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Sunday, 14 December 2014

ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF)

Dr Lin together with Ms Maria Chin ( Bersih), & Ms Debbie(ALTASEAN)
By Dr Lin Mui Lian (Proham Hon member)

The Second Regional Meeting of the ACSC/APF was held on 12-13 December 2014 in Petaling Jaya to prepare its programmes for the ASEAN Summit Meeting in April 2015 when Malaysia will take over the Chair of ASEAN. It was attended by 110 members from the region. The ACSC/APF 2015 will mark the 10th anniversary since the first gathering of civil society organizations in Malaysia 10 years ago. However, despite the submission of extensive and constructive recommendations to ASEAN member states since 2005, they have not been implemented or adopted in any meaningful way.

The ASEAN Charter 2008 commits member states to “the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms”. Yet the peoples of ASEAN continue to suffer from undemocratic processes, poor governance, lack of fundamental freedoms and inequality, development injustice, increased militarization, unlawful foreign interferences, and the inability to participate fully in and to influence ASEAN and national level processes.

ASEAN has failed to address the persistent human rights violations, including against the Rohingya (by Myanmar and asylum states in the region) and other ethnic, minority and independent religious communities, indigenous peoples, peasants, grassroots, human rights defenders, and migrant workers. This demonstrate complicity and lack of commitment in addressing human rights violations in the region that allows states to act with impunity.

After extensive consultation and in consideration of the previous 10 years of engagement, the ACSC/APF reiterates its previous recommendations and will highlight the continuing priority areas of concern for the region. These will include recommendations to improve democratic processes, governance and fundamental rights and freedoms, discrimination and inequality, as well as development justice.

Dr Lin represented Proham at this regional meeting.

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