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[Joint Press Release] Regional Civil Society Leaders Hold Successful Meeting in Dili (ACSC/APF Steering Committee Meeting)

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Southeast Asian civil society leaders representing the Regional Steering Committee of the ASEAN Civil Society Conference and ASEAN Peoples Forum (ACSC/APF), a regional platform of civil society engaging the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) on economic, social, cultural, human rights, democracy, ecological and security issues, met in Dili these past three days in preparation for the 2024 ACSC/APF that will be hosted by Timorese civil society in 25-27 September 2024. Others joined online.

The ACSC started in 2005 in Malaysia and each year thereafter, civil society groups from the ASEAN host country organized the ACSC/APF, parallel or shadowing the official state summits. This year Timor-Leste civil society organizations will once again host the event, which it also did in 2016.

Significant decisions leading up to the ACSC / APF Conference in September 25-27, 2024 were made including on the theme “Toward A People-Led Democracy and Sovereignty in Southeast Asia”. So-called Convergence Spaces will be organized to tackle the following issues: (1) Working People, Neoliberalism and Alternative Regionalism; (2) State Violence, Militarism, National Liberation and Democracy; (3) Tech Monopoly, Digital Authoritarianism and Internet Freedom; (4) Ecological Crisis, Environmental Rights, Agrarian and Urban Issues; (5) Minority, Marginalized Peoples and Gender Justice; and (6) Peace Building, Human Security and Transitional Justice.

The September conference will likewise discuss strategic themes such as the ecological crisis, food sovereignty, regional economy, human rights, international solidarity, regional security and migrant workers. A special focus will be on the current Myanmar crisis. A public hearing on Myanmar was organized by the Provedor on Justice and Human Rights in cooperation with other regional NGOs and the Centro Nacional Chega last 27th May 2024.

The 2024 ACSC/APF coincides with the commemoration of the 25th year of the popular referendum that paved the way for Timor-Leste’s restoration of independence, the 20th year of the ACSC/APF process as well as after 50 years of the Timorese people’s struggle for national liberation.  The September conference will take place two weeks after the Pope’s visit to Timor Leste.

A Luta Continua!

On behalf of Regional Steering Committee ACSC/APF 2024:

  1. Laos : Amphone Souvannalath (RSC) and Thongdam Phongphichith (PC)
  2. Malaysia : Faribel Fernandez and Jerald Joseph
  3. Myanmar : Khin Ohmar and Moana (Myanmar NOC)
  4. Timor-Leste : Elisabeth Araujo (NOC Chair)
  5. Thailand : Kornkanok Khamta
  6. Cambodia ; Phin Savey (RSC) and Heng Kimhong (PC)
  7. Indonesia : Putri Kanesia (RSC)
  8. Philippines : Raquel Castilho (Online)
  9. Vietnam: Dong Huy Cuong (RSC) and Duong Thi Nga (PC)
  10. Singapore: Ted Tan (Online) and Soe Min Than (Online)
  11. Brunei Darussalam: Jackia Mordiah (Online)
  12. Regional Caucus: Cornelius Hanung (RSC) Gus Miclat