Asia: ASEC gives a session in The ASEAN Civil Society Conference

Asia: ASEC gives a session in The ASEAN Civil Society Conference

Article by Andrea Echeverría, Ripess Intercontinental

The ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF) is an annual forum of civil society organisations from ASEAN Member States held in parallel with the ASEAN Summit. The meeting is organised by civil society in the country that holds the ASEAN Chairmanship. As Cambodia is the Chair of ASEAN for this year, ACSC/APF was hosted in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 2-4 November 2022.

The theme of the APF 2022 was: ‘Enhancing civic space for the Southeast Asian Peoples engagement in realizing the challenges of authoritarianism, democracy and pluralism’. Under this overarching theme, five convergence spaces are organised so that participants are able to share their expertise and experiences in tackling similar or interrelated issues; and find ways to develop, collaborate, and advance national and regional campaigns. This term of reference will relate to convergence space number 3 with the theme: Combating Neoliberalism for Economic Justice, Climate Justice, and Food Sovereignty, which will be co-convenors by Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact Foundation, Pan Nature, ASEC. Specifically, this workshop session would like to share the practice of transformative economy has been done by Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) organizations or enterprises in Southeast Asia countries.

The coronaVirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic showed how fragile the global and country’s health and economic system. The Covid 19 has pushed 4.7 million people in Southeast Asia into extreme poverty in 2021, as 9.3 million jobs disappeared, compared with a baseline no-COVID scenario, according to a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report presented at the Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS). But on the other side, the pandemic of CoronaVirus has shown a lot of solidarity activities raised from the community and has strengthened the community resilient.

We are now (hopefully) in the transition of pandemic to endemic and this is the important moment to promote the SSE as solution of the multidimensional problem (4Cs) facing by the world such as Covid-19, Conflict, Climate and Cost of Living, which is influenced by the neoliberalism in the broad spectrum. The promotion of SSE to government, private sectors and civil society of the SSE is therefore essential to build back better and fairer after the pandemic. The APF is a strategic forum to promote the SSE among the civil society and letter on as part of the recommendation to ASEAN Secretariat.

Here you can watch the full session in English.

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