basar sus acciones. Es más, los Estados Unidos y sus aliados amenazaron al gobierno de Haití hasta que aceptara los resultados del cambio. Esto formó parte de un seguimiento al papel que tuvo la OEA con respecto a la deslegitimación de las elecciones del 2000 en Haití, que jugó un papel muy importante en el golpe de Estado del 2004, orquestado por los Estados Unidos contra el gobierno democráticamente electo de Haití.

Está claro que no se puede confiar en la OEA cuando se trata de asuntos de democracia o monitoreo de elecciones en el hemisferio. Pero hay muchas más razones para formar una nueva organización en el hemisferio. Durante los últimos 15 años ha ocurrido una “primavera latinoamericana,” con la elección de gobiernos de centro-izquierda como en Brasil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay, y Uruguay, entre otros. No es coincidencia que este movimiento tectónico en las urnas haya traído consigo una explosión de crecimiento económico, reducciones en pobreza de nivel récord, aumentos en acceso a la salud y la educación, y una reducción en la desigualdad de ingresos.

Y no es coincidencia que el crecimiento fracasado a largo plazo de América Latina  – de 1980 a 2000 – tomó lugar durante la era del “Consenso de Washington,” cuando la política económica en la región era fuertemente influenciada por instituciones basadas en Washington, como el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI). De hecho, la primavera latinoamericana se debió principalmente al fracaso económico y al deseo de la gente de tener otras alternativas.

La nueva CELAC refleja esta nueva realidad – América Latina se ha convertido en una región independiente de Estados Unidos. Como resultado, ha habido muchos cambios en la economía política de los países, y estos cambios han traído consigo niveles de vida más altos. CELAC continuara a avanzar estos cambios positivos, inclusive la integración económica regional, coordinada alrededor de la política exterior y la resolución de conflictos. Aunque tomara tiempo, CELAC eventualmente remplazará a la OEA, que se irá haciendo más irrelevante para América Latina – así como el FMI, que hace 15 años tenía una influencia enorme sobre América Latina, pero que ahora se ha vuelto irrelevante para la mayoría de la región.

Los estadounidenses deberían darle una bienvenida a estos cambios e ignorar a los ‘expertos’ que se quejan del tal “anti-americanismo” en este movimiento independiente. Nosotros, el 99 por ciento de estadounidenses que no nos beneficiamos de décadas de intervenciones dañinas de Washington en la región, tenemos todo para ganar de una América Latina independiente y prospera, y nada que perder.


Mark Weisbrot es codirector del Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), en Washington, D.C. Obtuvo un doctorado en economía por la Universidad de Michigan. Es también presidente de la organización Just Foreign Policy.

 

Source: http://www.cepr.net/index.php/other-languages/spanish-op-eds/creacion-de-nueva-organizacion-regional-representa-un-gran-paso-adelante-para-el-hemisferio

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, troche climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, rx climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, ampoule activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR)

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, troche climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR)

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, advice food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

In July, the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Phnom Penh will receive one of the most important documents drafted since the adoption five years ago of the ASEAN Charter. The ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights supposedly rings in a “new ASEAN” that is “people-oriented” with popular participation at its core.  

Yet when the declaration, known as the ADHR, reaches the ministers, odds are that few citizens of ASEAN member countries will have ever heard of it, no meaningful public participation will have taken place about it and its contents may well call into question whether ASEAN and its members are prepared to abide by universal human rights standards. 

With the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights coming up next year, few regional NGOs and human rights defenders thought they might have to revisit the debate about so-called “Asian values,” last promoted in the 1990s by Mahathir Mohamad and Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime ministers of Malaysia and Singapore. They made the case that rights should be based on the national, social and cultural contexts of Asian nations rather than the indivisibility and universality of human rights.

Regional human rights activists began a concerted effort in 1995 to persuade ASEAN, then often derided as a “club of dictators,” to create an ASEAN human rights commission and demonstrate a commitment to human rights through a declaration. Their campaign started after the Vienna conference effectively ended the “Asian values” debate by adopting a declaration that reaffirmed that “all human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated” and added that the “international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis.” 

ASEAN members didn’t object, and soon thereafter they agreed to start discussions on setting up an ASEAN-wide human rights commission. Few imagined the endeavor would ultimately stretch for more than a decade.

Fast forward to 2007, when ASEAN finally adopted a legally binding charter that contains laudable recognition of human rights in its guiding principles, which include “respect for fundamental freedoms, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the promotion of social justice.” But read on further, and the ambivalence of ASEAN towards its new arrangement becomes clear. Most telling is the charter’s inclusion of more traditional ASEAN fare, such as the bloc’s well-worn formula that requires “non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN member states.” This is the grouping’s quintessential mutual defense clause against unwelcome criticism. 

Nevertheless, the charter called for a regional human rights commission, and when the ASEAN Inter-government Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was finally established in 2009, regional human rights campaigners celebrated the fall of the final citadel of resistance to universal human rights standards. Civil society groups gave the new commission the benefit of the doubt, and a long honeymoon period – in the expectation of gradual progress – began despite grave concerns about its limited mandate and lack of independence from regional governments. 

But two years on, one of AICHR’s key mandates, to draft the declaration, is raising concerns that a number of member governments are trying to renege on what they agreed to in Vienna. Broadly speaking, there are three possible outcomes. The declaration could be brought forward as a document that challenges ASEAN to do more on human rights and sets standards above existing international human rights accords. But few expect that dream to come true. A second option is that the declaration meets international human rights standards, which while welcome would also raise questions about why ASEAN needed so much time to create such a declaration. The third option, which human rights defenders feel is most likely and thus are preparing to oppose, is an ADHR that seeks to undermine international standards. 

At this point, it’s impossible to know for sure since the human rights commission shamefully refuses to reveal its draft declaration.   

The Thai saying that “the seed doesn’t fall far from the tree” may help explain why ASEAN’s penchant for secrecy in its meetings and documents has also become AICHR’s operating principle. But it certainly doesn’t justify the commission’s systematic shunning of ASEAN civil society, which just a few years before was being feted by Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan with promises of a “people’s ASEAN,” which he claimed was critical for the bloc to work effectively. 

AICHR clearly didn’t get the memo. To date, the commission has refused repeated requests to share the ADHR draft text with regional and national civil society groups. Even the terms of reference for the drafting committee, hand-picked by governments to develop the draft ADHR, have been kept secret as well as the names of the people selected to serve on the drafting committee.

When faced with repeated requests by civil society groups to release the draft terms of reference and the draft ADHR, the AICHR replied that the commission was not in a position to share “internal working documents” with outside parties. It’s not surprising then that the Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum Asia) and the SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TF-AHR) titled their comprehensive report on AICHR A Commission Shrouded in Secrecy. The report was released in Bangkok on April 26. 

There is much at stake because, as Surin put it, the ADHR is supposed to be the “road map for regional human rights development” in ASEAN for years to come. The situation is bad enough that Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, chided AICHR after a meeting with civil society groups and the commission in Bali in November 2011. “The number one concern was that AICHR, as a body, is not talking to civil society,” she pointed out. “That is a major concern to me, as well. No discussion of human rights can be complete or credible without significant input from civil society and national human rights institutions.” She continued: “And I can understand civil society organizations’ extreme frustration that they have not even been able to contribute to the drafting of the declaration or been adequately consulted on its contents.”

Difficulties in accessing information within ASEAN have made regional human rights activists experts in digging up information, and even ostensibly sealed off systems like ASEAN spring leaks now and again. So after months of trying, civil society groups in the SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights finally got their hands on a copy of the draft ADHR dated January 8, 2012. 

Judging from that draft – since there is no other available – it appears the situation is as bad as many regional human rights advocates feared. Significant swathes of the draft focus on limiting rights, rather than promoting and protecting them, with some particularly odious amendments being proposed by persistent human rights abusers Laos and Vietnam. 

There are limitations that go well beyond what is permitted by international human rights standards, ranging from the impossibly vague, such as saying that the exercise of rights should not go against the “general welfare of the people” or “the common interest,” to the blatantly obstructionist, such as Laos’ rather defensive recommendation that the realization of rights must depend on principles including “non-confrontation, avoidance of double standards and non-politicization.”

While some of these more objectionable provisions might still get knocked out of the final version, the ADHR drafters are still insisting on language that resurrects the old excuses that use local social, cultural and religious contexts to erode human rights universality and condition enjoyment of rights on fulfillment of duties in ways that go beyond human rights standards. A push and pull debate is evidently going on between the governments of Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, which are seeking to ensure full respect for universal human rights standards, and other members of ASEAN that are scrambling to ensure loopholes will be created to permit exemptions to international human rights law. 

For example, problematic propositions like “creation of an environment where the peoples of ASEAN would enjoy, to the fullest possible extent, rights and freedoms within the regional context,” buttress efforts by governments like Malaysia to ensure that any discussion of discrimination by sex or sexual orientation is done in line with what it terms “ASEAN Core Values” rather than decisions of the UN Human Rights Council or the expert Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was set up to assist countries in implementing their obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 

Sadly, with regional human rights experts sidelined, the loophole strategy has a reasonable chance of success unless the international community demands that ASEAN change its rules to allow full civil society participation in the ADHR drafting and adoption process.

It’s not too late to alter the dynamic and make the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights the fully rights-respecting agreement that it is supposed to be. AICHR should immediately postpone efforts to send the draft declaration to the ASEAN foreign ministers in June. Instead, the AICHR and the ADHR drafting committee should devise a comprehensive participatory process to ensure that the views of nongovernmental organizations and human rights defenders are heard and incorporated into a real declaration that aims high and seeks to meet the aspirations of all the peoples of ASEAN. That would be an outcome worth waiting for.  

Phil Robertson is Deputy Asia Director of Human Rights Watch.

Source: http://www.sr-indonesia.com/2011-08-09-22-09-10/commentaries/187-aseans-road-to-nowhere-subverting-standards-within-the-asean-human-rights-declaration

Submission of ACSC/APF 2012 related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

by Mark Weisbrot, treatment December 2011

Although most Americans have not heard about it, a historic step [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/celac-speaking-for-latin-america-and-the-caribbean] towards changing this hemisphere was taken three weeks ago.  A new organization for the region was formed, and everyone was invited except the U.S. and Canada. The new organization is called the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
 
There was a reason for the exclusion of the two richest countries, including the world’s largest economy. In fact there were many reasons, but they went mostly unnoticed in the major media.  The existing regional grouping, the Organization of American States (OAS), is too often controlled by the U.S. State Department, with Canada as junior partner.
 
In 2009, there was a big eye-opener for the rest of the hemisphere, especially those governments that thought President Obama would break with tradition and support democracy in the hemisphere.  The democratic government of Honduras was overthrown in a military coup in June of that year. Although the U.S. role in the coup itself is still unclear, there is no doubt that Washington did quite a bit to help the coup government succeed [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&-columns/top-ten-ways] and establish itself. And one of the things that the Obama administration did was to block the OAS [http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1930835,00.html] from taking more effective action against the coup government.
 
The OAS was also used by Washington to overturn election results [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/cepr-examines-oas-report-on-haitis-election-finds-it-qinconclusive-statistically-flawed-and-indefensibleq] in the first round of Haiti’s presidential election of last year.  An OAS “expert verification mission” changed the results [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/oas-overturned-haitian-presidential-election-in-a-qpolitical-interventionq-new-cepr-paper-suggests] without even so much as a recount or any statistical basis for its actions, and the U.S. and its allies threatened Haiti’s government until it accepted the result. This was a sequel to the OAS role [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/oas-overturned-haitian-presidential-election-in-a-qpolitical-interventionq-new-cepr-paper-suggests] in the de-legitimizing of Haiti’s elections in 2000, which played a vital role in the U.S.-organized coup against the democratic government there in 2004.
 
Clearly the OAS cannot be trusted with regard to issues of democracy or election monitoring in the hemisphere. But there are many more reasons for forming a new organization for the region.  Over the past 15 years there has been a “Latin American spring,” with left-of-center, democratic governments being elected in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruguay, and others. It is no coincidence that this tectonic shift at the ballot box has brought with it a burst of economic growth, historic reductions in poverty, increased access to health care and education, and a reduction in income inequality.
 
And it is no coincidence that Latin America’s worst long-term growth failure [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/scorecard-on-development-25-years-of-diminished-progress/] in more than a century – from 1980-2000 – took place during the era of the “Washington Consensus,” when economic policy in the region was heavily influenced by Washington-based institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  In fact, the Latin American spring was mainly driven by this economic failure and a desire for alternatives.
 
The new CELAC reflects this new reality – Latin America has become politically independent of the United States, there have been many changes in economic policy as a result, and these changes have brought higher living standards.  CELAC will continue to advance these positive changes, including regional economic integration, co-ordination around foreign policy, and conflict resolution.  Although it will take time, CELAC will eventually displace the OAS, which will become increasingly irrelevant to Latin America – just as the mostly Washington-controlled IMF, which 15 years ago had enormous influence in Latin America, is now irrelevant to most of the region.
 
Americans should welcome these changes and ignore the pundits’ whining about so-called “anti-Americanism” in this independence movement.  We, the 99 percent of Americans who did not benefit from decades of harmful intervention from Washington in the region, have everything to gain from a more independent and prosperous Latin America, and nothing to lose.
 
– Mark Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C He is also president of Just Foreign Policy [http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/].

 

 

Mark Weisbrot, malady 22 Diciembre 2011

Aunque la mayoría de estadounidenses no se han enterado, un paso histórico hacia el cambio en el hemisferio ocurrió hace tres semanas. Una nueva organización regional se formó, y todo el mundo fue invitado con excepción de Estados Unidos y Canadá. La nueva organización se llama la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC).

Hubo una razón para la exclusión de los dos países más ricos, incluyendo la economía más grande del mundo. De hecho, hubo muchas razones, pero pasaron en mayor parte desapercibidas en los principales medios de comunicaciones. La existente organización regional, la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), es controlada demasiado frecuentemente por el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, con Canadá como un socio menor.

En 2009, hubo una gran revelación para el resto del hemisferio, especialmente esos gobiernos que pensaron que el Presidente Obama iría a acabar con la tradición y realmente apoyar la democracia en la región. Sin embargo, el gobierno democrático de Honduras fue derrocado por un golpe de estado militar en junio de ese año.  Y aunque el papel de Estado Unidos en el golpe de Estado no ha quedado claro, no cabe duda que Washington hizo bastante para asegurar que el golpe tuviera éxito y que el nuevo régimen se estableciera. Una de las cosas que la administración de Obama hizo fue bloquear a la OEA para que no tomara medidas más efectivas en contra del gobierno golpista.

La OEA también fue utilizada por Washington para revertir los resultados en la primera etapa de las elecciones presidenciales en Haití el año pasado. Una “misión de verificación de expertos” de la OEA cambió los resultados sin ni siquiera hacer un recuento de votos y sin pruebas estadísticas en las cuales podía basar sus acciones. Es más, los Estados Unidos y sus aliados amenazaron al gobierno de Haití hasta que aceptara los resultados del cambio. Esto formó parte de un seguimiento al papel que tuvo la OEA con respecto a la deslegitimación de las elecciones del 2000 en Haití, que jugó un papel muy importante en el golpe de Estado del 2004, orquestado por los Estados Unidos contra el gobierno democráticamente electo de Haití.

Está claro que no se puede confiar en la OEA cuando se trata de asuntos de democracia o monitoreo de elecciones en el hemisferio. Pero hay muchas más razones para formar una nueva organización en el hemisferio. Durante los últimos 15 años ha ocurrido una “primavera latinoamericana,” con la elección de gobiernos de centro-izquierda como en Brasil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay, y Uruguay, entre otros. No es coincidencia que este movimiento tectónico en las urnas haya traído consigo una explosión de crecimiento económico, reducciones en pobreza de nivel récord, aumentos en acceso a la salud y la educación, y una reducción en la desigualdad de ingresos.

Y no es coincidencia que el crecimiento fracasado a largo plazo de América Latina  – de 1980 a 2000 – tomó lugar durante la era del “Consenso de Washington,” cuando la política económica en la región era fuertemente influenciada por instituciones basadas en Washington, como el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI). De hecho, la primavera latinoamericana se debió principalmente al fracaso económico y al deseo de la gente de tener otras alternativas.

La nueva CELAC refleja esta nueva realidad – América Latina se ha convertido en una región independiente de Estados Unidos. Como resultado, ha habido muchos cambios en la economía política de los países, y estos cambios han traído consigo niveles de vida más altos. CELAC continuara a avanzar estos cambios positivos, inclusive la integración económica regional, coordinada alrededor de la política exterior y la resolución de conflictos. Aunque tomara tiempo, CELAC eventualmente remplazará a la OEA, que se irá haciendo más irrelevante para América Latina – así como el FMI, que hace 15 años tenía una influencia enorme sobre América Latina, pero que ahora se ha vuelto irrelevante para la mayoría de la región.

Los estadounidenses deberían darle una bienvenida a estos cambios e ignorar a los ‘expertos’ que se quejan del tal “anti-americanismo” en este movimiento independiente. Nosotros, el 99 por ciento de estadounidenses que no nos beneficiamos de décadas de intervenciones dañinas de Washington en la región, tenemos todo para ganar de una América Latina independiente y prospera, y nada que perder.


Mark Weisbrot es codirector del Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), en Washington, D.C. Obtuvo un doctorado en economía por la Universidad de Michigan. Es también presidente de la organización Just Foreign Policy.

 

Source: http://www.cepr.net/index.php/other-languages/spanish-op-eds/creacion-de-nueva-organizacion-regional-representa-un-gran-paso-adelante-para-el-hemisferio

Mark Weisbrot, discount 22

Aunque la mayoría de estadounidenses no se han enterado, un paso histórico hacia el cambio en el hemisferio ocurrió hace tres semanas. Una nueva organización regional se formó, y todo el mundo fue invitado con excepción de Estados Unidos y Canadá. La nueva organización se llama la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC).

Hubo una razón para la exclusión de los dos países más ricos, incluyendo la economía más grande del mundo. De hecho, hubo muchas razones, pero pasaron en mayor parte desapercibidas en los principales medios de comunicaciones. La existente organización regional, la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), es controlada demasiado frecuentemente por el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, con Canadá como un socio menor.

