The 2012 SADC People's Summit Report

We the more than 250 representatives of grassroots movements, visit web community-based organizations, visit this peasant and small farmers movements, faith based organizations, women’s organizations, labour, student, youth, economic justice and human rights networks and other social movements met in Mumemo centre, Maracuene, Mozambique, from 15-16 August at the eighth People’s Summit incorporating the People’s Dialogue organized by the Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network (SAPSN), supported by the local host organizations UNAC, Forum Mulher, JA, Livaningo, Accord and Via Campesina to bring the SADC Community’s attention to challenges that affect our daily lives.

We deliberated on the theme “Reclaiming SADC for People’s Development – A People’ SADC: Myth or Reality?”

Concerned with undemocratic governance, impunity of corporates in Extractive industries, global climate catasrophe, exploitation of natural resources, dominance of corporates in the energy sector, patriarchy, increasing violence against women and children, displacement of communities by corporates with active collaboration of SADC governments, increasing food insecurity, damage to ecosystems, growing inequalities, decline in health and education service provision and standards, deprivation of sustainable livelihoods, extensive land grabbing by corporates and governments collaborating actively with traditional leadership, continued recolonisation through for example bilateral agreements like the Economic Partnership Agreements and shady deals with the BRICS countries; the continued violations of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, excessive dependency on export oriented economies and finally the continued dominance of the free market dogma and ascendancy of neo-liberalism.

Recognising our efforts in the resolution of crisis in the hotspots of the region

We resolve to:

Strengthen campaigns against Free Trade Agreements, privatisation, GMOs, dictatorship, land grabbing, gender-based violence and all forms of discrimination.

And show solidarity with the struggling people of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Swaziland

We call on SADC heads of states

  • Urgently dismantle patriarchal systems that aid and abate the discrimination of people using arguments rooted in backward culture and traditions
  • Be Transparent and accountable to the people of SADC in agreements for extractive industries and stop the land deals
  • Develop and enforce policies that protect the rights of women and children
  • Stop the pursuit of neoliberal social and economic policies.
  • Stop the land grabbing and utilise the land and natural resources for the development of the poor and marginalised.
  • Stop the deployment and use of violence to suppress people’s democratic rights
  • To adopt and aggressively implement lasting solutions to the political hot spots and crisis areas of the region without procrastination.
  • Make vigorous efforts to stop the pillaging of the environment
  • Uphold the principle of democratic, free and fair elections in Swaziland
  • Guarantee food sovereignty through agrarian reform and the establishment of indigenous seed banks
  • Be transparent and accountable in investment agreements
  • Embark on a wealth redistribution and transformative agenda through for example the removal of investment incentives and tax holidays for corporations
  • Enhance their capacity to collect taxes from errant corporations whose techniques for tax avoidance are now well documented.
  • Meet people’s needs such access to clean water, health services, education, food and energy rather than investing in mining, fossil fuel based energy and the mega projects that benefit corporations and elites.
  • To reorient infrastructure development for the promotion of regional integration and not designed to ship resources out of SADC to serve the local people
  • Stop the reliance on export-driven extractivism of our natural resources.
  • Promote and support agro-ecological farming.
  • Implement the protocol on the free movement of people in SADC
  • Ensure that SADC national focal points function effectively and serve the people.
  • Mobilise domestic resources and undertake innovative financing to meet budget requirements to meet the Abuja and Maputo declarations respectively
  • Ensure that leaders of nations that have benefitted, or continue to benefit, from a development path based on high greenhouse gas emissions, need to acknowledge and repay ecological debt owed to vulnerable communities and the planet.

THE 2012 SADC PEOPLE’S SUMMIT REPORT
“Reclaiming SADC for People’s Development – A People’s SADC Myth or Reality?”

