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Understanding ASEAN: Its Way of Working, Structure & Engagement with Civil Society. Ms. Yuyun Wahyuningrum Senior Advisor on ASEAN and Human Rights Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) Indonesia wahyuningrum@gmail.com. ASEAN (Association of the Southeast Asia Nations) . 10 member countries

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Understanding ASEAN: Its Way of Working, Structure & Engagement with Civil Society


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    1. Understanding ASEAN: Its Way of Working, Structure & Engagement with Civil Society Ms. Yuyun WahyuningrumSenior Advisor on ASEAN and Human RightsHuman Rights Working Group (HRWG) Indonesiawahyuningrum@gmail.com

    2. ASEAN (Association of the Southeast Asia Nations) 10 member countries Established. 1967 ASEAN Charter 15 Dec 2008

    3. ASEAN: Evolution of a Shared Vision • 1967 – vision of SE Asia community • First few decades - interstate relations, nation building, economic development • New Millennium – ASEAN Community by 2015, state-to-people relations, strengthening social pillar, people-oriented organization

    4. ASEAN Community

    5. SOCIAL CULTURE POLITICAL SECURITY ECONOMY Interrelation of the Three Pillars to the Establishment of the ASEAN Community ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) “Enhancing competitive-ness for economic growth and development through closer economic integration” (154 Action Plan) ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) “Nurturing human, cultural and natural resources for sustained development in a harmonious and people-centered ASEAN”. (339 Action Plan) ASEAN Political Security Community (APSC) “Enhancing peace, stability, democracy and prosperity in the region through comprehensive political and security cooperation” (142 Action Plan)

    6. ASEAN Organization Chart

    7. The ASEAN Summit and the Ministerial Bodies of ASEAN ASEAN Summit ACC ASCC Council APSC Council AEC Council Sectoral Ministerial Body Sectoral Ministerial Body Sectoral Ministerial Body Senior Officials CPR Senior Officials Senior Officials Working Group Working Group Working Group CPR- Working Group

    8. ASEAN NAT SECRETARIATS & COMMITTEE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVES ASEAB Nat Secretariats Committee Permanent Reps • National Focal Point • Implement ASEAN decisions at national level • Coordinate and support national preparations of ASEAN meetings • Promote ASEAN identity and awareness at the national level • Support the work of ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) • Coordinate with ASEAN National Secretariats and ASEAN Sectorial Ministerial Bodies • Facilitate ASEAN Cooperation with External Partners • Liaise with SG and ASEC on all subjects relevant to its work • Any other matters as determined by the ACC

    9. The Evolution of ASEAN Committee on Women: • To improve the status of women, and as an ASEAN’s machinery to participate actively in the regional and international arena pertaining to women’s advancement. • The idea was coined in ASEAN Women Leaders’ Conference in 1975. • Established The ASEAN Sub-Committee on Women (ASW) in 1976 and was renamed the ASEAN Women’s Programme (AWP) in 1981. • To give a fresh impetus to the on-going ASEAN cooperation on women’s issues, this sectoral body was restructured into the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) in 2002 to coordinate and monitor the implementation of ASEAN’s key regional priorities and cooperation in women’s issues and concerns are carried out by the ACW which meets regularly every year. • ASEAN Ministerial meeting on Women, established on Oct 6, 2011

    10. ASEAN’s Cooperation on Women • ASEAN’s Commitment on Women’s Rights: • Declaration on the Advancement of Women in ASEAN which was adopted by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers in 1988. • Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the ASEAN Region, adopted by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers in 2004, is the second declaration recognising important concerns for women. • Guided by two operational documents: • The Work Plan for Women’s Advancement and Gender Equality (2005-2010), which has its roots in the 1988 Declaration on the Advancement of Women in ASEAN. • The Work Plan to Operationalise the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (2006-2010), which builds on existing national efforts, moves forward the priorities of the other Work Plan and integrates all relevant priorities and measures into a consolidated action plan on violence against women.

    11. Activities • Working in partnership with ASEAN Confederation on Women’s Organisations (ACWO) • Activities to include: different regional workshops, seminars, training sessions and consultative meetings that provided platforms for government officials, civil society organisations, professionals and other stakeholders to exchange views, share experiences and build commitments and a common understanding on various gender issues. • 2006: Joint Statement and Commitment to Implement Gender Mainstreaming was adopted. • Various publications and periodic regional reports were also produced. These include: • The Thesaurus on Women in Development (1996); • The First Regional Report on the Advancement of Women (1997); • The Second Regional Report on the Advancement of Women (2002); • The Third Regional Report on the Advancement of Women (2007).