En 2009, hubo una gran revelación para el resto del hemisferio, especialmente esos gobiernos que pensaron que el Presidente Obama iría a acabar con la tradición y realmente apoyar la democracia en la región. Sin embargo, el gobierno democrático de Honduras fue derrocado por un golpe de estado militar en junio de ese año.  Y aunque el papel de Estado Unidos en el golpe de Estado no ha quedado claro, no cabe duda que Washington hizo bastante para asegurar que el golpe tuviera éxito y que el nuevo régimen se estableciera. Una de las cosas que la administración de Obama hizo fue bloquear a la OEA para que no tomara medidas más efectivas en contra del gobierno golpista.

La OEA también fue utilizada por Washington para revertir los resultados en la primera etapa de las elecciones presidenciales en Haití el año pasado. Una “misión de verificación de expertos” de la OEA cambió los resultados sin ni siquiera hacer un recuento de votos y sin pruebas estadísticas en las cuales podía basar sus acciones. Es más, los Estados Unidos y sus aliados amenazaron al gobierno de Haití hasta que aceptara los resultados del cambio. Esto formó parte de un seguimiento al papel que tuvo la OEA con respecto a la deslegitimación de las elecciones del 2000 en Haití, que jugó un papel muy importante en el golpe de Estado del 2004, orquestado por los Estados Unidos contra el gobierno democráticamente electo de Haití.

Está claro que no se puede confiar en la OEA cuando se trata de asuntos de democracia o monitoreo de elecciones en el hemisferio. Pero hay muchas más razones para formar una nueva organización en el hemisferio. Durante los últimos 15 años ha ocurrido una “primavera latinoamericana,” con la elección de gobiernos de centro-izquierda como en Brasil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay, y Uruguay, entre otros. No es coincidencia que este movimiento tectónico en las urnas haya traído consigo una explosión de crecimiento económico, reducciones en pobreza de nivel récord, aumentos en acceso a la salud y la educación, y una reducción en la desigualdad de ingresos.

Y no es coincidencia que el crecimiento fracasado a largo plazo de América Latina  – de 1980 a 2000 – tomó lugar durante la era del “Consenso de Washington,” cuando la política económica en la región era fuertemente influenciada por instituciones basadas en Washington, como el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI). De hecho, la primavera latinoamericana se debió principalmente al fracaso económico y al deseo de la gente de tener otras alternativas.

La nueva CELAC refleja esta nueva realidad – América Latina se ha convertido en una región independiente de Estados Unidos. Como resultado, ha habido muchos cambios en la economía política de los países, y estos cambios han traído consigo niveles de vida más altos. CELAC continuara a avanzar estos cambios positivos, inclusive la integración económica regional, coordinada alrededor de la política exterior y la resolución de conflictos. Aunque tomara tiempo, CELAC eventualmente remplazará a la OEA, que se irá haciendo más irrelevante para América Latina – así como el FMI, que hace 15 años tenía una influencia enorme sobre América Latina, pero que ahora se ha vuelto irrelevante para la mayoría de la región.

Los estadounidenses deberían darle una bienvenida a estos cambios e ignorar a los ‘expertos’ que se quejan del tal “anti-americanismo” en este movimiento independiente. Nosotros, el 99 por ciento de estadounidenses que no nos beneficiamos de décadas de intervenciones dañinas de Washington en la región, tenemos todo para ganar de una América Latina independiente y prospera, y nada que perder.


Mark Weisbrot es codirector del Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), en Washington, D.C. Obtuvo un doctorado en economía por la Universidad de Michigan. Es también presidente de la organización Just Foreign Policy.

 

Source: http://www.cepr.net/index.php/other-languages/spanish-op-eds/creacion-de-nueva-organizacion-regional-representa-un-gran-paso-adelante-para-el-hemisferio

Mark Weisbrot, case 22 Diciembre 2011

Aunque la mayoría de estadounidenses no se han enterado, buy un paso histórico hacia el cambio en el hemisferio ocurrió hace tres semanas. Una nueva organización regional se formó, y todo el mundo fue invitado con excepción de Estados Unidos y Canadá. La nueva organización se llama la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC).

Hubo una razón para la exclusión de los dos países más ricos, incluyendo la economía más grande del mundo. De hecho, hubo muchas razones, pero pasaron en mayor parte desapercibidas en los principales medios de comunicaciones. La existente organización regional, la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), es controlada demasiado frecuentemente por el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos, con Canadá como un socio menor.

En 2009, hubo una gran revelación para el resto del hemisferio, especialmente esos gobiernos que pensaron que el Presidente Obama iría a acabar con la tradición y realmente apoyar la democracia en la región. Sin embargo, el gobierno democrático de Honduras fue derrocado por un golpe de estado militar en junio de ese año.  Y aunque el papel de Estado Unidos en el golpe de Estado no ha quedado claro, no cabe duda que Washington hizo bastante para asegurar que el golpe tuviera éxito y que el nuevo régimen se estableciera. Una de las cosas que la administración de Obama hizo fue bloquear a la OEA para que no tomara medidas más efectivas en contra del gobierno golpista.

La OEA también fue utilizada por Washington para revertir los resultados en la primera etapa de las elecciones presidenciales en Haití el año pasado. Una “misión de verificación de expertos” de la OEA cambió los resultados sin ni siquiera hacer un recuento de votos y sin pruebas estadísticas en las cuales podía basar sus acciones. Es más, los Estados Unidos y sus aliados amenazaron al gobierno de Haití hasta que aceptara los resultados del cambio. Esto formó parte de un seguimiento al papel que tuvo la OEA con respecto a la deslegitimación de las elecciones del 2000 en Haití, que jugó un papel muy importante en el golpe de Estado del 2004, orquestado por los Estados Unidos contra el gobierno democráticamente electo de Haití.

Está claro que no se puede confiar en la OEA cuando se trata de asuntos de democracia o monitoreo de elecciones en el hemisferio. Pero hay muchas más razones para formar una nueva organización en el hemisferio. Durante los últimos 15 años ha ocurrido una “primavera latinoamericana,” con la elección de gobiernos de centro-izquierda como en Brasil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay, y Uruguay, entre otros. No es coincidencia que este movimiento tectónico en las urnas haya traído consigo una explosión de crecimiento económico, reducciones en pobreza de nivel récord, aumentos en acceso a la salud y la educación, y una reducción en la desigualdad de ingresos.

Y no es coincidencia que el crecimiento fracasado a largo plazo de América Latina  – de 1980 a 2000 – tomó lugar durante la era del “Consenso de Washington,” cuando la política económica en la región era fuertemente influenciada por instituciones basadas en Washington, como el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI). De hecho, la primavera latinoamericana se debió principalmente al fracaso económico y al deseo de la gente de tener otras alternativas.

La nueva CELAC refleja esta nueva realidad – América Latina se ha convertido en una región independiente de Estados Unidos. Como resultado, ha habido muchos cambios en la economía política de los países, y estos cambios han traído consigo niveles de vida más altos. CELAC continuara a avanzar estos cambios positivos, inclusive la integración económica regional, coordinada alrededor de la política exterior y la resolución de conflictos. Aunque tomara tiempo, CELAC eventualmente remplazará a la OEA, que se irá haciendo más irrelevante para América Latina – así como el FMI, que hace 15 años tenía una influencia enorme sobre América Latina, pero que ahora se ha vuelto irrelevante para la mayoría de la región.

Los estadounidenses deberían darle una bienvenida a estos cambios e ignorar a los ‘expertos’ que se quejan del tal “anti-americanismo” en este movimiento independiente. Nosotros, el 99 por ciento de estadounidenses que no nos beneficiamos de décadas de intervenciones dañinas de Washington en la región, tenemos todo para ganar de una América Latina independiente y prospera, y nada que perder.


Mark Weisbrot es codirector del Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), en Washington, D.C. Obtuvo un doctorado en economía por la Universidad de Michigan. Es también presidente de la organización Just Foreign Policy.

 

Source: http://www.cepr.net/index.php/other-languages/spanish-op-eds/creacion-de-nueva-organizacion-regional-representa-un-gran-paso-adelante-para-el-hemisferio

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic,
climate, remedy food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, troche climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, rx climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, cure climate,
food and energy crises? In this video documentary, ampoule activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR)

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, troche climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR)

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, advice food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 To be able to jump from chapter to chapter and to follow interactive transcript (), watch the video in youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvB7c7X5qUc

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

 

If you would like to order a free copy or copies, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org

If you liked the video, please share with others!

 


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper/TNI, UK), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

In July, the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Phnom Penh will receive one of the most important documents drafted since the adoption five years ago of the ASEAN Charter. The ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights supposedly rings in a “new ASEAN” that is “people-oriented” with popular participation at its core.  

Yet when the declaration, known as the ADHR, reaches the ministers, odds are that few citizens of ASEAN member countries will have ever heard of it, no meaningful public participation will have taken place about it and its contents may well call into question whether ASEAN and its members are prepared to abide by universal human rights standards. 

With the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights coming up next year, few regional NGOs and human rights defenders thought they might have to revisit the debate about so-called “Asian values,” last promoted in the 1990s by Mahathir Mohamad and Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime ministers of Malaysia and Singapore. They made the case that rights should be based on the national, social and cultural contexts of Asian nations rather than the indivisibility and universality of human rights.

Regional human rights activists began a concerted effort in 1995 to persuade ASEAN, then often derided as a “club of dictators,” to create an ASEAN human rights commission and demonstrate a commitment to human rights through a declaration. Their campaign started after the Vienna conference effectively ended the “Asian values” debate by adopting a declaration that reaffirmed that “all human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated” and added that the “international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis.” 

ASEAN members didn’t object, and soon thereafter they agreed to start discussions on setting up an ASEAN-wide human rights commission. Few imagined the endeavor would ultimately stretch for more than a decade.

Fast forward to 2007, when ASEAN finally adopted a legally binding charter that contains laudable recognition of human rights in its guiding principles, which include “respect for fundamental freedoms, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the promotion of social justice.” But read on further, and the ambivalence of ASEAN towards its new arrangement becomes clear. Most telling is the charter’s inclusion of more traditional ASEAN fare, such as the bloc’s well-worn formula that requires “non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN member states.” This is the grouping’s quintessential mutual defense clause against unwelcome criticism. 

Nevertheless, the charter called for a regional human rights commission, and when the ASEAN Inter-government Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was finally established in 2009, regional human rights campaigners celebrated the fall of the final citadel of resistance to universal human rights standards. Civil society groups gave the new commission the benefit of the doubt, and a long honeymoon period – in the expectation of gradual progress – began despite grave concerns about its limited mandate and lack of independence from regional governments. 

But two years on, one of AICHR’s key mandates, to draft the declaration, is raising concerns that a number of member governments are trying to renege on what they agreed to in Vienna. Broadly speaking, there are three possible outcomes. The declaration could be brought forward as a document that challenges ASEAN to do more on human rights and sets standards above existing international human rights accords. But few expect that dream to come true. A second option is that the declaration meets international human rights standards, which while welcome would also raise questions about why ASEAN needed so much time to create such a declaration. The third option, which human rights defenders feel is most likely and thus are preparing to oppose, is an ADHR that seeks to undermine international standards. 

At this point, it’s impossible to know for sure since the human rights commission shamefully refuses to reveal its draft declaration.   

The Thai saying that “the seed doesn’t fall far from the tree” may help explain why ASEAN’s penchant for secrecy in its meetings and documents has also become AICHR’s operating principle. But it certainly doesn’t justify the commission’s systematic shunning of ASEAN civil society, which just a few years before was being feted by Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan with promises of a “people’s ASEAN,” which he claimed was critical for the bloc to work effectively. 

AICHR clearly didn’t get the memo. To date, the commission has refused repeated requests to share the ADHR draft text with regional and national civil society groups. Even the terms of reference for the drafting committee, hand-picked by governments to develop the draft ADHR, have been kept secret as well as the names of the people selected to serve on the drafting committee.

When faced with repeated requests by civil society groups to release the draft terms of reference and the draft ADHR, the AICHR replied that the commission was not in a position to share “internal working documents” with outside parties. It’s not surprising then that the Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum Asia) and the SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TF-AHR) titled their comprehensive report on AICHR A Commission Shrouded in Secrecy. The report was released in Bangkok on April 26. 

There is much at stake because, as Surin put it, the ADHR is supposed to be the “road map for regional human rights development” in ASEAN for years to come. The situation is bad enough that Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, chided AICHR after a meeting with civil society groups and the commission in Bali in November 2011. “The number one concern was that AICHR, as a body, is not talking to civil society,” she pointed out. “That is a major concern to me, as well. No discussion of human rights can be complete or credible without significant input from civil society and national human rights institutions.” She continued: “And I can understand civil society organizations’ extreme frustration that they have not even been able to contribute to the drafting of the declaration or been adequately consulted on its contents.”

Difficulties in accessing information within ASEAN have made regional human rights activists experts in digging up information, and even ostensibly sealed off systems like ASEAN spring leaks now and again. So after months of trying, civil society groups in the SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights finally got their hands on a copy of the draft ADHR dated January 8, 2012. 

Judging from that draft – since there is no other available – it appears the situation is as bad as many regional human rights advocates feared. Significant swathes of the draft focus on limiting rights, rather than promoting and protecting them, with some particularly odious amendments being proposed by persistent human rights abusers Laos and Vietnam. 

There are limitations that go well beyond what is permitted by international human rights standards, ranging from the impossibly vague, such as saying that the exercise of rights should not go against the “general welfare of the people” or “the common interest,” to the blatantly obstructionist, such as Laos’ rather defensive recommendation that the realization of rights must depend on principles including “non-confrontation, avoidance of double standards and non-politicization.”

While some of these more objectionable provisions might still get knocked out of the final version, the ADHR drafters are still insisting on language that resurrects the old excuses that use local social, cultural and religious contexts to erode human rights universality and condition enjoyment of rights on fulfillment of duties in ways that go beyond human rights standards. A push and pull debate is evidently going on between the governments of Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, which are seeking to ensure full respect for universal human rights standards, and other members of ASEAN that are scrambling to ensure loopholes will be created to permit exemptions to international human rights law. 

For example, problematic propositions like “creation of an environment where the peoples of ASEAN would enjoy, to the fullest possible extent, rights and freedoms within the regional context,” buttress efforts by governments like Malaysia to ensure that any discussion of discrimination by sex or sexual orientation is done in line with what it terms “ASEAN Core Values” rather than decisions of the UN Human Rights Council or the expert Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was set up to assist countries in implementing their obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 

Sadly, with regional human rights experts sidelined, the loophole strategy has a reasonable chance of success unless the international community demands that ASEAN change its rules to allow full civil society participation in the ADHR drafting and adoption process.

It’s not too late to alter the dynamic and make the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights the fully rights-respecting agreement that it is supposed to be. AICHR should immediately postpone efforts to send the draft declaration to the ASEAN foreign ministers in June. Instead, the AICHR and the ADHR drafting committee should devise a comprehensive participatory process to ensure that the views of nongovernmental organizations and human rights defenders are heard and incorporated into a real declaration that aims high and seeks to meet the aspirations of all the peoples of ASEAN. That would be an outcome worth waiting for.  

Phil Robertson is Deputy Asia Director of Human Rights Watch.

Source: http://www.sr-indonesia.com/2011-08-09-22-09-10/commentaries/187-aseans-road-to-nowhere-subverting-standards-within-the-asean-human-rights-declaration

In July, rx the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Phnom Penh will receive one of the most important documents drafted since the adoption five years ago of the ASEAN Charter. The ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights supposedly rings in a “new ASEAN” that is “people-oriented” with popular participation at its core.  

Yet when the declaration, known as the ADHR, reaches the ministers, odds are that few citizens of ASEAN member countries will have ever heard of it, no meaningful public participation will have taken place about it and its contents may well call into question whether ASEAN and its members are prepared to abide by universal human rights standards. 

With the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights coming up next year, few regional NGOs and human rights defenders thought they might have to revisit the debate about so-called “Asian values,” last promoted in the 1990s by Mahathir Mohamad and Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime ministers of Malaysia and Singapore. They made the case that rights should be based on the national, social and cultural contexts of Asian nations rather than the indivisibility and universality of human rights.

Regional human rights activists began a concerted effort in 1995 to persuade ASEAN, then often derided as a “club of dictators,” to create an ASEAN human rights commission and demonstrate a commitment to human rights through a declaration. Their campaign started after the Vienna conference effectively ended the “Asian values” debate by adopting a declaration that reaffirmed that “all human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated” and added that the “international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis.” 

ASEAN members didn’t object, and soon thereafter they agreed to start discussions on setting up an ASEAN-wide human rights commission. Few imagined the endeavor would ultimately stretch for more than a decade.

Fast forward to 2007, when ASEAN finally adopted a legally binding charter that contains laudable recognition of human rights in its guiding principles, which include “respect for fundamental freedoms, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the promotion of social justice.” But read on further, and the ambivalence of ASEAN towards its new arrangement becomes clear. Most telling is the charter’s inclusion of more traditional ASEAN fare, such as the bloc’s well-worn formula that requires “non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN member states.” This is the grouping’s quintessential mutual defense clause against unwelcome criticism. 

Nevertheless, the charter called for a regional human rights commission, and when the ASEAN Inter-government Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was finally established in 2009, regional human rights campaigners celebrated the fall of the final citadel of resistance to universal human rights standards. Civil society groups gave the new commission the benefit of the doubt, and a long honeymoon period – in the expectation of gradual progress – began despite grave concerns about its limited mandate and lack of independence from regional governments. 

But two years on, one of AICHR’s key mandates, to draft the declaration, is raising concerns that a number of member governments are trying to renege on what they agreed to in Vienna. Broadly speaking, there are three possible outcomes. The declaration could be brought forward as a document that challenges ASEAN to do more on human rights and sets standards above existing international human rights accords. But few expect that dream to come true. A second option is that the declaration meets international human rights standards, which while welcome would also raise questions about why ASEAN needed so much time to create such a declaration. The third option, which human rights defenders feel is most likely and thus are preparing to oppose, is an ADHR that seeks to undermine international standards. 