Table of Contents
About SAPSN
Contextualization
1. Introduction
2. Opening and Introductory Remarks
3. Key Note Addresses: A People’s SADC Myth or Reality
3.1 From Liberation Struggles to the Building of Social Movements in SADC Countries
4. Democracy and Human Rights – Pre Conditions for Credible, Free and Fair Elections
5. Contemporary Politics and Power in Swaziland
6. Trade and Investment – Investment Agreements in SADC as a Vehicle to Facilitate Tax Avoidance
7. Climate Justice Post COP 17 Workshop
8.0 Reflections on the Role of Civil Society in COP 17: Mixed Reactions and Contradictions
9.0 Land Grabs in the SADC Region
9.1 Impact of the Establishment of the Ethanol Plant in Chisumbanje
9.2 Outcomes – Actions for Opposing Land Grabbing
10.  Extractive Industries and Mineral Rights in Southern Africa
10.1 Coal Mining in Mpumalanga – South Africa
10.2 Diamond Mining in Chiadzwa – Zimbabwe
10 .3 Coal Mining in Moatize Tete Province – Mozambique
10.4 Outcomes and Recommendations
11. SADC Focal Points – People’s Perspectives on the Role of SADC National Focal Points
11.1 Historical Analysis of SADC
11.2 CSOs Engagement with SADC
11.3 Role of SADC National Focal Points
12. Summit Declaration
13. Conclusion and Closing Remarks
14. Together We March

 

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Communique from the eighth SADC People's Summit (Mozambique, 15-16 August 2012)

We the more than 250 representatives of grassroots movements, medical community-based organizations, peasant and small farmers movements, faith based organizations, women’s organizations, labour, student, youth, economic justice and human rights networks and other social movements met in Mumemo centre, Maracuene, Mozambique, from 15-16 August at the eighth People’s Summit incorporating the People’s Dialogue organized by the Southern Africa People’s Solidarity Network (SAPSN), supported by the local host organizations UNAC, Forum Mulher, JA, Livaningo, Accord and Via Campesina to bring the SADC Community’s attention to challenges that affect our daily lives.

We deliberated on the theme “Reclaiming SADC for People’s Development – A People’ SADC: Myth or Reality?”

Concerned with undemocratic governance, impunity of corporates in Extractive industries, global climate catasrophe, exploitation of natural resources, dominance of corporates in the energy sector, patriarchy, increasing violence against women and children, displacement of communities by corporates with active collaboration of SADC governments, increasing food insecurity, damage to ecosystems, growing inequalities, decline in health and education service provision and standards, deprivation of sustainable livelihoods, extensive land grabbing by corporates and governments collaborating actively with traditional leadership, continued recolonisation through for example bilateral agreements like the Economic Partnership Agreements and shady deals with the BRICS countries; the continued violations of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, excessive dependency on export oriented economies and finally the continued dominance of the free market dogma and ascendancy of neo-liberalism.

Recognising our efforts in the resolution of crisis in the hotspots of the region

We resolve to:

Strengthen campaigns against Free Trade Agreements, privatisation, GMOs, dictatorship, land grabbing, gender-based violence and all forms of discrimination.

And show solidarity with the struggling people of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Swaziland

We call on SADC heads of states

  • Urgently dismantle patriarchal systems that aid and abate the discrimination of people using arguments rooted in backward culture and traditions
  • Be Transparent and accountable to the people of SADC in agreements for extractive industries and stop the land deals
  • Develop and enforce policies that protect the rights of women and children
  • Stop the pursuit of neoliberal social and economic policies.
  • Stop the land grabbing and utilise the land and natural resources for the development of the poor and marginalised.
  • Stop the deployment and use of violence to suppress people’s democratic rights
  • To adopt and aggressively implement lasting solutions to the political hot spots and crisis areas of the region without procrastination.
  • Make vigorous efforts to stop the pillaging of the environment
  • Uphold the principle of democratic, free and fair elections in Swaziland
  • Guarantee food sovereignty through agrarian reform and the establishment of indigenous seed banks
  • Be transparent and accountable in investment agreements
  • Embark on a wealth redistribution and transformative agenda through for example the removal of investment incentives and tax holidays for corporations
  • Enhance their capacity to collect taxes from errant corporations whose techniques for tax avoidance are now well documented.
  • Meet people’s needs such access to clean water, health services, education, food and energy rather than investing in mining, fossil fuel based energy and the mega projects that benefit corporations and elites.
  • To reorient infrastructure development for the promotion of regional integration and not designed to ship resources out of SADC to serve the local people
  • Stop the reliance on export-driven extractivism of our natural resources.
  • Promote and support agro-ecological farming.
  • Implement the protocol on the free movement of people in SADC
  • Ensure that SADC national focal points function effectively and serve the people.
  • Mobilise domestic resources and undertake innovative financing to meet budget requirements to meet the Abuja and Maputo declarations respectively
  • Ensure that leaders of nations that have benefitted, or continue to benefit, from a development path based on high greenhouse gas emissions, need to acknowledge and repay ecological debt owed to vulnerable communities and the planet.

