For Immediate Release
8 August 2013
Progress of Preparation for the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF) 2014
By the National Organizing Committee
Members of National Organizing Committee of ACSC/APF 2014 and representatives of Myanmar civil society organizations (CSOs) met with representatives of regional and ASEAN national CSOs from Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and, Singapore on August 4 and 5 in Yangon to plan for the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF) during Myanmar’s chair of ASEAN in 2014. While the two-day meeting, attended by as many as 90 Myanmar participants and 30 from the region, marks the first official Regional Consultation meeting on preparation of Myanmar’s first ACSC/APF, it also had a special significance as it was held to coincide with the 46th anniversary of founding of ASEAN and 25th anniversary of 8.8.88 democracy uprising in Myanmar.
This regional consultation meeting is part of a process that began in June, when 66 Myanmar civil society organizations formed the National Organizing Committee (NOC) comprised of non-governmental organizations, mass organizations, social movement organizations, border-based organizations, ethnic organizations and networks that are working on a wide variety of issues.
Several matters were discussed during the regional consultation meeting including the need to ensure independence, transparency and inclusiveness of the process of ACSC/APF 2014 in Myanmar. The meeting approved formation of several committees with participation of other ASEAN countries’ and regional CSOs, as well as their structures and mandates to help organize the conference and laid out the conference objectives, theme and issues and a draft program based on the set objectives of ACSC/APF. It was also decided that the next year ACSC/APF will be held on 20-23 March 2014 in Yangon.
The ACSC/APF has been the independent space and process of traditional gathering of civil societies in ASEAN since 2005, when the host country of Malaysia hosted the first people’s forum in parallel to the ASEAN Summits. This people’s forum aims to provide a venue for the grassroots people and independent CSOs from across the region to raise their voice concerning issues affecting their life and livelihood and consolidate their collective calls and recommendations to the leaders of ASEAN, which will be then carried to the ASEAN leaders attending the Summits to remind them of the problems peoples are facing on the ground.
The second Regional Consultation meeting will be held on 20-21 October 2013, in which the CSOs representatives from other ASEAN countries and regional networks will join the Steering, Program, Media and Drafting Committees. Meanwhile, the NOC will continue to hold its regular preparation meetings.
For more information, please contact:
U Maung Maung Soe Tint (member of Steering Committee)
U Ngwe Thein (member of Steering Committee)
Dr. Thar Nyan (member of Steering Committee)
Daw May May Pyone (member of Steering Committee)
U Aung Myo Min (member of Steering Committee)
U Kyaw Lin Oo (Secretariat Office)