At this point, it’s impossible to know for sure since the human rights commission shamefully refuses to reveal its draft declaration.   

The Thai saying that “the seed doesn’t fall far from the tree” may help explain why ASEAN’s penchant for secrecy in its meetings and documents has also become AICHR’s operating principle. But it certainly doesn’t justify the commission’s systematic shunning of ASEAN civil society, which just a few years before was being feted by Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan with promises of a “people’s ASEAN,” which he claimed was critical for the bloc to work effectively. 

AICHR clearly didn’t get the memo. To date, the commission has refused repeated requests to share the ADHR draft text with regional and national civil society groups. Even the terms of reference for the drafting committee, hand-picked by governments to develop the draft ADHR, have been kept secret as well as the names of the people selected to serve on the drafting committee.

When faced with repeated requests by civil society groups to release the draft terms of reference and the draft ADHR, the AICHR replied that the commission was not in a position to share “internal working documents” with outside parties. It’s not surprising then that the Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum Asia) and the SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TF-AHR) titled their comprehensive report on AICHR A Commission Shrouded in Secrecy. The report was released in Bangkok on April 26. 

There is much at stake because, as Surin put it, the ADHR is supposed to be the “road map for regional human rights development” in ASEAN for years to come. The situation is bad enough that Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, chided AICHR after a meeting with civil society groups and the commission in Bali in November 2011. “The number one concern was that AICHR, as a body, is not talking to civil society,” she pointed out. “That is a major concern to me, as well. No discussion of human rights can be complete or credible without significant input from civil society and national human rights institutions.” She continued: “And I can understand civil society organizations’ extreme frustration that they have not even been able to contribute to the drafting of the declaration or been adequately consulted on its contents.”

Difficulties in accessing information within ASEAN have made regional human rights activists experts in digging up information, and even ostensibly sealed off systems like ASEAN spring leaks now and again. So after months of trying, civil society groups in the SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights finally got their hands on a copy of the draft ADHR dated January 8, 2012. 

Judging from that draft – since there is no other available – it appears the situation is as bad as many regional human rights advocates feared. Significant swathes of the draft focus on limiting rights, rather than promoting and protecting them, with some particularly odious amendments being proposed by persistent human rights abusers Laos and Vietnam. 

There are limitations that go well beyond what is permitted by international human rights standards, ranging from the impossibly vague, such as saying that the exercise of rights should not go against the “general welfare of the people” or “the common interest,” to the blatantly obstructionist, such as Laos’ rather defensive recommendation that the realization of rights must depend on principles including “non-confrontation, avoidance of double standards and non-politicization.”

While some of these more objectionable provisions might still get knocked out of the final version, the ADHR drafters are still insisting on language that resurrects the old excuses that use local social, cultural and religious contexts to erode human rights universality and condition enjoyment of rights on fulfillment of duties in ways that go beyond human rights standards. A push and pull debate is evidently going on between the governments of Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, which are seeking to ensure full respect for universal human rights standards, and other members of ASEAN that are scrambling to ensure loopholes will be created to permit exemptions to international human rights law. 

For example, problematic propositions like “creation of an environment where the peoples of ASEAN would enjoy, to the fullest possible extent, rights and freedoms within the regional context,” buttress efforts by governments like Malaysia to ensure that any discussion of discrimination by sex or sexual orientation is done in line with what it terms “ASEAN Core Values” rather than decisions of the UN Human Rights Council or the expert Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was set up to assist countries in implementing their obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 

Sadly, with regional human rights experts sidelined, the loophole strategy has a reasonable chance of success unless the international community demands that ASEAN change its rules to allow full civil society participation in the ADHR drafting and adoption process.

It’s not too late to alter the dynamic and make the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights the fully rights-respecting agreement that it is supposed to be. AICHR should immediately postpone efforts to send the draft declaration to the ASEAN foreign ministers in June. Instead, the AICHR and the ADHR drafting committee should devise a comprehensive participatory process to ensure that the views of nongovernmental organizations and human rights defenders are heard and incorporated into a real declaration that aims high and seeks to meet the aspirations of all the peoples of ASEAN. That would be an outcome worth waiting for.  

Phil Robertson is Deputy Asia Director of Human Rights Watch.

Source: http://www.sr-indonesia.com/2011-08-09-22-09-10/commentaries/187-aseans-road-to-nowhere-subverting-standards-within-the-asean-human-rights-declaration

In July, the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Phnom Penh will receive one of the most important documents drafted since the adoption five years ago of the ASEAN Charter. The ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights supposedly rings in a “new ASEAN” that is “people-oriented” with popular participation at its core.  

Yet when the declaration, known as the ADHR, shop reaches the ministers, odds are that few citizens of ASEAN member countries will have ever heard of it, no meaningful public participation will have taken place about it and its contents may well call into question whether ASEAN and its members are prepared to abide by universal human rights standards. 

With the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights coming up next year, few regional NGOs and human rights defenders thought they might have to revisit the debate about so-called “Asian values,” last promoted in the 1990s by Mahathir Mohamad and Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime ministers of Malaysia and Singapore. They made the case that rights should be based on the national, social and cultural contexts of Asian nations rather than the indivisibility and universality of human rights.

Regional human rights activists began a concerted effort in 1995 to persuade ASEAN, then often derided as a “club of dictators,” to create an ASEAN human rights commission and demonstrate a commitment to human rights through a declaration. Their campaign started after the Vienna conference effectively ended the “Asian values” debate by adopting a declaration that reaffirmed that “all human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated” and added that the “international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis.” 

ASEAN members didn’t object, and soon thereafter they agreed to start discussions on setting up an ASEAN-wide human rights commission. Few imagined the endeavor would ultimately stretch for more than a decade.

Fast forward to 2007, when ASEAN finally adopted a legally binding charter that contains laudable recognition of human rights in its guiding principles, which include “respect for fundamental freedoms, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the promotion of social justice.” But read on further, and the ambivalence of ASEAN towards its new arrangement becomes clear. Most telling is the charter’s inclusion of more traditional ASEAN fare, such as the bloc’s well-worn formula that requires “non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN member states.” This is the grouping’s quintessential mutual defense clause against unwelcome criticism. 

Nevertheless, the charter called for a regional human rights commission, and when the ASEAN Inter-government Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was finally established in 2009, regional human rights campaigners celebrated the fall of the final citadel of resistance to universal human rights standards. Civil society groups gave the new commission the benefit of the doubt, and a long honeymoon period – in the expectation of gradual progress – began despite grave concerns about its limited mandate and lack of independence from regional governments. 

But two years on, one of AICHR’s key mandates, to draft the declaration, is raising concerns that a number of member governments are trying to renege on what they agreed to in Vienna. Broadly speaking, there are three possible outcomes. The declaration could be brought forward as a document that challenges ASEAN to do more on human rights and sets standards above existing international human rights accords. But few expect that dream to come true. A second option is that the declaration meets international human rights standards, which while welcome would also raise questions about why ASEAN needed so much time to create such a declaration. The third option, which human rights defenders feel is most likely and thus are preparing to oppose, is an ADHR that seeks to undermine international standards. 

At this point, it’s impossible to know for sure since the human rights commission shamefully refuses to reveal its draft declaration.   

The Thai saying that “the seed doesn’t fall far from the tree” may help explain why ASEAN’s penchant for secrecy in its meetings and documents has also become AICHR’s operating principle. But it certainly doesn’t justify the commission’s systematic shunning of ASEAN civil society, which just a few years before was being feted by Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan with promises of a “people’s ASEAN,” which he claimed was critical for the bloc to work effectively. 

AICHR clearly didn’t get the memo. To date, the commission has refused repeated requests to share the ADHR draft text with regional and national civil society groups. Even the terms of reference for the drafting committee, hand-picked by governments to develop the draft ADHR, have been kept secret as well as the names of the people selected to serve on the drafting committee.

When faced with repeated requests by civil society groups to release the draft terms of reference and the draft ADHR, the AICHR replied that the commission was not in a position to share “internal working documents” with outside parties. It’s not surprising then that the Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum Asia) and the SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TF-AHR) titled their comprehensive report on AICHR A Commission Shrouded in Secrecy. The report was released in Bangkok on April 26. 

There is much at stake because, as Surin put it, the ADHR is supposed to be the “road map for regional human rights development” in ASEAN for years to come. The situation is bad enough that Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, chided AICHR after a meeting with civil society groups and the commission in Bali in November 2011. “The number one concern was that AICHR, as a body, is not talking to civil society,” she pointed out. “That is a major concern to me, as well. No discussion of human rights can be complete or credible without significant input from civil society and national human rights institutions.” She continued: “And I can understand civil society organizations’ extreme frustration that they have not even been able to contribute to the drafting of the declaration or been adequately consulted on its contents.”

Difficulties in accessing information within ASEAN have made regional human rights activists experts in digging up information, and even ostensibly sealed off systems like ASEAN spring leaks now and again. So after months of trying, civil society groups in the SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights finally got their hands on a copy of the draft ADHR dated January 8, 2012. 

Judging from that draft – since there is no other available – it appears the situation is as bad as many regional human rights advocates feared. Significant swathes of the draft focus on limiting rights, rather than promoting and protecting them, with some particularly odious amendments being proposed by persistent human rights abusers Laos and Vietnam. 

There are limitations that go well beyond what is permitted by international human rights standards, ranging from the impossibly vague, such as saying that the exercise of rights should not go against the “general welfare of the people” or “the common interest,” to the blatantly obstructionist, such as Laos’ rather defensive recommendation that the realization of rights must depend on principles including “non-confrontation, avoidance of double standards and non-politicization.”

While some of these more objectionable provisions might still get knocked out of the final version, the ADHR drafters are still insisting on language that resurrects the old excuses that use local social, cultural and religious contexts to erode human rights universality and condition enjoyment of rights on fulfillment of duties in ways that go beyond human rights standards. A push and pull debate is evidently going on between the governments of Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, which are seeking to ensure full respect for universal human rights standards, and other members of ASEAN that are scrambling to ensure loopholes will be created to permit exemptions to international human rights law. 

For example, problematic propositions like “creation of an environment where the peoples of ASEAN would enjoy, to the fullest possible extent, rights and freedoms within the regional context,” buttress efforts by governments like Malaysia to ensure that any discussion of discrimination by sex or sexual orientation is done in line with what it terms “ASEAN Core Values” rather than decisions of the UN Human Rights Council or the expert Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was set up to assist countries in implementing their obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 

Sadly, with regional human rights experts sidelined, the loophole strategy has a reasonable chance of success unless the international community demands that ASEAN change its rules to allow full civil society participation in the ADHR drafting and adoption process.

It’s not too late to alter the dynamic and make the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights the fully rights-respecting agreement that it is supposed to be. AICHR should immediately postpone efforts to send the draft declaration to the ASEAN foreign ministers in June. Instead, the AICHR and the ADHR drafting committee should devise a comprehensive participatory process to ensure that the views of nongovernmental organizations and human rights defenders are heard and incorporated into a real declaration that aims high and seeks to meet the aspirations of all the peoples of ASEAN. That would be an outcome worth waiting for.  

Phil Robertson is Deputy Asia Director of Human Rights Watch.

Source: http://www.sr-indonesia.com/2011-08-09-22-09-10/commentaries/187-aseans-road-to-nowhere-subverting-standards-within-the-asean-human-rights-declaration

Letter from ACSC/APF 2012 Steering Committee on civil society inputs on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD)

DOWNLOAD LETTER IN PDF


 Aspirations of Civil Society’s during the ACSC/APF 2012 on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

1.    We are deeply disappointed at the secret, buy exclusionary and opaque drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has failed to consult ASEAN civil society to a meaningful extent on the regional level, and only a few representatives consulted on the national level. A draft produced by the Drafting Group in January was never officially published. CSO submissions were left without response, resulting in CSOs being left in the dark as to whether their input has been taken into account.

 2.    Substantively, the Working Draft, which has not been officially published, discloses worrying tendencies among the drafters which, if they prevail, would provide the ASEAN people with a lower level of human rights protection than in universal and other regional instruments. There is heavy emphasis on concepts such as duties, national and regional particularities and noninterference – all of which may be abused to legitimise human rights violations.

 3.    Problematic terms such as “good citizens” and “public morality” may open the door to abusive and discriminatory interpretations, in particular regarding women, LGBTIQ people, children, IPs and minorities and other often-marginalised groups. Several provisions for specific rights are inadequate, open to abuse, or else are missing key components. Thus freedom of expression and assembly, freedom of LGBTIQ people from discrimination and gender rights are not properly provided for.

 4.    We recommend that the AICHR, ASEAN and/or its Member States:

  • Immediately publicize the most current draft of AHRD so that civil society can participate substantively in the drafting process;
  • Continue and expand meaningful consultations on national level, in particular by those AICHR representatives who have not yet done so;
  • Conduct wide-ranging and inclusive consultations, at both national and regional levels, during which the latest drafts of the AHRD should be discussed. AICHR should seriously consider submissions from CSOs, national human rights institutes and other stakeholders, and provide them with feedback;
  • Translate drafts of the AHRD into national languages and other local languages of the ASEAN countries in order to encourage broader public engagement in the region;
  • Include a) the “Right to Peace”, b)  sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) provision AHRD – specifically the inclusion of reference to ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’, and c) sexual reproductive health and rights in AHRD;

 5.    Recommendation in regard to women’s human rights perspectives in AHRD:

  • AHRD should enable women’s access to justice in Southeast Asia;
  • ASEAN governments take all appropriate measures to modify or abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices which limit women from enjoying their fundamental freedoms and rights;
  • Women’s human rights perspectives, reflected in the CEDAW and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action must be integrated into AHRD;
  • There is no erosion of rights in the AHRD and no inclusion of ‘morality, moral value

or traditional values’ clauses that serve to undermine rights; and

  • The AHRD drafting process must be subjected to public consultation and must involve women.

 

Phnom Penh, 24 April 2012

H.E. Om Yentieng

Chairperson

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

No. 3, Samdech Hun Sen Street,

Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamcarmon,

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Fax: + 855 23 216 144/216 141

Cc:

H.E. Chet Chealy

Alternate Representative of Cambodia to AICHR

Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC)

No.3, St. VI.13 Tuol Kork Village, Sangkat Tuol Sangke,

Khan Russey Keo, Phnom Penh

Tel. +855 23 882 065, Fax. +855 23 882 065

Email: chetchealy@gmail.com

Ms. Leena Ghosh,

Assistant Director

AIPA, ASEAN Foundation, AICHR and Other ASEAN Associated Entities Division

Community Affairs Development Directorate

Corporate and Community Affairs Department

ASEAN Secretariat

E-mail: leena.ghosh@asean.org

Re:      Submission of ACSC/APF 2012 related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Dear Excellencies,

On behalf of the Civil Society Committee for ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF 2012), we are pleased to submit to you civil society’s aspirations related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). More than 1,200 people attended the ACSC/APF 2012 that was organized in Lucky Star Hotel, Phnom Penh on 29-31 March 2012. They came from all ten ASEAN countries and beyond.

We also would like to use this opportunity to convey our interest to participate in the consultation that AICHR will be planning to do in the late June 2012. To ensure that the consultation would be meaningful, we encourage AICHR to make the draft available to the public. We understand that you value the trust and credibility from the people in ASEAN which can only be obtained through a transparent process.

Furthermore, we believe that AHRD is a very important document for the daily life of the people, which requires legitimacy from the population in ASEAN. With the advance of communication technology nowadays, AICHR could create a website to release the draft of AHRD which allows more public participation in making comments and inputs.

Please feel free to contact Steering Committee should you have further question or clarification at the email samath@ngoforum.org.kh and thida_khus@silaka.org. Hard copies will follow this email.

Please, Excellency, accept our highest consideration.

Chair, Steering Committee ACSC/APF 2012

Mr. Chhith Sam Ath                        Mrs. Thida Khus


ASEAN Framework Instrument is a must for the protection of the rights of migrant workers

Global crises, rx regional solutions

Perspectives from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from across the globe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets

* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors

 

You can jump from chapter to chapter clicking on the arrows at the bottom of the video.


 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

If you would like to order a copy, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Global crises, regional solutions

Perspectives from Asia, mind Africa, site Latin America and Europe

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from across the globe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets

* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

If you would like to order a copy, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Global crises, remedy regional solutions

Perspectives from Asia,
Africa, nurse Latin America and Europe

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from across the globe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets
* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


You can jump from chapter to chapter clicking on the arrows at the bottom of the video.

[embedplusvideo height=”300″ width=”430″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/kvB7c7X5qUc?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=kvB7c7X5qUc&width=430&height=300&start=&stop=&hd=0&react=1&chapters=0,97,112,284,408,720,984,1264,1522&notes=1522%7eCredits” id=”ep6813″ /]

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

If you would like to order a copy, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Global crises, regional solutions

Perspectives from Asia, view Africa, sovaldi Latin America and Europe

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from across the globe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets

* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors

 

You can jump from chapter to chapter clicking on the arrows at the bottom of the video.

 


 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

If you would like to order a copy, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Global crises, regional solutions

Perspectives from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from across the globe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets

* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors

You can jump from chapter to chapter clicking on the arrows at the bottom of the video. You will see the arrows, only after you start playing.

 


 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

If you would like to order a copy, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Global crises, salve healing regional solutions

Perspectives from Asia, ambulance Africa, illness Latin America and Europe

Can regional integration offer a way out of the current economic, climate, food and energy crises? In this video documentary, activists from across the globe* argue that regional integration is the only viable response to these crises.

 CHAPTERS
1 – Why are the regions relevant in a context of global crises?
* No country can face the crises on its own
* Regional Integration: Breaking the dependence from global markets

* Alternative Regional integration: towards a different development model
* People-Centred regional integration: much more than economic cooperation
2 – What issues are best dealt with at regional level?
3 –Reclaiming the regions: the role of social actors


You can jump from chapter to chapter clicking on the arrows at the bottom of the video. You will see the arrows, only after you start playing.