    12. The 3Cs in Human Rights Architecture AICHR ACWC ACMW

    13. The Relationship between ASEAN and Civil Society

    14. ASEAN Definition on Civil Society Organization ASEAN Guideline on Civil Society Engagement, 2006 is a non-profit making association  of ASEAN persons, natural or juridical, organised to promote, strengthen and help realise the aims and objectives of ASEAN cooperation in the political, economic, social, cultural, scientific, medical and technological fields, may be affiliated to ASEAN Some countries in ASEAN do not accept the term and concept of civil society and civil society organization

    15. Privileges It may use the name“ASEAN” It may submit written statements or recommendations and views on policy matters or on significant events or regional or international concerns It may submit its own project proposals for Third Party funding, to be channeled through the ASEAN Secretariat, It may initiate programmes of activities for presentation to its link body for appropriate action; Access to ASEAN documents on a selective basis in consultation with the ASEAN Secretariat and or its link body; Use of the facilities of the ASEAN Secretariat for its official meetings and other official activities in Jakarta; The ASEAN Secretariat shall provide CSOs with key ASEAN publications every year.

    16. Termination, if: They engage in acts inimical to ASEAN or any of the ASEAN Member Country; They act in contrary to the aims, objectives and fundamental principles of ASEAN; They are found to have committed gross misconduct which brings disrepute to ASEAN; They are inactive, defunct or fail to submit an annual summary of their activities They change their constitutions, officials and membership resulting in their inability thereafter to adhere to the guidelines.

    17. In sums, Member states are still in control of deciding who can in and who cannot The participation is perceived as privilege The participation is not understood as RIGHT. It is more like “stick” and “carrot” The affiliation is used as a way to control The affiliation to ASEAN is a political issue rather than a only administrative requirement CSOs are not seen as partners in developing ASEAN Community

    18. Civil Society Engagement ASEAN Civil Society Conference Standard Setting ASEAN Peoples Charter Thematic Engagement: Human Rights Peace Building Youth Economic Justice Peasant’s Movement Persons with Disability Migrant Workers Environment/ Extractive Industries

    19. Strategy: Simultaneous Approaches Regional Lobby, Network & Advocacy • Top Down: Creation of demand in regional level through regional organizations. • ASEAN secretariat • ASEAN Representatives/Bodies • International Institutions • Bottom Up: Pushing for need of making ASEAN HR Mechanism through civil society advocacy. • Individual member countries • CSOs/NGOs (Nat & Regional) ASEAN HUMAN RIGHTS: Credible, Accessible, Responsive, Independent National Lobby, Network, Advocacy & Campaign

    20. Element of CS’s Engagement: • Shaping the issues & priorities of ASEAN HR Mechanisms • Standard Setting • Agenda Setting • Influencing the process, decision making & end-result • Pressures: Bottom-up, Top-down • Opinion building

    21. Civil Society Involvement • Working Group has been part of SOM meeting • engaged HLP since it was firstly established in July 2008 • From 2008-2009: 16 national consultations and 6 regional consultations from 9 countries and different thematic issues • National, regional and international (OHCHR) lobby activities • 3 interface meetings with HLP • Coordination meeting with other groups • Diplomatic Briefings • Inputs for Instrument MW, TOR AHRD, ROP AICHR, ROP ACWC, Work plans, AHRD • Part of the team of AICHR, ACWC

    22. ACSC/APF Current Initiatives CS Forum on AICHR for AMM CS Forum to ACWC ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labor (AFML) More? CS Forum to ACMW Informal Dialogue with CPR Informal Dialogue w ASEC on Communities Informal Dialogue w ASEAN SecGen on Human Rights Informal Meeting with Civil Society (Interface Meeting)

    23. Current CS Engagement with Human Rights Mechanisms AICHR ACWC • AICHR only want to meet with those who are affiliated with the ASEAN Charter • The newly adopted AICHR Guideline of Operation silent on CS engagement • Only in June 22 and Sept 12, AICHR conducted a regional consultation on AHRD w CSOs • Nat Consultation only happen in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines • CS continue to submit inputs, reports, papers to AICHR • AICHR is discussing the Guideline for Engagement with CS Groups • CS is a sensitive issue in AICHR, but during their visit to US, they met US-based CSOs • Started with Informal Dinner (2011), Informal Session (2011), Joint-Workshop (2012), Formal Session (2012) • Informal Session: 9 out of 20 Reps attended • Informal Session: 16 out 20 Reps attended • Joint-Workshop: 18 out of 20 Reps attended • Formal Session: 20 Reps attended • Good Result, Good process, substantive discussion, cordial ambiance • Inputs from CS have been included in the reference documents of the ACWC • The initial suggestion to erase civil society” &international standards” in TOR ACWC has been put down • ACWC uses inputs from CS in formulating their positions