 

For more information of the 8th SADC People’s Summit visit: http://sadcpeoplessummit.org

Another road for Europe: the Appeal

Europe is in crisis because it has been hijacked by neoliberalism and finance. In the last twenty years – with a persistent democratic deficit – the meaning of the European Union has increasingly been reduced to a narrow view of the single market and the single currency, leading to liberalisations and speculative bubbles, loss of rights and the explosion of inequalities.

 

This is not the Europe that was imagined decades ago as a space of economic and political integration free from war. This is not the Europe that was built through economic and social progress, the extension of democracy and welfare rights.

 

This European project is now in danger.

 

Facing the financial crisis, European authorities and governments have acted irresponsibly; they saved private banks but refused to contain the difficulties of indebted countries using the tools of the Monetary Union; they imposed on all countries austerity policies and cuts in public budgets that will now be enshrined in European Treaties. The results are that the financial crisis has extended to more countries, the euro is in danger, a new great depression and the risk of disintegration of Europe are looming.

 

Europe can survive only if another road is taken. Another Europe is possible. Europe has to mean social justice, environmental responsibility, democracy and peace. This is what the larger part of Europe’s culture and society yearns for. This is the way indicated by justice movements, mobilisations for dignity and against austerity policies. But it is the sort of Europe that has been ignored by dominant political forces in Europe. This other Europe is not a new superstate nor is it another intergovernmental bureaucracy. A form of democratic governance for Europe is needed if we are to address the global challenges that nation-states are not able to manage.

 

Along the road to another Europe, visions of change, protest and alternatives have to be woven into a common framework. We propose six objectives.

 

A smaller finance. Finance – at the root of the crisis – should be prevented from destroying the economy. The Monetary Union should be reorganised and provide a collective guarantee for the public debt of eurozone countries; the European Central Bank should become the Union’s lender of last resort. The burden of debt cannot be allowed to destroy countries in financial difficulty. All financial transactions have to be taxed, imbalances resulting from capital movements need be reduced, stricter regulations should ban the more speculative and risky financial activities, the division between commercial and investment banks has to be restored, a European public rating agency should be created.

 

More integrated economic policies. Europe needs to move past old and new Stability Pacts, beyond policies limited to the single market and the single currency. Europe’s actions need to address imbalances in the real economy and the direction of development. Deep changes in taxation systems are needed, with a tax harmonization in Europe and a shift in taxation from labour to wealth and non-renewable resources, with new revenues to fund European spending.

 

Public expenditure – at national and European levels – should be used to stimulate demand, defend welfare policies, extend public services. Industrial and innovation policies have to orient production and consumption towards high-skill, high-quality, sustainable activities. Eurobonds should be introduced not just to refinance public debt, but to fund the ecological conversion of Europe’s economy.

 

More jobs and labour rights, less inequality. Labour rights and welfare are at the core of the meaning of Europe. After decades of policies that have created precarious jobs, poverty and unemployment, bringing inequality back to the levels of the 1930s, the priority for Europe is the creation of stable, high wage jobs – especially for women and youth – supporting low incomes and protecting trade union rights, collective bargaining and democracy at the workplace.