 

Video Documentary | 26 minutes | April 2012

Produced by: Transnational Institute, in cooperation with Focus on the Global South and Hemispheric Social Alliance. This video is part of the Initiative People’s Agenda for Alternative Regionalisms (PAAR) – http://www.alternative-regionalisms.org/

Interviews and Script: Cecilia Olivet

Video editing and animations: Ricardo Santos

If you would like to order a copy, contact ceciliaolivet@tni.org


* LIST OF ACTIVISTS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE VIDEO

Brid Brennan (Transnational Institute, The Netherlands), Charles Santiago (Member of Parliament, Malaysia), Demba Moussa Dembele (African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal), Dot Keet (South Africa), Edilberto Saucedo (Central Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Populares, Paraguay), Enrique Daza (Secretario Ejecutivo, Alianza Social Continental, Colombia), Francisca Rodríguez (ANAMURI/CLOC, Chile), Gonzalo Berron (Confederación Sindical de las Americas/Alianza Social Continental, Brasil), Graciela Rodríguez (IGTN/REBRIP, Brazil), Hector de la Cueva (Red Mexicana de Accion Frente al Libre Comercio, México), Juan Gonzalez (Central de Trabajadores Argentinos CTA, Argentina), Lodwick Chizarura (SEATINI, Zimbabwe), Maria Elena Saludas (ATTAC, Argentina), Marika Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute and EuroMemo Group, Greece), Meena Menon (Focus on the Global South, India), Nalu Faria (Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres, Brazil), Narciso Castillo (Central Nacional de Trabajadores, Paraguay), Natalia Carrau (REDES – Amigos de la Tierra, Uruguay), Pablo Bertinat (Cono Sur Sustenable, Argentina), Pezo Mateo-Phiri (Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network SAPSN, Zambia), Ranga Machemedze (SEATINI, Zimbawe), Roberto Colman (Sindicato de Trabajadores de la ANDE/Coordinadora Soberanía Energética, Paraguay), Tetteh Hormeku  (Third World Network/African Trade Network, Ghana), Thomas Wallgren (Philosopher/Social Activist, Finland), Walden Bello (Member of Parliament, Philippines), Yap Swee Seng (FORUM-ASIA, Thailand)

Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers

Immediate Release: 23 April 2012

ASEAN Framework Instrument is a must for the protection of the rights of migrant workers in the face of widespread migrant protests in Thailand

Recent strikes in two large international export processing companies in Thailand, prostate the Phatthana Seafood Co and Vita Food Factory, troche have again exposed harsh and exploitative realities of the lives of thousands of migrant workers, both document and undocumented, from Myanmar and Cambodia. These strikes also unveiled large scale involvement of unregulated and abusive trafficking agents and brokers in supplying labour to these and other factories across the ASEAN region. In recent days, strikes by migrant workers in Thailand are becoming more widespread as a result of employers seeking to avoid paying migrant workers higher wages in line with the recent  increase in Thailand’s minimum wage.

The Phattana seafood plant in Songkla and Vita food factory in Kanchanaburi employed some undocumented migrant workers, who were particularly vulnerable to abuses that could be classified as trafficking. Even those documented migrant workers in Phattana who came to Thailand through formal channels alleged that the company confiscated their passports, forced them into a situation of debt bondage and paid them barely enough to secure adequate food for their survival.   These are clear violations of Thai labor law as well as the contracts the migrant workers signed when they were recruited by manpower agencies in Cambodia and Myanmar. 
 
The Vita Food Factory in Kanchanaburi employs 7,000 workers, mostly from Myanmar, and approximately 1,000 are undocumented. The documented workers with work permits paid brokers 5,500 baht for those documents although the official fee is 3,800 baht. More than 4,000 migrant workers protested at the pineapple factory (Vita Food) demanding an increase in their  daily wage to bring it into compliance with the recently increased minimum wage. The workers allege that the employer withheld food allowances and changed payment terms in an effort to reduce payments to workers under the increased minimum wage enacted by the Royal Thai Government (RTG) starting from 1st April 2012.

Most migrants from Thailand’s neighbouring countries enter Thailand without documentation, but they are permitted to work temporarily in a “pending deportation” status set out by the Royal Thai Government (RTG). In recent years, many of these workers have become regularised and there has been an increase in legal import of workers into Thailand as well.  But the TFAMW continues however to be deeply concerned for the more then 2 million migrants from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos working in Thailand in exploitative conditions. We urge the RTG to investigate abuses against migrants, ensure pay and working conditions meet all applicable labour laws, and play a positive role in assisting negotiations with protesting migrant workers in any and all factories where workers are protesting in Thailand at this time.

Unilateral and Bilateral policies are ineffective and weak in implementation

The TFAMW urges Thailand to recognize and take action to solve these problems facing Cambodian and Myanmar workers living and working in Thailand. 

Ø       The RTG, and especially the Ministry of Labor, should significantly increase penalties against employers who seize migrant workers’ identity documents and should publicly campaign among Thai employers to ensure that they understand confiscation/holding of documents will not be tolerated.
Ø       The RTG’s Ministry of Labor should carry out a comprehensive investigation of the situation in Phatthana seafood and Vita food factories, and make that report public.
Ø       Thailand should ensure effective implementation of the 2008 Anti-Trafficking Law and improve coordination with Cambodia and Myanmar governments and civil society advocates in cases of cross-border trafficking, including reinvigorating the implementation of the bilateral anti-trafficking agreements with Cambodia and Myanmar. 
Ø       Thailand should ensure the effective operation of five additional new nationality verification centers based in Thailand which will enable Myanmar migrant workers to regularize their status. However, urgent solutions must be devised to also protect the rights of the more than one million undocumented Myanmar migrants working within Thailand
Ø       Thailand should conduct a comprehensive public relations campaign to inform employers of migrant workers that they must comply with increased minimum wage provisions and scrupulously follow all aspects of Thai labor law. 
Ø       Thailand should ensure that migrant workers are permitted to join and receive benefits from the Workman’s Compensation Fund, and order the Social Security Officer (SSO) to ensure all are treated equally, regardless of national origin, in receipt of benefits. 

Regional Framework Instrument to ensure basic human and labour rights are respected

ASEAN urgently needs to adopt a binding Regional Framework Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, and include ASEAN civil society groups on discussions about the Framework Instrument.  The ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, which was adopted  at the 12th ASEAN Summit in 2007 in Cebu, the Philippines, clearly urges (in article 22 of the Declaration) that the ASEAN governments to negotiate and elaborate an ASEAN Framework Instrument.  However, to date, this Framework Instrument effort has been slowed by obstructionist tactics of labour receiving countries, and raises serious concerns about the commitment of labor-receiving countries to protect migrant workers’ rights. 

As ASEAN evolves into an integrated economic community in 2015, a major challenge will be to draft, agree, and effectively implement a legally binding ASEAN Framework Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.

The 2007 ASEAN Declaration details the responsibilities of ASEAN Member States to protect and promote the rights of migrant workers and members of their families during the entire migration process. ASEAN Member States are also required to consult and cooperate with a view to promoting decent, humane, productive, dignified and remunerative employment for migrant workers. This is affirmed in the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community (2009-2015).

The ASEAN Committee of Migrant Workers (ACMW) had their Drafting Meeting on the ASEAN Framework Instrument (Agreement) in Singapore on 3-4 April 2012. The ASEAN Summit Chairman’s Statement noted:  “59. We welcomed the convening of the 22nd ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting (ALMM) in May 2012, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We tasked the ASEAN Labour Ministers to continue their work to implement the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, including to take a phased approach in the development of an ASEAN Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in the region, starting by focusing on issues which are comfortable with ASEAN Member States, in line with existing national law and/or policies, and in accordance with Cebu Declaration”.  The ACMW drafting team has phrased future discussion as follows: a) on documented migrant workers (2012), b) undocumented migrant workers (2013) and c) the legal character of the instrument (2015).

As ASEAN moves towards its goal of economic integration by 2015, it is both important and timely that these processes to draft an agreement to protect for migrant workers moves forward rapidly also. The TFAMW believes that a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached among ASEAN member states which will ensure that migrant workers are given a fair deal, their rights are protected and they are provided with effective protection mechanisms, in accordance with the vision of ASEAN as a sharing and caring community in which all persons are valued.

The TFAMW believes that respect for the fundamental human rights of migrant workers is central to the protection of their labour rights and welfare. TFAMW encourages the ACMW Drafting Team to consider the proposal of ASEAN civil society organizations for a comprehensive and binding ASEAN Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. The TFAMW Civil Society proposal, drawn up in a participatory manner with dozens of civil society groups coming out, contains possible elements for the government proposed ASEAN Framework Instrument for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. The drafting team of the ACMW should be encouraged to refer to our Framework Instrument frequently in forthcoming deliberations and to freely use the recommendations made therein.

Full Resource Book: Civil Society Proposal: ASEAN Framework Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers
http://www.workersconnection.org/resources/Resources_72/book_tf-amw_feb2010.pdf

For further information:

Sinapan Samydorai, Convener – Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers
website: http://www.workersconnection.org
Email: samysd@yahoo.com
Mobile: + 65 9479 1906

The Charter of Social Movements of the Americas, diagnosis approved in Belem do Para during the World Social Forum, decease constitutes an initiative that deserves all the attention and support of the movements, prescription networks, and organizations committed to the present and to the future of our peoples.  The charter calls for integration from below, using as a reference the principles of ALBA (The Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean).

 

Read the full article here.

Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers

Immediate Release: 23 April 2012

ASEAN Framework Instrument is a must for the protection of the rights of migrant workers in the face of widespread migrant protests in Thailand

Recent strikes in two large international export processing companies in Thailand, the Phatthana Seafood Co and Vita Food Factory, have again exposed harsh and exploitative realities of the lives of thousands of migrant workers, pilule both document and undocumented, from Myanmar and Cambodia. These strikes also unveiled large scale involvement of unregulated and abusive trafficking agents and brokers in supplying labour to these and other factories across the ASEAN region. In recent days, strikes by migrant workers in Thailand are becoming more widespread as a result of employers seeking to avoid paying migrant workers higher wages in line with the recent  increase in Thailand’s minimum wage.

The Phattana seafood plant in Songkla and Vita food factory in Kanchanaburi employed some undocumented migrant workers, who were particularly vulnerable to abuses that could be classified as trafficking. Even those documented migrant workers in Phattana who came to Thailand through formal channels alleged that the company confiscated their passports, forced them into a situation of debt bondage and paid them barely enough to secure adequate food for their survival.   These are clear violations of Thai labor law as well as the contracts the migrant workers signed when they were recruited by manpower agencies in Cambodia and Myanmar. 
 
The Vita Food Factory in Kanchanaburi employs 7,000 workers, mostly from Myanmar, and approximately 1,000 are undocumented. The documented workers with work permits paid brokers 5,500 baht for those documents although the official fee is 3,800 baht. More than 4,000 migrant workers protested at the pineapple factory (Vita Food) demanding an increase in their  daily wage to bring it into compliance with the recently increased minimum wage. The workers allege that the employer withheld food allowances and changed payment terms in an effort to reduce payments to workers under the increased minimum wage enacted by the Royal Thai Government (RTG) starting from 1st April 2012.

Most migrants from Thailand’s neighbouring countries enter Thailand without documentation, but they are permitted to work temporarily in a “pending deportation” status set out by the Royal Thai Government (RTG). In recent years, many of these workers have become regularised and there has been an increase in legal import of workers into Thailand as well.  But the TFAMW continues however to be deeply concerned for the more then 2 million migrants from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos working in Thailand in exploitative conditions. We urge the RTG to investigate abuses against migrants, ensure pay and working conditions meet all applicable labour laws, and play a positive role in assisting negotiations with protesting migrant workers in any and all factories where workers are protesting in Thailand at this time.

Unilateral and Bilateral policies are ineffective and weak in implementation

The TFAMW urges Thailand to recognize and take action to solve these problems facing Cambodian and Myanmar workers living and working in Thailand. 

Ø       The RTG, and especially the Ministry of Labor, should significantly increase penalties against employers who seize migrant workers’ identity documents and should publicly campaign among Thai employers to ensure that they understand confiscation/holding of documents will not be tolerated.
Ø       The RTG’s Ministry of Labor should carry out a comprehensive investigation of the situation in Phatthana seafood and Vita food factories, and make that report public.
Ø       Thailand should ensure effective implementation of the 2008 Anti-Trafficking Law and improve coordination with Cambodia and Myanmar governments and civil society advocates in cases of cross-border trafficking, including reinvigorating the implementation of the bilateral anti-trafficking agreements with Cambodia and Myanmar. 
Ø       Thailand should ensure the effective operation of five additional new nationality verification centers based in Thailand which will enable Myanmar migrant workers to regularize their status. However, urgent solutions must be devised to also protect the rights of the more than one million undocumented Myanmar migrants working within Thailand
Ø       Thailand should conduct a comprehensive public relations campaign to inform employers of migrant workers that they must comply with increased minimum wage provisions and scrupulously follow all aspects of Thai labor law. 
Ø       Thailand should ensure that migrant workers are permitted to join and receive benefits from the Workman’s Compensation Fund, and order the Social Security Officer (SSO) to ensure all are treated equally, regardless of national origin, in receipt of benefits. 

Regional Framework Instrument to ensure basic human and labour rights are respected

ASEAN urgently needs to adopt a binding Regional Framework Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, and include ASEAN civil society groups on discussions about the Framework Instrument.  The ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, which was adopted  at the 12th ASEAN Summit in 2007 in Cebu, the Philippines, clearly urges (in article 22 of the Declaration) that the ASEAN governments to negotiate and elaborate an ASEAN Framework Instrument.  However, to date, this Framework Instrument effort has been slowed by obstructionist tactics of labour receiving countries, and raises serious concerns about the commitment of labor-receiving countries to protect migrant workers’ rights. 

As ASEAN evolves into an integrated economic community in 2015, a major challenge will be to draft, agree, and effectively implement a legally binding ASEAN Framework Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.

The 2007 ASEAN Declaration details the responsibilities of ASEAN Member States to protect and promote the rights of migrant workers and members of their families during the entire migration process. ASEAN Member States are also required to consult and cooperate with a view to promoting decent, humane, productive, dignified and remunerative employment for migrant workers. This is affirmed in the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community (2009-2015).

The ASEAN Committee of Migrant Workers (ACMW) had their Drafting Meeting on the ASEAN Framework Instrument (Agreement) in Singapore on 3-4 April 2012. The ASEAN Summit Chairman’s Statement noted:  “59. We welcomed the convening of the 22nd ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting (ALMM) in May 2012, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We tasked the ASEAN Labour Ministers to continue their work to implement the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, including to take a phased approach in the development of an ASEAN Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in the region, starting by focusing on issues which are comfortable with ASEAN Member States, in line with existing national law and/or policies, and in accordance with Cebu Declaration”.  The ACMW drafting team has phrased future discussion as follows: a) on documented migrant workers (2012), b) undocumented migrant workers (2013) and c) the legal character of the instrument (2015).

As ASEAN moves towards its goal of economic integration by 2015, it is both important and timely that these processes to draft an agreement to protect for migrant workers moves forward rapidly also. The TFAMW believes that a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached among ASEAN member states which will ensure that migrant workers are given a fair deal, their rights are protected and they are provided with effective protection mechanisms, in accordance with the vision of ASEAN as a sharing and caring community in which all persons are valued.

The TFAMW believes that respect for the fundamental human rights of migrant workers is central to the protection of their labour rights and welfare. TFAMW encourages the ACMW Drafting Team to consider the proposal of ASEAN civil society organizations for a comprehensive and binding ASEAN Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. The TFAMW Civil Society proposal, drawn up in a participatory manner with dozens of civil society groups coming out, contains possible elements for the government proposed ASEAN Framework Instrument for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. The drafting team of the ACMW should be encouraged to refer to our Framework Instrument frequently in forthcoming deliberations and to freely use the recommendations made therein.

Full Resource Book: Civil Society Proposal: ASEAN Framework Instrument on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers
http://www.workersconnection.org/resources/Resources_72/book_tf-amw_feb2010.pdf

For further information:

Sinapan Samydorai, Convener – Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers
website: http://www.workersconnection.org
Email: samysd@yahoo.com
Mobile: + 65 9479 1906

De la Cumbre de las Américas a la CELAC

Latin America took another historic step forward this week with the creation of a new regional organization of 32 Latin American and Caribbean countries. The United States and Canada were excluded.

 

Read the full article here.

Statement by the Caribbean Movement for Civil Empowerment to the newly appointed Secretary General of CARICOM, cure Mr. Irwin La Rocque

 

Read the statement here

Statement by the Caribbean Movement for Civil Empowerment to the newly appointed Secretary General of CARICOM, stuff Mr. Irwin La Rocque

 

Read the statement here

La VI Cumbre de las Américas, capsule realizada días atrás en Cartagena de Indias, order Colombia, resultó un rotundo fracaso para la política estadounidense de intentar aislar más a Cuba en el terreno internacional. Asimismo, el gobierno de Barack Obama se jugó a impedir una posición de los países reunidos en relación a la soberanía argentina sobre las Islas Malvinas. A pesar de ello, 32 de 34 países defendieron la presencia de Cuba en el cónclave y reafirmaron el apoyo a la República Argentina en su justo reclamo por las Malvinas, lo que constituye un claro retroceso norteamericano en su otrora “patio trasero”.

 

Desafíos de la dimensión trabajo en las Américas. La sustentabilidad del desarrollo, y la urgencia de la Libertad sindical y la Negociación Colectiva

Letter from ACSC/APF 2012 Steering Committee on civil society inputs on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD).

 

Phnom Penh, advice 24 April 2012

H.E. Om Yentieng

Chairperson

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

No. 3, Samdech Hun Sen Street,

Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamcarmon,

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Fax: + 855 23 216 144/216 141

Cc:

H.E. Chet Chealy

Alternate Representative of Cambodia to AICHR

Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC)

No.3, St. VI.13 Tuol Kork Village, Sangkat Tuol Sangke,

Khan Russey Keo, Phnom Penh

Tel. +855 23 882 065, Fax. +855 23 882 065

Email: chetchealy@gmail.com

Ms. Leena Ghosh,

Assistant Director

AIPA, ASEAN Foundation, AICHR and Other ASEAN Associated Entities Division

Community Affairs Development Directorate

Corporate and Community Affairs Department

ASEAN Secretariat

E-mail: leena.ghosh@asean.org

Re:      Submission of ACSC/APF 2012 related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Dear Excellencies,

On behalf of the Civil Society Committee for ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF 2012), we are pleased to submit to you civil society’s aspirations related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). More than 1,200 people attended the ACSC/APF 2012 that was organized in Lucky Star Hotel, Phnom Penh on 29-31 March 2012. They came from all ten ASEAN countries and beyond.

