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Asia Europe People's Forum

Asia Europe People's Forum

World Solidarity (WSM) NGO
http://

06/07/2016

Schaerbeek
1030 Ulan Batar
Mongolia

The Asia Europe People's Forum (AEPF) 11th meeting took place 4 to 6th of July in Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia under the theme of Building New Solidarities: Working for Inclusive, Just, and Equal Alternatives in Asia and Europe. It consisted of seven thematic Clusters:

  1. Resource Justice, Land Rights, Equal Access to Water, and Participation – Going beyond Extractivisms
  2. Food Sovereignty/Food Security – Beyond Zero Hunger
  3. Climate Justice and Transformation of Energy Systems
  4. Socially Just Trade, Production and Investment
  5. Social Justice – Alternatives to Debt and Austerity, Social protection, Decent Work, and Sustainable Livelihoods
  6. Peace Building and Human Security – Responses to Migration, Fundamentalism and Terrorism
  7. Participatory Democracy, Gender Equality and Minority Rights

Each of the clusters goes (loosely) through three ‘workshops’ or phases: 
1. Contexts and Analysis
2. Lessons Learned, Successes and Failure
3. Strategies for People’s Visions and Future Perspectives

Afterwards, a final declaration was drafted and proclaimed, to be read at the ASEM summit in front of the 53 member states (link).

WSM attended with a delegation comprising Bruno Deceukelier and Francina Varghese and members of the partners, Samy Lourdes from AREDS, India and Robert Trani from AHW Philippines.

Social Justice cluster
Of course, most of our interest went towards the social justice cluster, as this one focuses mostly on Social Protection. Their reference to social justice seems to serve more to highlight the redistributive and transformative role of SP, instead of simple safety nets. WSM had been asked to also present, in the third phase of alternatives, our work and that of our partners.

Around 50 people showed up at the four sessions dedicated to social justice. Several participants question the approach: working from within the system or trying to fundamentally the system.

The WSM presentation, done just after Koen detavernier's presentation of the Campaign of Social Protection for All seemed to have been appreciated and there were many requests for our publications.

At the end of the session, participants also showed their support for the campaign with a pictures and sticking on the band-aids demanding social protection for all.

Though unsure of the political weight of the final declaration and the extent governments would take it into consideration, it is important to provide an alternative voice to the business lobbying. Most interesting for us was however the opportunities of learning and networking, with among others the Network for Transformative Social Protection. AHW is planning to get closer involved with them.