 

Protecting the environment. Sustainability, the green economy, energy and resource efficiency are the new meaning of Europe’s growth. All policies need to take into account environmental effects, reduce climate change and the use of non-renewable resources, favouring clean, renewable energies, energy efficiency, local production, sobriety in consumption.

 

Practising democracy. The forms of representative democracy through parties and governments – and the social dialogue among organisations representing capital and labour – are less and less able to provide answers to current problems. At European level the common decision-making process is increasingly replaced by the rule of the strongest. The crisis takes legitimacy away from EU institutions; the Commission increasingly acts as a bureaucratic support of the strongest member states, the Central Bank is unaccountable and the European Parliament does not fully use its powers and anyway is still excluded from crucial decisions on economic governance.

 

In past decades, Europe’s citizens have taken centre stage in social mobilisations and in practices of participatory and deliberative democracy – from European Social Forums to the protests of indignados. These experiences need an institutional response. There is the need to overcome the mismatch between social change and political and institutional arrangements that are a remnant of the past.

 

European societies need not be inward-looking. The social and political inclusion of migrants is a key test for Europe’s democracy. Closer ties can be built with the movements for democracy on the Southern shores of the Mediterranean after the downfall of authoritarian regimes.

 

Making peace and upholding human rights. The integration of Europe has made it possible to overcome century-old conflicts, but Europe remains the site of nuclear weapons and aggressive military postures, and European countries still spend one fifth of world military expenditure: 316 billion dollars in 2010. With current budgetary problems, drastic cuts and transformation in military budgets are urgent. Europe’s peace does not result from projecting military force, but from a policy of human and common security that can contribute to peace and the protection of human rights. Europe has to open up to the new democracies of the Arab world in the same way as it opened up to Central and Eastern Europe after 1989.

 

We propose to bring this agenda for another Europe to the European Parliament and to Europe’s institutions. This new meaning of Europe is already visible in cross-border citizens’ mobilisations, civil society networks, trade union struggles; it has now to shape Europe’s politics and policy-making.

 

Thirty years ago, at the start of the “New Cold War” between East and West, the Appeal for European Nuclear Disarmament launched the idea of a Europe free from military blocs and argued that “we must commence to act as if a united, neutral, pacific Europe already existed”. Now, in the midst of the crisis of finance, markets and bureaucracies, we we must commence to practice an egalitarian, peaceful, green and democratic Europe.

 

 

 

Rossana Rossanda, founder of Il Manifesto

Elmar Altvater, Attac Germany

Samir Amin, World Forum for Alternatives

Philippe Askenazy, CNRS-Paris school of Economics

Zygmunt Bauman, University of Leeds, UK

Seyla Benhabib, Yale University

Donatella Della Porta, European University Institute

Trevor Evans, Euromemorandum and Berlin School of Economics & Law

Luigi Ferrajoli, University of Roma Tre

Nancy Fraser, New School for Social Research, New York

Monica Frassoni, European Green Party

Susan George, honorary president of Attac France, Board President of the Transnational Institute

Paul Ginsborg, University of Florence

Rafael Grasa Hernandez, ICIP, Barcelona

Mary Kaldor, London School of Economics, UK

Thomas Lacoste, filmmaker and publisher, Paris

Dany Lang, Economistes atterrés

Maurizio Landini, secretary of the metalworkers’ union Fiom-Cgil

Jean-Louis Laville, European coordinator, Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy

Giulio Marcon, Coordinator of the Sbilanciamoci coalition

Jens Martens, Director, Global Policy Forum Europe

Doreen Massey, Open University and Soundings

Chantal Mouffe, University of Westminster, London

Heikki Patomäki, chair, ATTAC Finland and University of Helsinki

Pascal Petit, Université de Paris 13

Mario Pianta, University of Urbino and Sbilanciamoci

Kari Polanyi Levitt, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Wolfgang Sachs, Wuppertal Institut, Germany