We also would like to use this opportunity to convey our interest to participate in the consultation that AICHR will be planning to do in the late June 2012. To ensure that the consultation would be meaningful, we encourage AICHR to make the draft available to the public. We understand that you value the trust and credibility from the people in ASEAN which can only be obtained through a transparent process.

Furthermore, we believe that AHRD is a very important document for the daily life of the people, which requires legitimacy from the population in ASEAN. With the advance of communication technology nowadays, AICHR could create a website to release the draft of AHRD which allows more public participation in making comments and inputs.

Please feel free to contact Steering Committee should you have further question or clarification at the email samath@ngoforum.org.kh and thida_khus@silaka.org. Hard copies will follow this email.

Please, Excellency, accept our highest consideration.

Chair, Steering Committee ACSC/APF 2012

Mr. Chhith Sam Ath                        Mrs. Thida Khus

 


 Aspirations of Civil Society’s during the ACSC/APF 2012 on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

1.    We are deeply disappointed at the secret, exclusionary and opaque drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has failed to consult ASEAN civil society to a meaningful extent on the regional level, and only a few representatives consulted on the national level. A draft produced by the Drafting Group in January was never officially published. CSO submissions were left without response, resulting in CSOs being left in the dark as to whether their input has been taken into account.

 2.    Substantively, the Working Draft, which has not been officially published, discloses worrying tendencies among the drafters which, if they prevail, would provide the ASEAN people with a lower level of human rights protection than in universal and other regional instruments. There is heavy emphasis on concepts such as duties, national and regional particularities and noninterference – all of which may be abused to legitimise human rights violations.

 3.    Problematic terms such as “good citizens” and “public morality” may open the door to abusive and discriminatory interpretations, in particular regarding women, LGBTIQ people, children, IPs and minorities and other often-marginalised groups. Several provisions for specific rights are inadequate, open to abuse, or else are missing key components. Thus freedom of expression and assembly, freedom of LGBTIQ people from discrimination and gender rights are not properly provided for.

 4.    We recommend that the AICHR, ASEAN and/or its Member States:

  • Immediately publicize the most current draft of AHRD so that civil society can participate substantively in the drafting process;
  • Continue and expand meaningful consultations on national level, in particular by those AICHR representatives who have not yet done so;
  • Conduct wide-ranging and inclusive consultations, at both national and regional levels, during which the latest drafts of the AHRD should be discussed. AICHR should seriously consider submissions from CSOs, national human rights institutes and other stakeholders, and provide them with feedback;
  • Translate drafts of the AHRD into national languages and other local languages of the ASEAN countries in order to encourage broader public engagement in the region;
  • Include a) the “Right to Peace”, b)  sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) provision AHRD – specifically the inclusion of reference to ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’, and c) sexual reproductive health and rights in AHRD;

 5.    Recommendation in regard to women’s human rights perspectives in AHRD:

  • AHRD should enable women’s access to justice in Southeast Asia;
  • ASEAN governments take all appropriate measures to modify or abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices which limit women from enjoying their fundamental freedoms and rights;
  • Women’s human rights perspectives, reflected in the CEDAW and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action must be integrated into AHRD;
  • There is no erosion of rights in the AHRD and no inclusion of ‘morality, moral value

or traditional values’ clauses that serve to undermine rights; and

  • The AHRD drafting process must be subjected to public consultation and must involve women.

 

DOWNLOAD LETTER IN PDF

Letter from ACSC/APF 2012 Steering Committee on civil society inputs on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD)

DOWNLOAD LETTER IN PDF


 Aspirations of Civil Society’s during the ACSC/APF 2012 on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

1.    We are deeply disappointed at the secret, exclusionary and opaque drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has failed to consult ASEAN civil society to a meaningful extent on the regional level, sovaldi and only a few representatives consulted on the national level. A draft produced by the Drafting Group in January was never officially published. CSO submissions were left without response, resulting in CSOs being left in the dark as to whether their input has been taken into account.

 2.    Substantively, the Working Draft, which has not been officially published, discloses worrying tendencies among the drafters which, if they prevail, would provide the ASEAN people with a lower level of human rights protection than in universal and other regional instruments. There is heavy emphasis on concepts such as duties, national and regional particularities and noninterference – all of which may be abused to legitimise human rights violations.

 3.    Problematic terms such as “good citizens” and “public morality” may open the door to abusive and discriminatory interpretations, in particular regarding women, LGBTIQ people, children, IPs and minorities and other often-marginalised groups. Several provisions for specific rights are inadequate, open to abuse, or else are missing key components. Thus freedom of expression and assembly, freedom of LGBTIQ people from discrimination and gender rights are not properly provided for.

 4.    We recommend that the AICHR, ASEAN and/or its Member States:

  • Immediately publicize the most current draft of AHRD so that civil society can participate substantively in the drafting process;
  • Continue and expand meaningful consultations on national level, in particular by those AICHR representatives who have not yet done so;
  • Conduct wide-ranging and inclusive consultations, at both national and regional levels, during which the latest drafts of the AHRD should be discussed. AICHR should seriously consider submissions from CSOs, national human rights institutes and other stakeholders, and provide them with feedback;
  • Translate drafts of the AHRD into national languages and other local languages of the ASEAN countries in order to encourage broader public engagement in the region;
  • Include a) the “Right to Peace”, b)  sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) provision AHRD – specifically the inclusion of reference to ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’, and c) sexual reproductive health and rights in AHRD;

 5.    Recommendation in regard to women’s human rights perspectives in AHRD:

  • AHRD should enable women’s access to justice in Southeast Asia;
  • ASEAN governments take all appropriate measures to modify or abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices which limit women from enjoying their fundamental freedoms and rights;
  • Women’s human rights perspectives, reflected in the CEDAW and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action must be integrated into AHRD;
  • There is no erosion of rights in the AHRD and no inclusion of ‘morality, moral value

or traditional values’ clauses that serve to undermine rights; and

  • The AHRD drafting process must be subjected to public consultation and must involve women.

 

Phnom Penh, 24 April 2012

H.E. Om Yentieng

Chairperson

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

No. 3, Samdech Hun Sen Street,

Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamcarmon,

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Fax: + 855 23 216 144/216 141

Cc:

H.E. Chet Chealy

Alternate Representative of Cambodia to AICHR

Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC)

No.3, St. VI.13 Tuol Kork Village, Sangkat Tuol Sangke,

Khan Russey Keo, Phnom Penh

Tel. +855 23 882 065, Fax. +855 23 882 065

Email: chetchealy@gmail.com

Ms. Leena Ghosh,

Assistant Director

AIPA, ASEAN Foundation, AICHR and Other ASEAN Associated Entities Division

Community Affairs Development Directorate

Corporate and Community Affairs Department

ASEAN Secretariat

E-mail: leena.ghosh@asean.org

Re:      Submission of ACSC/APF 2012 related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Dear Excellencies,

On behalf of the Civil Society Committee for ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF 2012), we are pleased to submit to you civil society’s aspirations related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). More than 1,200 people attended the ACSC/APF 2012 that was organized in Lucky Star Hotel, Phnom Penh on 29-31 March 2012. They came from all ten ASEAN countries and beyond.

We also would like to use this opportunity to convey our interest to participate in the consultation that AICHR will be planning to do in the late June 2012. To ensure that the consultation would be meaningful, we encourage AICHR to make the draft available to the public. We understand that you value the trust and credibility from the people in ASEAN which can only be obtained through a transparent process.

Furthermore, we believe that AHRD is a very important document for the daily life of the people, which requires legitimacy from the population in ASEAN. With the advance of communication technology nowadays, AICHR could create a website to release the draft of AHRD which allows more public participation in making comments and inputs.

Please feel free to contact Steering Committee should you have further question or clarification at the email samath@ngoforum.org.kh and thida_khus@silaka.org. Hard copies will follow this email.

Please, Excellency, accept our highest consideration.

Chair, Steering Committee ACSC/APF 2012

Mr. Chhith Sam Ath                        Mrs. Thida Khus


Letter from ACSC/APF 2012 Steering Committee on civil society inputs on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD).

 

Phnom Penh, shop 24 April 2012

H.E. Om Yentieng

Chairperson

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

No. 3, for sale Samdech Hun Sen Street,

Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamcarmon,

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Fax: + 855 23 216 144/216 141

Cc:

H.E. Chet Chealy

Alternate Representative of Cambodia to AICHR

Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC)

No.3, St. VI.13 Tuol Kork Village, Sangkat Tuol Sangke,

Khan Russey Keo, Phnom Penh

Tel. +855 23 882 065, Fax. +855 23 882 065

Email: chetchealy@gmail.com

Ms. Leena Ghosh,

Assistant Director

AIPA, ASEAN Foundation, AICHR and Other ASEAN Associated Entities Division

Community Affairs Development Directorate

Corporate and Community Affairs Department

ASEAN Secretariat

E-mail: leena.ghosh@asean.org

Re:      Submission of ACSC/APF 2012 related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Dear Excellencies,

On behalf of the Civil Society Committee for ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF 2012), we are pleased to submit to you civil society’s aspirations related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). More than 1,200 people attended the ACSC/APF 2012 that was organized in Lucky Star Hotel, Phnom Penh on 29-31 March 2012. They came from all ten ASEAN countries and beyond.

We also would like to use this opportunity to convey our interest to participate in the consultation that AICHR will be planning to do in the late June 2012. To ensure that the consultation would be meaningful, we encourage AICHR to make the draft available to the public. We understand that you value the trust and credibility from the people in ASEAN which can only be obtained through a transparent process.

Furthermore, we believe that AHRD is a very important document for the daily life of the people, which requires legitimacy from the population in ASEAN. With the advance of communication technology nowadays, AICHR could create a website to release the draft of AHRD which allows more public participation in making comments and inputs.

Please feel free to contact Steering Committee should you have further question or clarification at the email samath@ngoforum.org.kh and thida_khus@silaka.org. Hard copies will follow this email.

Please, Excellency, accept our highest consideration.

Chair, Steering Committee ACSC/APF 2012

Mr. Chhith Sam Ath                        Mrs. Thida Khus

 


 Aspirations of Civil Society’s during the ACSC/APF 2012 on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

1.    We are deeply disappointed at the secret, exclusionary and opaque drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has failed to consult ASEAN civil society to a meaningful extent on the regional level, and only a few representatives consulted on the national level. A draft produced by the Drafting Group in January was never officially published. CSO submissions were left without response, resulting in CSOs being left in the dark as to whether their input has been taken into account.

 2.    Substantively, the Working Draft, which has not been officially published, discloses worrying tendencies among the drafters which, if they prevail, would provide the ASEAN people with a lower level of human rights protection than in universal and other regional instruments. There is heavy emphasis on concepts such as duties, national and regional particularities and noninterference – all of which may be abused to legitimise human rights violations.

 3.    Problematic terms such as “good citizens” and “public morality” may open the door to abusive and discriminatory interpretations, in particular regarding women, LGBTIQ people, children, IPs and minorities and other often-marginalised groups. Several provisions for specific rights are inadequate, open to abuse, or else are missing key components. Thus freedom of expression and assembly, freedom of LGBTIQ people from discrimination and gender rights are not properly provided for.

 4.    We recommend that the AICHR, ASEAN and/or its Member States:

  • Immediately publicize the most current draft of AHRD so that civil society can participate substantively in the drafting process;
  • Continue and expand meaningful consultations on national level, in particular by those AICHR representatives who have not yet done so;
  • Conduct wide-ranging and inclusive consultations, at both national and regional levels, during which the latest drafts of the AHRD should be discussed. AICHR should seriously consider submissions from CSOs, national human rights institutes and other stakeholders, and provide them with feedback;
  • Translate drafts of the AHRD into national languages and other local languages of the ASEAN countries in order to encourage broader public engagement in the region;
  • Include a) the “Right to Peace”, b)  sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) provision AHRD – specifically the inclusion of reference to ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’, and c) sexual reproductive health and rights in AHRD;

 5.    Recommendation in regard to women’s human rights perspectives in AHRD:

  • AHRD should enable women’s access to justice in Southeast Asia;
  • ASEAN governments take all appropriate measures to modify or abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices which limit women from enjoying their fundamental freedoms and rights;
  • Women’s human rights perspectives, reflected in the CEDAW and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action must be integrated into AHRD;
  • There is no erosion of rights in the AHRD and no inclusion of ‘morality, moral value

or traditional values’ clauses that serve to undermine rights; and

  • The AHRD drafting process must be subjected to public consultation and must involve women.

 

DOWNLOAD LETTER IN PDF

Bangkok, and online 27 April, prescription for sale (Asian Tribune.com):The performance of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has been disappointing and wanting, epitomized by the lack of transparency, failure to consult with civil society organizations and no demonstrable progress in protecting and promoting human rights, according to a civil society assessment report on the performance of the AICHR for the period of October 2010 to December 2011.

The report, titled “A Commission Shrouded in Secrecy”, was released jointly on Thursday by the Solidarity for Asian People’s Advocacy Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TFAHR) and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA).

The civil society coalition said a total reform is needed if the AICHR is to become more independent from the governments, more effective in responding to human rights violations and more relevant to the needs of the peoples in the region.

The report revealed that AICHR has systematically failed to make public any of the official documents adopted since its inception in 2009. This includes its first annual report, which was submitted to the 44th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July 2011.

Other official AICHR documents that have not been made public include the Guidelines on Operations of the AICHR, the Terms of Reference of the Drafting Group of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, the Terms of Reference of the Baseline Study on Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights in ASEAN, the Rules of Procedure for the AICHR Fund, the first annual report of the AICHR, the AICHR Work Plan 2013-2015, its 2012 Priority Programme and its budget, and the Terms of Reference of the Thematic Study of the Right to Peace.

“We are extremely concerned that AICHR has not even made the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration available for public comments. It is ironic that the peoples in the region do not have the right to access a document that is supposed to protect their human rights,” said Yap Swee Seng, executive director of FORUM-ASIA during the launch of the report.

The report found that the AICHR has continued to refuse meetings with civil society organizations and national human rights institutions in the region despite numerous requests made.

The report further slammed the AICHR for discriminating against civil society organizations in Southeast Asia whom it refused to meet, but on the other hand did not hesitate to meet with a range of international civil society organizations, including Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International (AI), the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and Freedom House during its official visits to the United States and Europe.

“While we welcome the meetings between the AICHR with international human rights organizations and note that such engagements should be encouraged, the Commission’s refusal to meet with civil society organizations from its own region when it had no qualms in meeting with international civil society organizations is simply a practice of double standards,” stressed Chalida Tajaroensuk, executive director of People’s Empowerment Foundation of Thailand, a member of the SAPA TFAHR.

SAPA TFAHR first requested for a meeting with the AICHR during its first official meeting in March 2010. The request was rejected on the grounds that the AICHR had yet to establish its rules of procedure and therefore could not meet with civil society. The performance report of AICHR shows that the Commission only granted meeting request from only a single civil society organization – the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism – ostensibly on the basis that they are listed as stakeholders recognized by ASEAN under Annex II of the ASEAN Charter.

The report also raised concern over the AICHR’s failures in concluding any of the studies that it has undertaken, in concretely responding to real human rights situations – either in the region generally or in specific member states – and most worryingly, failed to improve the human rights of even a single individual within the ASEAN regional, two years after its establishment.

The AICHR has identified three thematic issues for further study, namely migration, corporate social responsibility and human rights and the right to peace. So far, the terms of reference for these studies have not been made public. It was also expected to give its advisory opinion to the ASEAN member states on the issue of mandatory HIV test for migrant workers but to date has still failed to do so.

The report made numerous recommendations to the AICHR. Key among them are for the AICHR to be more transparent by publishing relevant documents, including the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, via a dedicated website; and to institutionalize regular consultations at national and regional levels with key stakeholders, especially the civil society organizations, national human rights institutions and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC).

“The AICHR must strive to improve its transparency and engagement with civil society in the coming years. Otherwise, it risks being an irrelevant body to the peoples in the region,” said Saowalak Thongkuay, Regional Development Office of the Disable Peoples’ International Asia Pacific.

Source: http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2012/04/26/total-reform-needed-make-aichr-independent-effective-and-relevant-asean-peoples

Bangkok, sickness 27 April, (Asian Tribune.com):The performance of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has been disappointing and wanting, epitomized by the lack of transparency, failure to consult with civil society organizations and no demonstrable progress in protecting and promoting human rights, according to a civil society assessment report on the performance of the AICHR for the period of October 2010 to December 2011.

The report, titled “A Commission Shrouded in Secrecy”, was released jointly on Thursday by the Solidarity for Asian People’s Advocacy Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TFAHR) and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA).

The civil society coalition said a total reform is needed if the AICHR is to become more independent from the governments, more effective in responding to human rights violations and more relevant to the needs of the peoples in the region.

The report revealed that AICHR has systematically failed to make public any of the official documents adopted since its inception in 2009. This includes its first annual report, which was submitted to the 44th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July 2011.

Other official AICHR documents that have not been made public include the Guidelines on Operations of the AICHR, the Terms of Reference of the Drafting Group of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, the Terms of Reference of the Baseline Study on Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights in ASEAN, the Rules of Procedure for the AICHR Fund, the first annual report of the AICHR, the AICHR Work Plan 2013-2015, its 2012 Priority Programme and its budget, and the Terms of Reference of the Thematic Study of the Right to Peace.

“We are extremely concerned that AICHR has not even made the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration available for public comments. It is ironic that the peoples in the region do not have the right to access a document that is supposed to protect their human rights,” said Yap Swee Seng, executive director of FORUM-ASIA during the launch of the report.

The report found that the AICHR has continued to refuse meetings with civil society organizations and national human rights institutions in the region despite numerous requests made.

