Thursday, September 20, 2007

ASEAN Civil Society Conference held in Singapore in Oct

The last IMF / WB meetings saw Singapore and the IFIs blaming each other for hampering protests. This year, we see how Sydney was turned into a police state for APEC. Let's see how this turns out


Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in ASEAN now have a platform to represent their views to their governments at the ASEAN Summit.

They can have their say at the ASEAN Civil Society Conference 2007, which will be held in Singapore from October 27-28.

The event has the endorsement of the ASEAN Secretariat.

The Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA), which is organising the event, said the conference will provide the platform for CSOs to convey their views, through ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong, to leaders at the 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore in November.

The conference is expected to focus on human rights, climate change, nuclear safety, fair trade, poverty and development and gender issues.

Associate Professor Simon Tay, Chairman of the SIIA, said: "ASEAN has often been seen as an inter-governmental organisation and (is) sometimes criticised as being limited to the ruling elites.

"We hope this conference, which aims to bring the voice of the people to ASEAN governments, will go some way to bring people and communities into the ASEAN process.

"We hope that the ASEAN Civil Society Conference 2007 will continue to grow into a platform to allow more structured participation by NGOs in ASEAN to work with the ASEAN Secretariat to give feedback to ASEAN heads of governments."

Singapore's Foreign Ministry spokesman said the ASEAN Secretariat will be the approved conduit for CSOs to channel their views to the 13th ASEAN Summit.

Singapore is the current Chair of ASEAN.

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