Saskia Sassen, Columbia University

Andrew Simms, fellow, New Economics Foundation, London

Steffen Stierle, scientific council Attac Germany

Massimo Torelli, Rete@sinistra

Peter Wahl, WEED,World Economy & Development Association, Germany

 

 

 

Vittorio Agnoletto, Freedom Legality And Rights in Europe

Sergio Andreis, Lunaria, Italy

Andrea Baranes, Roma

Marco Bersani, Attac Italia

Matthias Birkwald, Member of the German Parliament, Die Linke

Lothar Bisky, Member of the European Parliament, European United Left /Nordic Green Left, Germany

Raffaella Bolini, Arci, Italy

Luciana Castellina, former member of the European Parliament

Rolf Czezeskleba-Dupont, Roskilde University, Denmark

Pier Virgilio Dastoli, European Federalist Movement

Rosen Dimov, European Alternatives, Bulgaria

Mario Dogliani, University of Turin

Tommaso Fattori, Transform Italia

Renzo Fior, president Emmaus Italia

Maurizio Franzini, Sapienza Università di Roma

Marco Furfaro, Youth policy coordinator, SEL

Francesco Garibaldo, Associazione lavoro e libertà

Francuccio Gesualdi, Center for a new development

Alfonso Gianni, Roma

Chiara Giunti, Rete@sinistra

Thomas Händel, Member of the European Parliament, European United Left /Nordic Green Left, Germany

Keith Hart, University of Pretoria and Goldsmiths, University of London

Peter Hermann, scientific council Attac Germany, University of Cork

Peter Kammerer, University of Urbino

Jan Korte, Member of the German Parliament, Die Linke

Patrick Le Hyaric, Editor of L’Humanité, Member of the European Parliament, European United Left /Nordic Green Left, France

Flavio Lotti, Tavola della Pace, Perugia

Alberto Lucarelli, Commissioner of the City of Naples for the Common goods

Lorenzo Marsili, European Alternatives

Graziella Mascia, Associazione Altramente, Italy

Vilma Mazza, Global project

Luisa Morgantini, former vice-president of the European Parliament

Roberto Musacchio, Roma

Loretta Mussi, Un ponte per, Roma

Jason Nardi, coordinator, Social Watch Italian coalition

Maria Teresa Petrangolini, Active Citizenship Network

Maria Pia Pizzolante, TILT speakperson

Gabriele Polo, former editor, Il Manifesto

Norma Rangeri, editor, Il Manifesto

Angelo Reati, former official of the European Commission, Brussels

Claudio Riccio, Coordinator of student organisations

Gianni Rinaldini, Coordinator of the United for an alternative coalition, Italy

Tania Rispoli, social researcher and activist, Italy

Domenico Rizzuti, Rete@sinistra, Italy

Denis Jaromil Roio, Dyne.org, Free software foundry

Raül Romeva i Rueda, Member of the European Parliament, Green/EFA Group

Raffaele K. Salinari, Terre des Hommes international

Mariana Santos, Lisbon University Institute

Thomas Sauer, scientific council Attac Germany, Fachhochschule Jena.

Patrizia Sentinelli, former deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, Italy

Paul Schäfer, Member of the German Bundestag, Die Linke

Ingo Schmidt, Athabasca University, Canada

Annamaria Simonazzi, University of Rome “La Sapienza”

Claus Thomasberger, HTW Berlin, University of Applied Sciences

Antonio Tricarico, Roma

Guido Viale, environmental expert and activist, Italy

Luigi Vinci, Progetto Lavoro, Italy

Isidor Wallimann, scientific council Attac Germany, Fachhochschule Basel

Frieder Otto Wolf, former Member of the European Paliament, Freie Universität Berlin

Gaby Zimmer, Member of the European Parliament, European United Left /Nordic Green Left, Germany

 

 

 

May 2012

 

 

 