The report further slammed the AICHR for discriminating against civil society organizations in Southeast Asia whom it refused to meet, but on the other hand did not hesitate to meet with a range of international civil society organizations, including Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International (AI), the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and Freedom House during its official visits to the United States and Europe.

“While we welcome the meetings between the AICHR with international human rights organizations and note that such engagements should be encouraged, the Commission’s refusal to meet with civil society organizations from its own region when it had no qualms in meeting with international civil society organizations is simply a practice of double standards,” stressed Chalida Tajaroensuk, executive director of People’s Empowerment Foundation of Thailand, a member of the SAPA TFAHR.

SAPA TFAHR first requested for a meeting with the AICHR during its first official meeting in March 2010. The request was rejected on the grounds that the AICHR had yet to establish its rules of procedure and therefore could not meet with civil society. The performance report of AICHR shows that the Commission only granted meeting request from only a single civil society organization – the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism – ostensibly on the basis that they are listed as stakeholders recognized by ASEAN under Annex II of the ASEAN Charter.

The report also raised concern over the AICHR’s failures in concluding any of the studies that it has undertaken, in concretely responding to real human rights situations – either in the region generally or in specific member states – and most worryingly, failed to improve the human rights of even a single individual within the ASEAN regional, two years after its establishment.

The AICHR has identified three thematic issues for further study, namely migration, corporate social responsibility and human rights and the right to peace. So far, the terms of reference for these studies have not been made public. It was also expected to give its advisory opinion to the ASEAN member states on the issue of mandatory HIV test for migrant workers but to date has still failed to do so.

The report made numerous recommendations to the AICHR. Key among them are for the AICHR to be more transparent by publishing relevant documents, including the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, via a dedicated website; and to institutionalize regular consultations at national and regional levels with key stakeholders, especially the civil society organizations, national human rights institutions and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC).

“The AICHR must strive to improve its transparency and engagement with civil society in the coming years. Otherwise, it risks being an irrelevant body to the peoples in the region,” said Saowalak Thongkuay, Regional Development Office of the Disable Peoples’ International Asia Pacific.

Source: http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2012/04/26/total-reform-needed-make-aichr-independent-effective-and-relevant-asean-peoples

Bangkok, seek 27 April, (Asian Tribune.com):The performance of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has been disappointing and wanting, decease epitomized by the lack of transparency, failure to consult with civil society organizations and no demonstrable progress in protecting and promoting human rights, according to a civil society assessment report on the performance of the AICHR for the period of October 2010 to December 2011.

The report, titled “A Commission Shrouded in Secrecy”, was released jointly on Thursday by the Solidarity for Asian People’s Advocacy Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TFAHR) and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA).

The civil society coalition said a total reform is needed if the AICHR is to become more independent from the governments, more effective in responding to human rights violations and more relevant to the needs of the peoples in the region.

The report revealed that AICHR has systematically failed to make public any of the official documents adopted since its inception in 2009. This includes its first annual report, which was submitted to the 44th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July 2011.

Other official AICHR documents that have not been made public include the Guidelines on Operations of the AICHR, the Terms of Reference of the Drafting Group of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, the Terms of Reference of the Baseline Study on Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights in ASEAN, the Rules of Procedure for the AICHR Fund, the first annual report of the AICHR, the AICHR Work Plan 2013-2015, its 2012 Priority Programme and its budget, and the Terms of Reference of the Thematic Study of the Right to Peace.

“We are extremely concerned that AICHR has not even made the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration available for public comments. It is ironic that the peoples in the region do not have the right to access a document that is supposed to protect their human rights,” said Yap Swee Seng, executive director of FORUM-ASIA during the launch of the report.

The report found that the AICHR has continued to refuse meetings with civil society organizations and national human rights institutions in the region despite numerous requests made.

The report further slammed the AICHR for discriminating against civil society organizations in Southeast Asia whom it refused to meet, but on the other hand did not hesitate to meet with a range of international civil society organizations, including Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International (AI), the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and Freedom House during its official visits to the United States and Europe.

“While we welcome the meetings between the AICHR with international human rights organizations and note that such engagements should be encouraged, the Commission’s refusal to meet with civil society organizations from its own region when it had no qualms in meeting with international civil society organizations is simply a practice of double standards,” stressed Chalida Tajaroensuk, executive director of People’s Empowerment Foundation of Thailand, a member of the SAPA TFAHR.

SAPA TFAHR first requested for a meeting with the AICHR during its first official meeting in March 2010. The request was rejected on the grounds that the AICHR had yet to establish its rules of procedure and therefore could not meet with civil society. The performance report of AICHR shows that the Commission only granted meeting request from only a single civil society organization – the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism – ostensibly on the basis that they are listed as stakeholders recognized by ASEAN under Annex II of the ASEAN Charter.

The report also raised concern over the AICHR’s failures in concluding any of the studies that it has undertaken, in concretely responding to real human rights situations – either in the region generally or in specific member states – and most worryingly, failed to improve the human rights of even a single individual within the ASEAN regional, two years after its establishment.

The AICHR has identified three thematic issues for further study, namely migration, corporate social responsibility and human rights and the right to peace. So far, the terms of reference for these studies have not been made public. It was also expected to give its advisory opinion to the ASEAN member states on the issue of mandatory HIV test for migrant workers but to date has still failed to do so.

The report made numerous recommendations to the AICHR. Key among them are for the AICHR to be more transparent by publishing relevant documents, including the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, via a dedicated website; and to institutionalize regular consultations at national and regional levels with key stakeholders, especially the civil society organizations, national human rights institutions and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC).

“The AICHR must strive to improve its transparency and engagement with civil society in the coming years. Otherwise, it risks being an irrelevant body to the peoples in the region,” said Saowalak Thongkuay, Regional Development Office of the Disable Peoples’ International Asia Pacific.

Source: http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2012/04/26/total-reform-needed-make-aichr-independent-effective-and-relevant-asean-peoples

Letter from ACSC/APF 2012 Steering Committee on civil society inputs on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD)


 Aspirations of Civil Society’s during the ACSC/APF 2012 on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

1.    We are deeply disappointed at the secret, see exclusionary and opaque drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has failed to consult ASEAN civil society to a meaningful extent on the regional level, discount and only a few representatives consulted on the national level. A draft produced by the Drafting Group in January was never officially published. CSO submissions were left without response, resulting in CSOs being left in the dark as to whether their input has been taken into account.

 2.    Substantively, the Working Draft, which has not been officially published, discloses worrying tendencies among the drafters which, if they prevail, would provide the ASEAN people with a lower level of human rights protection than in universal and other regional instruments. There is heavy emphasis on concepts such as duties, national and regional particularities and noninterference – all of which may be abused to legitimise human rights violations.

 3.    Problematic terms such as “good citizens” and “public morality” may open the door to abusive and discriminatory interpretations, in particular regarding women, LGBTIQ people, children, IPs and minorities and other often-marginalised groups. Several provisions for specific rights are inadequate, open to abuse, or else are missing key components. Thus freedom of expression and assembly, freedom of LGBTIQ people from discrimination and gender rights are not properly provided for.

 4.    We recommend that the AICHR, ASEAN and/or its Member States:

  • Immediately publicize the most current draft of AHRD so that civil society can participate substantively in the drafting process;
  • Continue and expand meaningful consultations on national level, in particular by those AICHR representatives who have not yet done so;
  • Conduct wide-ranging and inclusive consultations, at both national and regional levels, during which the latest drafts of the AHRD should be discussed. AICHR should seriously consider submissions from CSOs, national human rights institutes and other stakeholders, and provide them with feedback;
  • Translate drafts of the AHRD into national languages and other local languages of the ASEAN countries in order to encourage broader public engagement in the region;
  • Include a) the “Right to Peace”, b)  sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) provision AHRD – specifically the inclusion of reference to ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’, and c) sexual reproductive health and rights in AHRD;

 5.    Recommendation in regard to women’s human rights perspectives in AHRD:

  • AHRD should enable women’s access to justice in Southeast Asia;
  • ASEAN governments take all appropriate measures to modify or abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices which limit women from enjoying their fundamental freedoms and rights;
  • Women’s human rights perspectives, reflected in the CEDAW and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action must be integrated into AHRD;
  • There is no erosion of rights in the AHRD and no inclusion of ‘morality, moral value

or traditional values’ clauses that serve to undermine rights; and

  • The AHRD drafting process must be subjected to public consultation and must involve women.

 

Phnom Penh, 24 April 2012

H.E. Om Yentieng

Chairperson

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

No. 3, Samdech Hun Sen Street,

Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamcarmon,

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Fax: + 855 23 216 144/216 141

Cc:

H.E. Chet Chealy

Alternate Representative of Cambodia to AICHR

Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC)

No.3, St. VI.13 Tuol Kork Village, Sangkat Tuol Sangke,

Khan Russey Keo, Phnom Penh

Tel. +855 23 882 065, Fax. +855 23 882 065

Email: chetchealy@gmail.com

Ms. Leena Ghosh,

Assistant Director

AIPA, ASEAN Foundation, AICHR and Other ASEAN Associated Entities Division

Community Affairs Development Directorate

Corporate and Community Affairs Department

ASEAN Secretariat

E-mail: leena.ghosh@asean.org

Re:      Submission of ACSC/APF 2012 related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Dear Excellencies,

On behalf of the Civil Society Committee for ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF 2012), we are pleased to submit to you civil society’s aspirations related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). More than 1,200 people attended the ACSC/APF 2012 that was organized in Lucky Star Hotel, Phnom Penh on 29-31 March 2012. They came from all ten ASEAN countries and beyond.

We also would like to use this opportunity to convey our interest to participate in the consultation that AICHR will be planning to do in the late June 2012. To ensure that the consultation would be meaningful, we encourage AICHR to make the draft available to the public. We understand that you value the trust and credibility from the people in ASEAN which can only be obtained through a transparent process.

Furthermore, we believe that AHRD is a very important document for the daily life of the people, which requires legitimacy from the population in ASEAN. With the advance of communication technology nowadays, AICHR could create a website to release the draft of AHRD which allows more public participation in making comments and inputs.

Please feel free to contact Steering Committee should you have further question or clarification at the email samath@ngoforum.org.kh and thida_khus@silaka.org. Hard copies will follow this email.

Please, Excellency, accept our highest consideration.

Chair, Steering Committee ACSC/APF 2012

Mr. Chhith Sam Ath                        Mrs. Thida Khus

DOWNLOAD LETTER IN PDF

Letter from ACSC/APF 2012 Steering Committee on civil society inputs on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD).

 

Phnom Penh, 24 April 2012

H.E. Om Yentieng

Chairperson

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

No. 3, buy Samdech Hun Sen Street,

Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamcarmon,

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Fax: + 855 23 216 144/216 141

Cc:

H.E. Chet Chealy

Alternate Representative of Cambodia to AICHR

Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC)

No.3, St. VI.13 Tuol Kork Village, Sangkat Tuol Sangke,

Khan Russey Keo, Phnom Penh

Tel. +855 23 882 065, Fax. +855 23 882 065

Email: chetchealy@gmail.com

Ms. Leena Ghosh,

Assistant Director

AIPA, ASEAN Foundation, AICHR and Other ASEAN Associated Entities Division

Community Affairs Development Directorate

Corporate and Community Affairs Department

ASEAN Secretariat

E-mail: leena.ghosh@asean.org

Re:      Submission of ACSC/APF 2012 related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Dear Excellencies,

On behalf of the Civil Society Committee for ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF 2012), we are pleased to submit to you civil society’s aspirations related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). More than 1,200 people attended the ACSC/APF 2012 that was organized in Lucky Star Hotel, Phnom Penh on 29-31 March 2012. They came from all ten ASEAN countries and beyond.

We also would like to use this opportunity to convey our interest to participate in the consultation that AICHR will be planning to do in the late June 2012. To ensure that the consultation would be meaningful, we encourage AICHR to make the draft available to the public. We understand that you value the trust and credibility from the people in ASEAN which can only be obtained through a transparent process.

Furthermore, we believe that AHRD is a very important document for the daily life of the people, which requires legitimacy from the population in ASEAN. With the advance of communication technology nowadays, AICHR could create a website to release the draft of AHRD which allows more public participation in making comments and inputs.

Please feel free to contact Steering Committee should you have further question or clarification at the email samath@ngoforum.org.kh and thida_khus@silaka.org. Hard copies will follow this email.

Please, Excellency, accept our highest consideration.

Chair, Steering Committee ACSC/APF 2012

Mr. Chhith Sam Ath                        Mrs. Thida Khus

 


 Aspirations of Civil Society’s during the ACSC/APF 2012 on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

1.    We are deeply disappointed at the secret, exclusionary and opaque drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has failed to consult ASEAN civil society to a meaningful extent on the regional level, and only a few representatives consulted on the national level. A draft produced by the Drafting Group in January was never officially published. CSO submissions were left without response, resulting in CSOs being left in the dark as to whether their input has been taken into account.

 2.    Substantively, the Working Draft, which has not been officially published, discloses worrying tendencies among the drafters which, if they prevail, would provide the ASEAN people with a lower level of human rights protection than in universal and other regional instruments. There is heavy emphasis on concepts such as duties, national and regional particularities and noninterference – all of which may be abused to legitimise human rights violations.

 3.    Problematic terms such as “good citizens” and “public morality” may open the door to abusive and discriminatory interpretations, in particular regarding women, LGBTIQ people, children, IPs and minorities and other often-marginalised groups. Several provisions for specific rights are inadequate, open to abuse, or else are missing key components. Thus freedom of expression and assembly, freedom of LGBTIQ people from discrimination and gender rights are not properly provided for.

 4.    We recommend that the AICHR, ASEAN and/or its Member States:

  • Immediately publicize the most current draft of AHRD so that civil society can participate substantively in the drafting process;
  • Continue and expand meaningful consultations on national level, in particular by those AICHR representatives who have not yet done so;
  • Conduct wide-ranging and inclusive consultations, at both national and regional levels, during which the latest drafts of the AHRD should be discussed. AICHR should seriously consider submissions from CSOs, national human rights institutes and other stakeholders, and provide them with feedback;
  • Translate drafts of the AHRD into national languages and other local languages of the ASEAN countries in order to encourage broader public engagement in the region;
  • Include a) the “Right to Peace”, b)  sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) provision AHRD – specifically the inclusion of reference to ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’, and c) sexual reproductive health and rights in AHRD;

 5.    Recommendation in regard to women’s human rights perspectives in AHRD:

  • AHRD should enable women’s access to justice in Southeast Asia;
  • ASEAN governments take all appropriate measures to modify or abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices which limit women from enjoying their fundamental freedoms and rights;
  • Women’s human rights perspectives, reflected in the CEDAW and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action must be integrated into AHRD;
  • There is no erosion of rights in the AHRD and no inclusion of ‘morality, moral value

or traditional values’ clauses that serve to undermine rights; and

  • The AHRD drafting process must be subjected to public consultation and must involve women.

 

DOWNLOAD LETTER IN PDF

Letter from ACSC/APF 2012 Steering Committee on civil society inputs on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD)

DOWNLOAD LETTER IN PDF


 Aspirations of Civil Society’s during the ACSC/APF 2012 on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

1.    We are deeply disappointed at the secret, exclusionary and opaque drafting process of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) has failed to consult ASEAN civil society to a meaningful extent on the regional level, order and only a few representatives consulted on the national level. A draft produced by the Drafting Group in January was never officially published. CSO submissions were left without response, malady resulting in CSOs being left in the dark as to whether their input has been taken into account.

 2.    Substantively, the Working Draft, which has not been officially published, discloses worrying tendencies among the drafters which, if they prevail, would provide the ASEAN people with a lower level of human rights protection than in universal and other regional instruments. There is heavy emphasis on concepts such as duties, national and regional particularities and noninterference – all of which may be abused to legitimise human rights violations.

 3.    Problematic terms such as “good citizens” and “public morality” may open the door to abusive and discriminatory interpretations, in particular regarding women, LGBTIQ people, children, IPs and minorities and other often-marginalised groups. Several provisions for specific rights are inadequate, open to abuse, or else are missing key components. Thus freedom of expression and assembly, freedom of LGBTIQ people from discrimination and gender rights are not properly provided for.

 4.    We recommend that the AICHR, ASEAN and/or its Member States:

  • Immediately publicize the most current draft of AHRD so that civil society can participate substantively in the drafting process;
  • Continue and expand meaningful consultations on national level, in particular by those AICHR representatives who have not yet done so;
  • Conduct wide-ranging and inclusive consultations, at both national and regional levels, during which the latest drafts of the AHRD should be discussed. AICHR should seriously consider submissions from CSOs, national human rights institutes and other stakeholders, and provide them with feedback;
  • Translate drafts of the AHRD into national languages and other local languages of the ASEAN countries in order to encourage broader public engagement in the region;
  • Include a) the “Right to Peace”, b)  sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) provision AHRD – specifically the inclusion of reference to ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’, and c) sexual reproductive health and rights in AHRD;

 5.    Recommendation in regard to women’s human rights perspectives in AHRD:

  • AHRD should enable women’s access to justice in Southeast Asia;
  • ASEAN governments take all appropriate measures to modify or abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices which limit women from enjoying their fundamental freedoms and rights;
  • Women’s human rights perspectives, reflected in the CEDAW and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action must be integrated into AHRD;
  • There is no erosion of rights in the AHRD and no inclusion of ‘morality, moral value

or traditional values’ clauses that serve to undermine rights; and

  • The AHRD drafting process must be subjected to public consultation and must involve women.

 

Phnom Penh, 24 April 2012

H.E. Om Yentieng

Chairperson

ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)

No. 3, Samdech Hun Sen Street,

Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamcarmon,

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Fax: + 855 23 216 144/216 141

Cc:

H.E. Chet Chealy

Alternate Representative of Cambodia to AICHR

Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC)

No.3, St. VI.13 Tuol Kork Village, Sangkat Tuol Sangke,

Khan Russey Keo, Phnom Penh

Tel. +855 23 882 065, Fax. +855 23 882 065

Email: chetchealy@gmail.com

Ms. Leena Ghosh,

Assistant Director

AIPA, ASEAN Foundation, AICHR and Other ASEAN Associated Entities Division

Community Affairs Development Directorate

Corporate and Community Affairs Department

ASEAN Secretariat

E-mail: leena.ghosh@asean.org

Re:      Submission of ACSC/APF 2012 related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Dear Excellencies,

On behalf of the Civil Society Committee for ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF 2012), we are pleased to submit to you civil society’s aspirations related to ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD). More than 1,200 people attended the ACSC/APF 2012 that was organized in Lucky Star Hotel, Phnom Penh on 29-31 March 2012. They came from all ten ASEAN countries and beyond.