    24. What need to be influenced in ASEAN • Creation spaces for sustaining and meaningful engagement and participation for civil society • Encouraging the accountability of the Commissions and organis in ASEAN to be more independent, transparent , effective and responsive to the actual problems of the people in ASEAN and be incompliance with its international human rights obligations • Integrating gender and human rights in regional and national policies • Establishing the system and regional cooperation mechanism to deal with gender-based violence • Creating a system and mechanisms in ASEAN to review the implementation of all ASEAN Declaration related to gender issues

    25. ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples Forum

    26. The ACSC in the making • Was initiated by the Government of Malaysia, 2005. Whilst chairing ASEAN in 2005, the Government of Malaysia commissioned the ASEAN Study Centre of the UniversitiTeknologi Mara (UiTM) to organise a civil society event parallel to the 11th ASEAN Summit on December 2005. • Attempts from the Government o take over the civil society process continue to happen. In 2007, Instead of building upon the existing initiative that has been pursued by the region’s CSOs, the Singaporean government decided to take the ownership of the ACSC back to the governments’ hands. • ASEAN is a platform to influence policy at the regional level (regional policies are increasingly affecting domestic politics, economics, and socio-cultural aspects of member countries) • The importance of the ACSC was not only because it was a forum that helped to consolidate CSO’s positions on major regional issues and agenda, but they were able to do so through direct interface with ASEAN leaders during the ASEAN Summit.

    27. ASEAN Civil Society Conferences/ASEAN Peoples Forums 2005-2012

    28. Features of ACSC/APF 2005-2012 • Follow-up mechanism

    29. What has been the collective knowledge we produced through 8 years’ ACSC/APF? ASEAN’s Alternative Regionalism (Source: HRWG Study, 2011)

    30. ASEAN Civil Society Conference 2005-2012

    31. Gains & Concerns • There have been some acknowledgements shown by ASEAN to the inputs of ACSC as it is reflected in the Chairman’s statements 2010 and 2011. • However, to what extent the recommendations have been taken seriously by ASEAN. • It is important to formulate a Follow-up Mechanism to bring the civil society’s recommendation to the actual work of ASEAN and inform the current and future policies in ASEAN • This tools can serve as another platform of dialogue between ASEAN and civil society.

    32. Institutionalization of Dialogue between Civil Society Organizations with Head of the States during Summit: 2005-2012

    33. Leaders’ Interface Meeting with CS

    34. Leaders’ Interface Meeting with CS

    35. Leaders’ Interface Meeting with CS

    36. Leaders’ Interface Meeting with CS

    37. Lesson Learnt • There are constraints that limits the meaningful engagement of CSOs . There are also attempts from government to manipulate and control the participation of civil society, but at the same time there are also existing spaces for engagement. • Civil society participation in ASEAN can bring positive outcomes and at the same time detrimental consequences • Lessons: • breaking stereotyping thru confidence building exercise (research, inputs, diplomatic engagement) • Persistence in expanding spaces for engagement through reform on laws on participation and issues, i.e. human rights, etc. • ASEAN is a platform to influence policy at the regional level (regional policies are increasingly affecting domestic politics, economics, and socio-cultural aspects of member countries). • Despite contested, civil society contributes to the development of the meaning of a Community building and visible in number of ASEAN documents. • Civil Society engagement improve the accountability of ASEAN. A critical and watchful civil society is a factor of paramount importance for good governance. • Valuable inputs from civil society enhance the quality, number of ASEAN documents • Engaging civil society is now used to indicate whether ASEAN member state is incompliance with the Charter

    38. Increased CS interests on ASEAN & HR • 1983, there was a submission on the “Declaration to the Basic Duties of ASEAN Peoples and Governments” by the Regional Council for Human Rights in Asia (RCHRA), to ASEAN • 1996, The ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism Working Group (Working Group) was established out of frustration of no developments after 1993’s Vienna Human Rights Declaration • 1994-1997: expanding the discussion on possible regional human rights mechanisms in public spaces: • Annual meeting of the ASEAN-Institute of Strategic International Studies Colloquium on Human Rights (AICOHR) • Annual Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Informal Seminar on Human Rights. • 2007, SAPA Task Force on ASEAN Human Rights was created • 2008, Women’s Caucus was formed • 2009, SAPA Task Force on Burma and ASEAN was established • 2010, CRC Asia, Task Force on ASEAN and IP were created, …

    39. Thank you!