A preliminary version of this appeal was launched by the organisers and speakers of the Florence Forum “The way out. Europe and Italy, economic crisis and democracy”, held on 9 December 2011. The text is the result of extensive discussions with European networks and individuals and groups in many European countries. The text is available in English, Italian, French, German and Spanish. You can sign the Appeal on the website www.anotherroadforeurope.org

 

On June 28, 2012, a Forum on “Another Road for Europe” will be held at the European Parliament in Brussels. For information, support for the Appeal, and participation to the Brussels Forum: anotherroadforeurope@gmail.com – www.anotherroadforeurope.org

 

 

 

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


Statement ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN People's Forum 2012 (Cambodia)

This Report summarises the proceedings of the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) Symposium on Methods of Stakeholder Engagement in Regional Organisations, which was held from 23 to 25 November 2009 in Jakarta, Indonesia.


Read the full document here.

We, more than 1, 200 delegates representing various civil society organizations and movements of workers from rural and urban sectors as well as the migrant sector, purchase peasants and farmers, women, children, youth, the elderly, persons with disabilities, urban poor, Indigenous Peoples, victims of human rights violations, domestic workers, lesbian gay transgender/transsexual intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people, human rights defenders and other groups, gathered together in Phnom Penh for the 2012 ASEAN Civil Society Conference / Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF) on 29-31 March 2012, to discuss issues under the theme “Transforming ASEAN into a People Centered Community”.


Read the full statement here.

Declaration on ASEAN (Bali, 16-18 November 2011)

More than 80 advocacy groups and people’s organizations from across the

Southeast Asian region submitted letter-petitions for information disclosure to the ASEAN’s Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). Citing important mandates from the ASEAN Charter, rx the groups requested the two bodies to share information related to their work on civil society accreditation and guidelines for engagement with civil society, the AICHR’s guidelines of operation, the terms of reference for the drafting of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, and the terms of reference for the thematic study on Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights. According tho the letter-petitions, access to information is a first and necessary step towards meaningful people’s participation in ASEAN.

The letter-petitions were initiated by the Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (TF-AHR) and the Task Force on ASEAN FOI. TF-AHR seeks to promote genuine and meaningful dialogue and engagement between NGOs and the AICHR in promoting and protecting human rights. The TF on ASEAN FOI is an initiative to push for the recognition of the public’s right to know and access to information in ASEAN. These two Task Forces work under the SAPA Working Group on ASEAN, a collaboration among various NGOs, peoples’ movements, coalitions and campaign organizations that seek to engage ASEAN issues and processes. It has played an active role in the ASEAN Civil Society Conference, and works on specific advocacies on human rights, migrants’ rights, economic development and social justice, and democratization, among others.

Source:

Declaration

Building People’s Sovereignty in South East Asia Region
Refuse and Oppose the Domination of Global Capitalism
Denpasar, sovaldi sale Bali,  16-18 November 2011
We, Indonesian people, representations of peasants, workers, migrant workers, fisher folk, indigenous people, women, students, urban poor, consumers, human rights activists, gather in Denpasar, Bali from 16-18 November 2011. We organize series of action to express our concerns on Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Bali.
ASEAN has become a free market, rent seeking and natural resources exploitation. The whole exploitation activities, with the interventions of the elites are now becoming official and more dangerous in global communities. With its close historical connection with the US and its allies, ASEAN is continuously used as a tool to implement the global capitalism agenda.
ASEAN has failed to protect and fulfill human rights for its people. Today the world is facing financial, food, energy and environmental crises. Out of these crises, transnational companies, big investors and market speculators gain huge profit and receive bail out from the government. Meanwhile, the people are still suffering from poverty, unemployment, and difficulty to access basic rights for a decent livelihood. Violence, intimidation, criminalization against peasants, labors and indigenous community are repeatedly used as a mean to takeover land and other agrarian resources. Furthermore, conflict and dispute resettlement tend to ignore the injustice situation. In Indonesia, only 0.05 percent of the total population (around 115 thousand people) is the rich—who enjoy the benefits of the system by putting the rest 235 million people as the victims, especially women and children.
In Indonesia, investors and corporates have dominated the state, burdening them with obligations and conditionalities which fell to the shoulders of the people. They are greed and vicious, they dominate land, water and other resources in South East Asia.
Imperialism transcends through ASEAN, with 5 main aspects. First, Indonesia will always be provider of raw materials; Second, Indonesia will always be suppliers for the industry in Europe, US, Japan and other industrial countries; Third, Indonesia will always be market of foreign products; Fourth, Indonesia will always be a site for mega investment, not only from the US, but countries like Singapore, Japan, China and others that have capital oversurplus. Fifth, Indonesia will always be the provider for cheap labor.
Mining corporate from US, Europe, and other countries have been exploiting Indonesia’s natural resources even to the bottom of the ocean. Until October 2011, there are 42 islands in Indonesia identified to suffer from disasters due to mining activities. Once again the people are the most vulnerable to the risks: especially to face pollutions and the disappearance of livelihoods. At least 23 million hectares of Indonesia’s ocean will be polluted and there are no serious efforts from the government to cope with this situation.
In fisheries context, until April 2011, out of 79 imported fishery products, 40 products can be found in domestic market. Imported fisheries lead to economic slump of fisher folk families and worsening fisheries quality for domestic market—and finally, made the sector economically unattractive.
ASEAN is not only actively exploiting the nature and the people–but the association also brings other imperialist countries to take part. Not to mention the intervention from International Financial Institutions (IFIs) like World Bank, ADB, IMF and others through development aid scheme in various sectors. Through programs and projects, these institutions are fully shaping national policies in many countries in the region. It will benefit corporate the most, but putting people’s sovereignty at stake. IFIs intervention is real, seeing through various strategic policies which aim to secure investment and corporate encroachment in ASEAN countries.
Specifically, we would like to bring the upcoming ASEAN economic partnership with the US and Europe that potentially perpetuating Indonesia as raw materials (CPO, coffee, tea and cacao) exporter only. This will affect the national industry, which will never flourish. Even in food and agriculture sector, import surge of horticulture products has been damaging local price and market, hurting small and medium agriculture business in rural areas.
In light of crises, Indonesia is not only in the brink of another food crisis, but also water crisis. For instance, clean water resources has been taken over by European foreign companies (Suez, Nestle, Danone, Coca Cola/Ades). Liberalization from water loan project Water Resources Sector Adjustment Loan  (WATSAL) from World Bank lead to water privatization, hindering access to clean and adequate water to people’s consumption and also agriculture area.
The enactment of free trade agreements (FTAs) and investment, followed by pro market policies in the region (which also applied in Indonesia), has been a total disaster! Consequences of free trade agreements in labor sector are the implementation of flexible labor market and union busting—where the workers’ rights are becoming more and more neglected.
From the security aspect, ASEAN and East Asia plays a significant role in the world—especially in the midst of current global capitalism crisis. US will ensure Japan, China and South Korea to steadily become subordinates in the domination scheme through economy, politic, cultural and military intervention.