We also would like to use this opportunity to convey our interest to participate in the consultation that AICHR will be planning to do in the late June 2012. To ensure that the consultation would be meaningful, we encourage AICHR to make the draft available to the public. We understand that you value the trust and credibility from the people in ASEAN which can only be obtained through a transparent process.

Furthermore, we believe that AHRD is a very important document for the daily life of the people, which requires legitimacy from the population in ASEAN. With the advance of communication technology nowadays, AICHR could create a website to release the draft of AHRD which allows more public participation in making comments and inputs.

Please feel free to contact Steering Committee should you have further question or clarification at the email samath@ngoforum.org.kh and thida_khus@silaka.org. Hard copies will follow this email.

Please, Excellency, accept our highest consideration.

Chair, Steering Committee ACSC/APF 2012

Mr. Chhith Sam Ath                        Mrs. Thida Khus


Foro Sindical / VI Cumbre de las Américas

DECLARACIÓN

Trabajadoras y trabajadores de las Américas, stuff
representado por su organización continental, illness la Confederación Sindical de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores de las Américas (CSA) y el Consejo Sindical de Asesoramiento Técnico (COSATE),
 nos reunimos en Cartagena, Colombia, el día 12 de abril de 2012, para debatir sobre la situación  de nuestros países y hemos adoptado esta Declaración ante la VI Cumbre de las Américas. La misma se produce en el marco de los debates que el movimiento sindical de la región viene manteniendo rumbo a la realización del segundo Congreso de la CSA, que se realiza entre el 17 y el 20 de abril próximo en la ciudad de Foz de Iguazú, Brasil, y que reúne a más de 250 delegados de 59 organizaciones sindicales de 27 países del continente representando a más de 50 millones de trabajadores.

La coyuntura económica regional desde la visión de las y los trabajadores 

La región ha presentado en los últimos años un contexto económico que distingue dos grupos: los países de Sudamérica creciendo a un ritmo más acelerado y los países de América del Norte, Central y Caribe creciendo más lentamente, tal vez con las excepciones de República Dominicana y Panamá. Mientras que la crisis mundial afectó con mucha más fuerza a los Estados Unidos y las economías de la región dependientes de su mercado.

La opción de algunos países por políticas de aumentos de los salarios mínimos nacionales, los varios programas de transferencia de ingresos y las inversiones en infraestructura, pueden explicar fundamentalmente los resultados económicos más positivos.

Por otra parte, los países que continúan manteniendo políticas fiscales y monetarias restrictivas al crecimiento, priorizando el ajuste fiscal y tasas de interés elevadas, impidieron con ellas que el crecimiento económico combine la reducción de las desigualdades sociales con el montaje de un Estado que asegure servicios públicos universales y de calidad.

En este contexto consideramos que el camino acertado es fortalecer el papel del estado con la perspectiva de la inclusión social y profundizar el proceso de integración regional para la superación de la crisis. Y en el caso de los Estados Unidos, pedimos definiciones y medidas más rápidas y la superación del impasse político, que ha trabado el avance más enérgico para superar la crisis social y política. Esto, además, es importante para el futuro de los países latinoamericanos y caribeños más dependientes de la economía estadounidense.

Consideramos que existe también una importante agenda de debates y definiciones fundamentales para una nueva estrategia de desarrollo en las Américas. El primer punto fundamental se refiere a la cuestión fiscal pues la carga impositiva en la mayor parte de nuestros países es insuficiente para asumir la inversión en la extensión de los servicios públicos básicos y de calidad para la población. Y cuando ella es suficiente, proviene de un sistema de impuestos centrado en el consumo y no sobre las ganancias, que provoca una carga tributaria fuertemente regresiva, y gran parte de los recursos recaudados son transferidos para el pago de intereses y servicios financieros.

Es importante remarcar que, como propulsor de la demanda, el gasto corriente del gobierno también es motor de la actividad económica. Es la garantía de la oferta de servicios como educación, salud, asistencia social, entre otros, de forma universal y de calidad. No alcanza con construir edificios – como escuelas y hospitales, por ejemplo – si al mismo tiempo no se contratan con remuneraciones y condiciones de trabajo dignas, a profesores y auxiliares, médicos y enfermeros, entre otros profesionales.

Al mismo tiempo, sólo el crecimiento económico no garantiza desarrollo social y ambiental sustentable. Este debe ser acompañado por políticas de generación de trabajo decente, protección social, distribución justa del ingreso y políticas ambientales.

La crisis y la especulación han explicitado también el problema cambiario que vive el continente. Es preciso reconfigurar la cuestión cambiaria en la región, considerando los procesos de integración regional en curso. Es necesario volver a regular las finanzas y los flujos de capital, dejando atrás los años de la liberalización que dejaron expuestos a los países. Este sistema ofrece ventajas a los aplicadores internacionales, volviendo más caros los costos de las inversiones productivas a nivel de los países de la región.

La desregulación de la economía, la liberalización financiera y comercial y, en particular, la flexibilización laboral, son la raíz de la actual crisis. Revertir esos mecanismos que nos condujeron a una situación explosiva es fundamental para viabilizar la construcción de alternativas de desarrollo económico en que el dinamismo y la sostenibilidad convivan con el crecimiento, la distribución del ingreso y la generación de trabajo decente.

Finalmente denunciamos que en material de inversión extranjera directa en América Latina, se constata la presencia en muchos sectores de innumerables empresas transnacionales en circunstancias que les dan privilegios en materia jurídica, laboral, arancelaria y impositiva. Exigimos a los gobiernos que respeten y hagan respetar nuestros derechos laborales, económicos, sociales y ambientales, las normas nacionales e internacionales ante los abusos y explotación salvaje de nuestros recursos naturales por parte de las transnacionales.  En especial, es urgente disponer la solución a los impactos contra el medio ambiente, las comunidades campesinas, indígenas y afrodescendientes que se ven forzadas al desplazamiento y al despojo de sus territorios.

La evolución de la política en las Américas

Los cambios políticos, económicos y sociales que tuvieron lugar en varios países latinoamericanos representan la oposición a las políticas neoliberales implementadas desde los años 80. Esta transformación fue fundamental para enfrentar la crisis actual. Los que, como Brasil, por ejemplo, lograron resistir al sismo financiero, adoptaron medidas de preservación de la inversión pública, empleo, consumo y producción. Sin embargo, la recesión fue profunda en la mayoría de los países que adoptaron medidas conservadoras de recortes de gastos y reducción de salarios y empleos.

Los cambios señalan el ascenso de fuerzas políticas y sociales que buscan formas de organización y representación distintas al Consenso de Washington. Estas corrientes tienen su origen en el enfrentamiento al neoliberalismo y la conformación de amplias alianzas que reunían sindicatos, organizaciones campesinas, indígenas, mujeres, organizaciones no gubernamentales y partidos.

La polarización política entre lo “nuevo” y lo “viejo” fue evidente en varios de estos países que eligieron gobiernos progresistas. En muchos de ellos, los grupos conservadores apelaron a intentos golpistas y movimientos de secesión, entre otros métodos ilegítimos. Estas campañas articuladas por las derechas contaron con la ayuda de la gran prensa escrita y televisiva, que viene ampliando su papel de principal “partido de oposición” a los gobiernos progresistas del continente.

El reto para las y los trabajadores es contribuir para que las transformaciones económicas, políticas y sociales se vuelvan estructurales y permanentes. En lo que se refiere a la democratización de las relaciones de trabajo, hay mucho que hacer. Fueron pocos los gobiernos que realmente promovieron políticas para fortalecer el papel de los sindicatos en la sociedad como actores del desarrollo y de la distribución del ingreso, además de la promoción de la democracia.

Existen contradicciones entre los gobiernos progresistas en lo que se refiere al diálogo social. De forma general, la cultura política y de las relaciones laborales en las Américas son autoritarias. No existe una tradición de concertación y las pocas experiencias actuales de promoción de diálogo social son frágiles. La plena libertad de asociación y el derecho a la negociación colectiva todavía son una utopía en muchos países. La actividad sindical implica arriesgar la vida en lugares como Colombia, Honduras y Guatemala. También en los Estados Unidos hay grandes retrocesos, como la ley que prohíbe la sindicalización de los y las trabajadoras del sector público en Missouri.

Hay un déficit democrático a ser superado con promoción del respeto a los derechos humanos, libertad de organización y mecanismos de consulta popular. La movilidad social, que se ha ampliado en varios países de la región, presenta también a los sindicatos el desafío organizativo de los grupos sociales que representan factores importantes en la economía y en el mundo del trabajo.

Apreciamos y respaldamos el proceso de construcción de diferentes entidades e instancias para facilitar la integración en la región y señala que es fundamental la presencia del movimiento sindical en estas dinámicas. La arquitectura que se adelanta a través de la Unión de Naciones del Sur (UNASUR) y la constitución de la Comunidad de Estados de América Latina y el Caribe (CELAC) dan cuenta del proceso de búsqueda de una respuesta regional articulada, muy conveniente e importante en tiempos de crisis y turbulencias globales. Expresamos preocupación por el retraimiento de otros procesos tradicionales como la Comunidad Andina de Naciones (CAN), el Sistema de Integración de Centroamérica (SICA), el Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR) y la Alianza Bolivariana de los Pueblos de Nuestra América (ALBA).

Deploramos la exclusión de Cuba de estas Cumbres y el veto explicito de los Estados Unidos a que sea invitada. La lógica de la guerra fría ha acabado hace 20 años en el mundo, es inconcebible el mantenimiento del bloqueo a Cuba y la exclusión antidemocrática del país hermano en foros internacionales como esta Cumbre y la OEA.

A 30 años de la tragedia de la Guerra de las Malvinas, pedimos a los presidentes de la VI Cumbre de las Américas que se pronuncien por la apertura del diálogo entre Argentina y el Reino Unido, para encontrar una salida diplomática al justo reclamo de soberanía argentina sobre las Islas Malvinas, con base al principio de la integridad territorial.

En América Latina y Caribe luego de décadas de dictaduras y guerras fratricidas, la mayoría de ellas originadas y alimentadas por la guerra fría, se vive un período de estabilidad con procesos democráticos más establecidos, aunque en algunos países se registran procesos de criminalización de la lucha social.

No podemos dejar de señalar el grave atentado a la democracia, los derechos humanos y la estabilidad regional que constituyó el golpe de Estado en Honduras, en junio de 2009. Para el sindicalismo de las Américas se dejó claro que los intereses más retrógrados de nuestros países y sus articulaciones con sus socios trasnacionales, no dudarán en actuar contra la democracia y los pueblos cuando sus intereses se pongan en entredicho. Ese acto vergonzoso todavía no ha sido superado. Los criminales que irrumpieron contra la democracia están libres e impunes y ampliaron su poder e influencia a través del gobierno ilegítimo y cómplice al que dió paso el régimen de facto.

Aunque la mayoría de los países del continente ha ratificado los Convenios 87 y 98 de la OIT, en muchos de ellos la libertad sindical y la negociación colectiva son letra muerta, ya sea porque la legislación pertinente distorsiona estos convenios o por la violencia profunda e impune. En estas condiciones, será imposible que la región avance hacia la creación de trabajo decente para todos y todas. El ejercicio pleno y universal de estos derechos sigue siendo una deuda de la mayoría de los gobiernos de la región. Llamamos la atención de los gobiernos que se reivindican de izquierda en América Latina, pero consideran la acción sindical y a los sindicatos como corporativos y desconocen las libertades sindicales. Por otro lado, estos gobiernos buscan cooptar al movimiento sindical o tratan solo con aquellos que los apoyan sin restricciones. La independencia y autonomía del movimiento sindical, es una condición necesaria para el avance de los proyectos progresistas y de izquierda.   

La libertad sindical y la negociación colectiva, nuestra prioridad ante el sistema interamericano.

Para afianzar la paz social y alcanzar niveles superiores de desarrollo humano, es imprescindible reconocer la legitimidad de las organizaciones sindicales y su participación en la determinación de las condiciones de trabajo e incidencia y en la adopción, ejecución y evaluación de las políticas públicas. Sin libertad sindical, no hay democracia ni acceso a derechos en el trabajo. Es responsabilidad de cada Estado proteger los derechos de los trabajadores a nivel nacional,  regional y en el marco de instituciones internacionales.

Denunciamos que el continente americano sigue siendo el más peligroso para el ejercicio de la actividad sindical. La violencia contra el sindicalismo ha estado revestida y fortalecida por una grave impunidad que es sistemática, afectando al conjunto de trabajadores y trabajadoras y vulnerando sus derechos.

Condenamos la impunidad con la que muchos empleadores privados y públicos violentan física, económica, laboral y socialmente a los trabajadores, dirigentes y organizaciones sindicales. Denunciamos que las organizaciones sindicales también han sido duramente golpeadas por prácticas y legislaciones laborales que obstaculizan la organización sindical y la negociación colectiva, tanto en el sector privado como en el público. El despido de dirigentes y/o fundadores de sindicatos, la simulación y defraudación de la relación de trabajo, la proliferación de seudo-sindicatos dominados por los empleadores (a veces llamados “sindicatos de protección”),  así como el uso de  figuras jurídicas como la intermediación, subcontratación, cooperativas de trabajo y denominaciones sociales de “papel”, son argucias usadas para eludir los derechos laborales y sindicales de los trabajadores, flexibilizar las condiciones de trabajo y aumentar la precarización del trabajo.

Deploramos que algunos gobiernos de la región no atiendan las observaciones y recomendaciones que los órganos de control normativo de la OIT les han hecho para adecuar su legislación y práctica a los principios y postulados de esas normas internacionales.

Rechazamos la férrea oposición de algunos gobiernos a reconocer el derecho a la negociación colectiva en el sector público, así como la posición empresarial de que la negociación colectiva solo debe darse, en su caso, a nivel de la empresa y no por rama, en forma articulada y otras modalidades, incluida la internacional. Y condenamos también las prácticas de los acuerdos o pactos directos, por su profundo sentido antisindical, así como, las limitaciones en el legítimo ejercicio de la huelga, que transgreden los principios de la OIT.

Es necesario un verdadero compromiso de los gobiernos para la promoción del derecho a la sindicalización, a la negociación colectiva y a emprender acciones colectivas para todos los trabajadores/as del sector público, incluyendo la policía y las fuerzas armadas. Exigimos la ratificación de los Convenios 151 y 154 de la OIT en todos los países de las Américas; y  la garantía del derecho de los trabajadores y trabajadoras a emprender acciones industriales transfronterizas con el objeto de promover en todo el mundo el respeto de los derechos humanos fundamentales en el trabajo.

 

Sobre los otros temas de la Cumbre:

Integración regional

Apoyamos la opción estratégica de nuestros países por una integración orientada por la lógica del desarrollo sustentable. En el contexto de las crisis, los países del Sur global deben profundizar la integración regional mediante la autonomización respecto de los flujos financieros y comerciales globales y su regulación. La inserción internacional de nuestras economías no puede ser guiada por la lógica y los intereses del mercado. Las empresas, entre ellas las llamadas “translatinas, que siendo las principales favorecidas de los recursos del crédito público, han reproducido en muchos casos lo peor de las prácticas sociales, ambientales y laborales de las corporaciones del Norte.

Mantenemos la resistencia frente a los tratados de libre comercio, y proponemos la idea de comercio justo en el plano bilateral, birregional y multilateral y verdaderos procesos de integración de las economías y los pueblos a nivel subregional y regional.

Expresamos nuestra preocupación por la semi parálisis de algunos procesos de integración, mientras la dinámica de los tratados de libre comercio se ha multiplicado.  Se trata de un doble impacto negativo. Por un lado, el avance del libre comercio en las Américas que llevó a la crisis de la Comunidad Andina de Naciones (CAN) y al estancamiento del Sistema de Integración de Centroamérica (SICA)  y por otro, al retraimiento provocado, entre otros, por la crisis económica global en procesos que se mostraban más dinámicos como el Mercado Común del Sur (MERCUSUR) y la Alianza Bolivariana de los Pueblos de Nuestra América (ALBA).

Consideramos fundamental retomar la dinámica integradora de la región, fortaleciendo los procesos ya avanzados, dotándolos de un perfil cada vez más volcado al desafío de contribuir con una región más inclusiva social y políticamente. Se impone el mandato de hacer de la integración social, política y cultural, la principal tarea de los Estados y de los diversos  órganos creados para la integración subregional.

Saludamos iniciativas integracionistas que escapan de la lógica puramente comercial y que procuran una identidad basada en los valores e identidades comunes de los pueblos de la región, como la solidaridad, la cooperación, el respeto a las diferencias, la autonomía  y la soberanía. Valora como muy positivo el proceso y funcionamiento de  la Unión de Naciones del Sur (UNASUR) y  la reciente creación de la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC). UNASUR posee una de las dinámicas más prometedoras, que incluyen acciones políticas en defensa de la independencia de la región y sus instituciones democráticas, y mecanismos novedosos para tratar salud, infraestructura, educación y cuestiones sociales. Queda aún pendiente cómo será profundizada la participación social de este proceso, cuestión que ha sido el foco central de la acción de la CSA, las coordinadoras sindicales subregionales y muchas afiliadas de Sudamérica e incluso de otras regiones. Esta situación es similar a la que ocurre en la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC).

Reconocemos también la dinámica sindical impulsada en la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) y sus diferentes órganos, en la que recientemente hemos obtenido mayor peso de la participación sindical. El sindicalismo de las Américas considera que la OEA aún debe definir el papel que desempeñará en la nueva geografía política del mundo y la región. El éxito del Golpe de Estado en Honduras fue una muestra de que viejas tendencias hegemónicas de la política dura de sectores del gobierno estadounidense persisten  en su seno y son determinantes en la OEA  y sus diferentes órganos, con lo que es necesario utilizar dicho escenario cuestionando ese tipo de posicionamiento y reclamando los cambios que la nueva realidad regional plantea al órgano hemisférico. Mientras tanto, órganos como la Conferencia Interamericana de Ministros del Trabajo pueden funcionar para apalancar acciones en defensa de los intereses del sindicalismo de las Américas si se define una estrategia clara de incidencia política.

Consideramos que la movilidad del capital y la necesidad de establecer regulaciones financieras para combatir la especulación con las commodities, que hacen vulnerables a nuestras economías a manipulaciones externas, hacen imperativo el establecimiento de una nueva arquitectura financiera regional y global. La dinámica que se ha generado con la creación del Banco del Sur y la implementación del Sistema Único de Compensación Regional de Pagos (SUCRE), constituyen mecanismos alternativos regionales, para enfrentar la dependencia de los centros tradicionales de control financiero mundial y generar lógicas de protección de la región.   Como parte de las medidas de regulación, el establecimiento de un impuesto a las transacciones financieras (ITF) resulta una medida necesaria y reclamada por diversos sectores y reconocida por muchos gobiernos del mundo.

Comunicación

Llamamos la atención sobre el papel e influencia que tienen los grandes grupos y corporaciones mediáticas sobre el funcionamiento de nuestras democracias. Estos grupos cada vez más representan el interés del gran capital en nuestros países. También han adquirido un protagonismo en el debate público y ocupan el espacio de muchas instituciones democráticas.

Rechazamos la formación de monopolios y oligopolios en la propiedad y control de los medios de comunicación, que influyen en la toma de decisiones sobre el funcionamiento de la democracia y actúan como un poder de facto.

Reafirmamos la necesidad de asumir  la comunicación como un espacio de debate estratégico, de intercambio de ideas y de proyección de nuestras democracias. La comunicación es un derecho humano fundamental que debe ser ejercido por toda la sociedad. Es importante rescatar el papel protagónico del Estado para garantizar la libertad de expresión de todos los actores y sectores de la sociedad,  asegurando las condiciones legales, tecnológicas y comunicativas para tal efecto.

Los acuerdos de integración regional deben situar a la comunicación como un tema fundamental para el reencuentro y la solidaridad entre nuestros países. La diferentes campañas continentales de los movimientos sociales han probado el rol preponderante de las redes, de los medios alternativos y populares, de radios y TVs comunitarias, de blogs y sitios de Internet, de video y cine social en la promoción de la integración de los pueblos.

Expresamos nuestra preocupación por la criminalización de la prensa alternativa y en particular de las radios comunitarias en el continente. Las radios comunitarias son también un espacio de ejercicio de la ciudadanía y del desarrollo social. El Estado debe, por tanto,  garantizar la creación de medios de comunicación por parte de los movimientos populares y las organizaciones sindicales.

Declaramos que el espectro radioeléctrico es un patrimonio de la humanidad y los Estados son soberanos en su administración. En este sentido, son alentadoras las iniciativas de gobiernos de la región que establecen normativas legales para regular los medios radiales y televisivos preservando la libertad de expresión. Para evitar la concentración es fundamental dividir las frecuencias en tres partes, es decir, un tercio para los medios comerciales, un tercio para el ámbito gubernamental y otro tercio para organizaciones sociales. Los marcos legales deben incluir también mecanismos de auditoría social de los medios comerciales y de los estatales. 

Señalamos que las nuevas tecnologías de información y comunicación (TICs) han creado posibilidades significativas para las organizaciones sindicales, no sólo por su bajo costo sino también por su alcance y estructura. La lucha por la democratización de la comunicación también busca asegurar el acceso y utilización universal de las tecnologías de la información y de banda ancha.

Condenamos todos los actos de violencia, hostigamientos y asesinatos contra periodistas que se han incrementado en diferentes países, tornando a América Latina la región más peligrosa para el ejercicio periodístico. La situación es particularmente preocupante en México, Honduras y Colombia.

Los gobiernos deben trabajar para confrontar la concentración de los medios, recuperar el carácter público de la comunicación y promover la diversidad de actores en la propiedad mediática. La libertad de expresión que defendemos se opone a los intereses mediáticos corporativos que sólo ven los medios de comunicación de masas como instrumento de rentabilidad e incidencia en la toma de decisiones del poder.

Exigimos el derecho a la libertad de expresión y su pleno ejercicio para mujeres y hombres, así como el ejercicio de la libertad de información y el derecho a la comunicación.

Pobreza y desigualdad

Existe una relación positiva entre crecimiento económico y reducción de la pobreza. Sin embargo, los cambios para avanzar hacia el desarrollo no son permanentes y sustentables. La crisis económica y la baja del crecimiento en 2009 aumentaron el desempleo y la pobreza.

El movimiento sindical de las Américas exige la adopción de políticas de combate a la pobreza que afecta a un tercio de la población latinoamericana y caribeña. Y luchará para que la inclusión social – que en algunos países y en alguna medida se viene alcanzando – sea permanente. Esta meta sólo será posible con la profundización del modelo de desarrollo con distribución de ingreso y protección social universal. Para ello es necesario también una política salarial y de distribución de las ganancias que reduzca la elevada brecha existente entre capital y del trabajo.

Hoy, prácticamente un tercio de la población latinoamericana es pobre o indigente. Pese a su incipiente disminución, la región continúa siendo desigual. Y en Estados Unidos, la crisis tuvo un impacto sin precedentes en la situación social de los últimos 52 años. Según la Oficina del Censo de los Estados Unidos, en 2010, el número de personas viviendo bajo la línea de pobreza alcanzó la cifra de 46,2 millones. Este número no ha dejado de crecer en los últimos 4 años, alcanzando la mayor tasa de pobreza desde 1993. Hoy, tres de cada veinte personas son pobres en el país. Junto a ello, la ausencia de cobertura de salud ascendió a casi 50 millones de personas y la renta media presentó un deterioro de 6,5% según el gobierno estadounidense. Esta situación, unida a la realidad del empleo, indica el impacto profundo de la crisis, pese a que la pobreza en los Estados Unidos implica niveles de bienestar superiores a los pobres en América Latina.

Aunque la inseguridad ciudadana es un problema que afecta a toda la población, la violencia contra las mujeres no se contempla como tal. La continua inseguridad que viven las mujeres se manifiesta en su forma más extrema en los feminicidios. En Guatemala, por ejemplo, más de 5 mil mujeres han sido asesinadas en la última década.

Resaltamos que, en América Latina y el Caribe, 7 de cada 10 personas se encuentran sin ninguna cobertura de protección por los daños sufridos en el trabajo, accidentes y enfermedades. El movimiento sindical de las Américas sigue reivindicando un sistema integral de riesgos laborales y enfermedades profesionales que tenga como eje la prevención, que proteja a los y las trabajadoras y que no sea un mero resguardo de las empresas. Así también, denunciamos la violación del derecho a la estabilidad laboral reforzada y el despido de trabajadoras y trabajadores en estado de indefensión por VIH, cáncer, u otra enfermedades.

Aún hay mucho desempleo en nuestros países y seguimos con serios problemas en relación a la calidad del empleo y de los salarios. A la vez, en los países más afectados por la crisis económica la situación sigue dramática, afectando particularmente a las mujeres, jóvenes, negros e indígenas.

Desde 2008, la situación laboral y social se degradó considerablemente en Estados Unidos y en los países más dependientes ligados al mismo. En varios países de Sudamérica, por el contrario, se mantuvo el ciclo de mejora en las condiciones de trabajo y de vida con base en una fuerte política de inversión pública redistributiva.

En Canadá, el desempleo ha aumentado casi 30%, particularmente entre las mujeres (31%), los desocupados de larga duración (50%) y los y las jóvenes (14%). También se registra una menor calidad del empleo. El trabajo a tiempo completo se redujo (2%) y el trabajo parcial o temporario crecieron (5 y 13%). Además, se redujo la cobertura por negociación colectiva (2%) y aumentó el trabajo múltiple (2%). En México, Centroamérica y el Caribe, el desempleo ha crecido entre 20 y 50% en los últimos tres años (México, Guatemala, Honduras).

El fenómeno del “emprendedorismoha capturado a la mayoría de los países como una formula alternativa de promoción del empleo para jóvenes y mujeres, es un factor económico importante pero no reemplaza a las políticas públicas integrales de creación y promoción.

La aplicación del modelo neoliberal en nuestra región agudizó el flagelo del trabajo infantil. El desempleo masivo y la pobreza han llevado a los niños al mercado de trabajo y jugar un rol de adultos en sus responsabilidades familiares.  La creación de trabajo decente y el desarrollo integral de nuestros países, así como políticas sectoriales activas desde el estado son el único camino para resolver este problema en el Continente.

En nuestra región hay pocos datos sobre el desempleo juvenil pero se puede estimar que sea algo entre 20% y 40%, dependiendo de la subregión. La pobreza aumento en 6 millones durante los dos últimos años, alcanzando a 46 millones. Más de 50 millones de personas viven sin cobertura de salud.

El rasgo principal de este período ha sido la reducción de la pobreza absoluta y relativa en ciertos países, dando lugar al proceso de movilidad social. Lo mismo sucede con la desigualdad de ingresos (coeficiente de Gini). Desde 2002, la mayor parte de los países revirtió la tendencia negativa de la década anterior (Brasil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Nicaragua). Sin embargo, como señalado anteriormente, América Latina sigue siendo la región más desigual del mundo.

La mercantilización y privatización de la educación promovida por el neoliberalismo e iniciada en nuestra región en el Chile de Pinochet, continua siendo una amenaza para nuestros pueblos pese a la resistencia social, de educadores, estudiantes, comunidad educativa. Denunciamos la imposición de la política privatizadora, la sobreexplotación de los educadores, la desprofesionalización de la labor docente, los recortes presupuestales a la educación, el hacinamiento de alumnos, el recorte de la nomina del personal docente y administrativo, entre tantos otros males que comprometen el futuro de nuestros países y exigimos la adopción de políticas educativas que garanticen una educación pública, gratuita, de calidad y sin intermediarios.

Como conclusión, defendemos la multiplicación de las experiencias implementadas en varios países de la región para enfrentar la más reciente crisis mundial, demostraron la validez de fuertes políticas de Estado que aseguraron el empleo, las políticas sociales garantistas de derechos para la población y la utilización de instrumentos de políticas fiscal, monetaria y presupuestaria para enfrentar la crisis.

Les exigimos que sean proactivos para enfrentar los efectos de la crisis mundial. Deben además aprovechar esta coyuntura para superar la herencia neoliberal, transitando por la senda del desarrollo con inclusión social, eliminando su basamento exclusivo en el sector primario de la economía.

Seguridad ciudadana

La profundización de la pobreza y las desigualdades ha sido el caldo de cultivo para el surgimiento de fenómenos de violencia en nuestras sociedades. La proliferación del crimen organizado, vinculado al narcotráfico en toda la región, es un reflejo de exclusión social que lleva a la pérdida de horizontes y proyectos colectivos, en particular de nuestros jóvenes. Combatir esta situación aplicando más violencia desde el Estado, no resuelve el problema estructural que subyace como causa. Desde el movimiento sindical exigimos a los Estados la atención a estas realidades, a través de políticas públicas inclusivas y de respeto a los derechos humanos.

Los conflictos tienen muchas veces sus raíces en privaciones de origen económico y social. Destinar recursos adicionales, incluso en el marco de la asistencia al desarrollo, para generar oportunidades de trabajo decente, particularmente para la gente joven, constituye un elemento esencial para abordar las causas de inestabilidad y conflictos sociales.

Llamamos la atención sobre los Derechos Humanos laborales, en especial los derechos sindicales, que continúan siendo objeto de múltiples violaciones en nuestra región. En la mayoría de los países de las Américas se evidencia una creciente represión y criminalización de la protesta social, la violencia generalizada, las políticas antisindicales, la violación de los Derechos Humanos.

Condenamos la práctica del terrorismo en cualquiera de sus expresiones, pero cuestiona que diferentes Estados hayan aprobado legislaciones denominadas antiterroristas que vulneran el derecho a la libre organización, a manifestarse públicamente y no aceptan que las/os ciudadanas/os usen su voz para reivindicar sus derechos, lo que se ha traducido en una política de criminalización de la lucha social.

En nuestra región se  concentra el más alto índice de crímenes violentos contra sindicalistas en el mundo y su impunidad es casi total. Esta situación es especialmente crónica en países como Colombia, Guatemala y Honduras. Entre abril de 2008 y diciembre de 2011 han sido asesinados 122 sindicalistas, entre dirigentes y defensores de los derechos sindicales. De ese total, ninguno de los casos ha sido individualizado, juzgado ni los autores de los hechos han sido sentenciados. En Venezuela es preocupante  la situación de violencia asociada a las disputas entre varios sectores de actividad económica que han conducido a un elevado número de asesinatos de trabajadores/as, incluyendo el de dirigentes sindicales, los cuales en general se mantienen impunes. 

Consideramos que la situación de Honduras sigue siendo sumamente grave. Desde el momento del golpe de Estado, el 28 de junio de 2009, persisten situaciones de violencia, persecución y hostigamiento, que han cobrado la vida de dirigentes sindicales, campesinos/as, periodistas y de otros activistas sociales y políticos. Estos crímenes no han sido procesados por la justicia y continúa la situación de impunidad generada por la ruptura constitucional. El cuadro se ha agravado durante el gobierno de Porfirio Lobo, heredero del régimen golpista,  surgido de elecciones con más del 70% de abstención, organizada por un gobierno de facto, en un ambiente de represión y persecución hacia todos los sectores que condenaron el golpe militar, prolongando la inestabilidad en el país y en la región.

Alertamos sobre la grave situación de Guatemala, una expresión dramática de prácticas violatorias a los Derechos Humanos, entre ellos los laborales. Flagrantes violaciones a la libertad sindical y a la negociación colectiva,  así como un  alto grado de impunidad a todo tipo de crímenes, caracterizan a este país. Esto exige acciones unificadas a nivel regional e internacional, empezando a nivel nacional con el cumplimiento por parte del gobierno de sus obligaciones de respetar y garantizar los derechos fundamentales de sus ciudadanos. Es necesario también apoyar y promover las misiones de la Comisión Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala (CICIG) en todos los ámbitos pertinentes, incluida la ONU, la Unión Europea y sus estados miembros.

Exigimos en forma permanente que los gobiernos actúen de forma ejemplar en el caso de los asesinatos a líderes sindicales y sociales en nuestra región. Exigimos una vez más que las autoridades de Colombia, Guatemala y Honduras identifiquen y juzguen a los responsables de estos hechos, que garanticen la integridad y la  vida de los sindicalistas y activistas sociales, así como la libertad sindical y el derecho a la negociación colectiva;

La  carrera armamentista representa exactamente lo contrario de una cultura por la paz y la no violencia, ya que el crecimiento de la industria militar significa el aumento del negocio que es la guerra. Si las instituciones internacionales están preocupadas en cultivar la paz, hay que condenar de manera vehemente esa política armamentista. El sindicalismo de las Américas defiende que este Continente debe ser un espacio de paz, tolerancia y respeto de las diferencias. Los recursos que son asignados para las armas podrían ser destinados a programas de desarrollo social.

Abogamos por una reducción significativa del gasto militar y su transferencia para cubrir necesidades sociales urgentes, financiar la cooperación internacional al desarrollo y la conversión de la fabricación de armas a la  producción con objetivos pacíficos. Y exigimos urgentes medidas para limitar el comercio de armas, frenar el tráfico ilegal de armas en la región, en particular a través de controles estrictos en las fronteras de los países productores/exportadores, impulsar programas de desarme de la población, así como mayor restricción a su comercialización, tenencia y porte;

Rechazamos la existencia de bases militares extranjeras en cualquier país de la región, porque ellas representan un obstáculo a la paz regional y estimulan  la desconfianza entre nuestros países, promoviendo el armamentismo e hiriendo el principio de la autodeterminación de los pueblos, así como el de las soberanías nacionales sobre el territorio. Es necesario establecer un programa de desmilitarización extranjera y la suspensión de nuevas bases militares en la región.

Se debe establecer un programa de desmilitarización extranjera, que declare la suspensión de nuevas instalaciones militares así como el establecimiento de un cronograma de retiro de bases, misiones y tropas extranjeras de los países de las Américas;

Condenamos la situación de violación sistemática de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas y afro descendientes,  vulnerados a lo largo de la historia por los propios Estados y diversos grupos de interés. Se debe promover el respeto y consulta a las poblaciones indígenas, campesinas y originarias y la plena aplicación del convenio 169 de la OIT, sobre pueblos indígenas y tribales en territorios independientes.

Por todo lo que hemos dicho:

Exigimos el fin de la violencia anti sindical y el respeto urgente de la libertad sindical y la negociación colectiva y la derogación de todas las leyes y normas que violan estos derechos fundamentales en nuestro continente. Sin un poder publico activo en la protección de estos derechos básicos nuestros pueblos son despojados de la capacidad de sus trabajadores y trabajadoras para organizarse y avanzar hacia la inclusión y la justicia social del conjunto de nuestras naciones en las Américas.

Reclamamos la recuperación el papel del estado como agente promotor del desarrollo sustentable y la inclusión social pues el mercado por si sólo, el libertinaje comercial, la flexibilización laboral, y las desregulaciones economicidas promovidas por el neoliberalismo han demostrado estar equivocadas y solo promover concentración, exclusión y pobreza en la región.

Contra el sálvese quien pueda, demandamos a nuestros gobiernos, una urgente acción concertada en la región para enfrentar la crisis, que profundice la cooperación entre los países, la integración regional como opción de desarrollo autónomo y  alternativo. El fin de la exclusión unilateral a Cuba y del militarismo en las Américas son elementos centrales para la profundización de la democracia en el continente y exigimos medidas concretas para su pronto fin.

El sindicalismo americano está comprometido a profundizar la movilización social y el diálogo, pero fundamentalmente la acción, para avanzar hacia un continente libre justo y sustentable. 

Cartagena, Colombia 

12 de abril de 2012