Specifically to this domination, US is also have military strategy in order assure security to their investment. It can be seen from US military base in South East Asia (Singapore and Thailand) including establishment of the recently-built military base in Darwin, Australia. In current progress, US locate 70.000 military personnel in East Asia and around 100.000 personnel under the Pacific commando (including South East Asia region) USAPCOM, based in Honolulu, Hawaii. The destruction and exploitation by domination of global capitalism, under the leadership of the US, has lead to people’s struggle in various countries in the region. To cope with the struggle, US are trying through its comprehensive strategy called COIN (counterinsurgency) released by the US government in 2009. This scheme combines civil and military aspects in various form and will have consequences to the people’s sovereignty in our region.
With its close character and still learning for democracy, ASEAN support the imperialist cooptation: through weakening mechanisms via corporate and elite. Among of those mechanisms are Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR), implementation of ASEAN GAP (Good Aquaculture Practices) standard, development of South east Asia economic corridor, national program of MP3EI, food estate program (MIFEE) to false solutions in climate change, i.e. carbon trading, REDD, and blue carbon—which do not stand for the sovereignty of the people.
We, Indonesian people understand that all of these are a practice to conquest Indonesia; this is a true new form of colonization! It comes from the hand of the big capitals for the sole purpose of controlling Indonesia’s natural resources and its people.
Therefore, we refuse all form of exploitation in social, economic, politic, or cultural aspects, including free trade regime which has been in ASEAN’s policies and also many other global institutions.
We refuse regionalism that is not based on people’s sovereignty. We also oppose the single market integration in ASEAN, which we consider inconstitutional (contradictory to our 1945 Constitution). We have process this demand on a judicial review of Law No 38/2008 (on ASEAN Charter ratification).
We honor and uphold democracy, unity and solidarity among the people—for the sake of democratic economy, from, by and for the benefit of people and the Planet Earth.
We are working hard for Indonesia that is politically sovereign, economically independent and has a strong cultural identity. We will go hand in hand to develop Indonesia and the region where the people have sovereignty in food, energy and fully have the rights and autonomy to realize sustainability on food production and agriculture, fisheries, rural areas and national industry with local markets that support the people’s economy.
Therefore we are committed and we call for:
  1. ASEAN member states to fully uphold people’s sovereignty and its political will against the domination of global capitalism and its monopoly.
  2. ASEAN member states are obliged to recognize, to fulfill and to protect human rights of its people.
  3. ASEAN member state to stop the grabbing of agrarian resources, work and wages by implementing people’s agenda to achieve food and energy sovereignty.
  4. ASEAN member states to assure and implement redistributive agrarian reform.
  5. ASEAN member states to immediately settle conflicts among ASEAN members and other states, especially within the borders, with the principle of non intervention, peace and solidarity.
  6. ASEAN leaders to demand for ecological and climate debt compensation to industrial countries—and demand compensation and restitution as the basic conditions for climate justice
  7. ASEAN member states must assure that its region is free from military bases and interventions of the US and its allies.
  8. ASEAN member states must protect the people’s education from big capital intervention—in order to achieve people’s sovereignty on education. Education, along with health and other public sectors are public services—which cannot be commercialized.
And we:
  1. Refuse exploitations and barbaric development of Bali through international events and conferences which neglected the environmental supports level and the sovereignty of its people.
  2. Demand for tourism and accommodation development moratorium for a sustainable Bali.
Declaration Signatories:
Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI) l Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI) | Gabungan Serikat Buruh Independen (GSBI) l Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API) l Pengurus Besar Pergerakan Mahasiswa Islam Indonesia (PB PMII) l Front Mahasiswa Nasional (FMN) l Front Perjuangan Pemuda Indonesia (FPPI) | Asosiasi Tenaga Kerja Indonesia (ATKI) l Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia (SBMI) l Serikat Nelayan Indonesia (SNI) l Lingkar Studi Aksi untuk Demokrasi Indonesia (LS-ADI) l Frontier – Bali l Pers Kampus Kertha Aksara FH Universitas Udayana l BEM PM Universitas Udayana l FMN Denpasar l l WALHI Bali l KPA Bali l PBHI Bali l Yayasan Wisnu Bali l Sloka Institute l AJI Denpasar| Limas Bali l Mitra Bali l Komunitas Akarumput l
The People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA) l Koalisi Anti Utang (KAU) l Institute for Global Justice (IGJ) l Bina Desa l Sawit Watch l Institute for National and Democratic Studies (INDIES) l Resistance Alternative to Globalization (RAG) l Indonesian Human Rights Committee for Social Justice (IHCS) l Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria (KPA) l International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) l Jaringan Advokasi Tambang (JATAM) l Koalisi Rakyat untuk Hak Atas Air (KrUHA) l Foker LSM Papua l Perkumpulan untuk Pembaharuan Hukum Berbasis Masyarakat dan Ekologis (HuMA) l Solidaritas Perempuan (SP) l Jubilee South APMDD