aepf_at_15_review_and_reflection_-_synthesis_and_recommendations_with_exec_summary_jan2012.doc - 15 years of the Asia-Europe People’s Forum A review


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15 years of the Asia-Europe People’s Forum A review and reflection with recommendations for strengthening for the future Synthesis and Recommendations By Anuradha Chenoy and Andy Rutherford Presented to the Asia Europe People’s Forum International Organising Committee Paris 28 th - 29 th October 2011 Revised following discussions – Final version November 2011
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Executive summary The world is movement, and you cannot be stationary in your attitude towards something that is moving” Henri Cartier-Bresson There has been a clear affirmation by the vast majority of the people who have contributed to the review that AEPF is both a relevant network and that it has unfulfilled potential . In the context of the continuing social and economic injustices that deprive millions of women and men across Asia of their rights and the growing social and economic exclusion of millions in Europe and the role of the ASEM member states in perpetuating this situation through their financial, economic and social policies and practice, there is a great need to both strengthen and give focus to the campaigns and lobbying of the movements and networks involved in the AEPF. The legitimacy, strength and uniqueness of the AEPF is its explicit commitment to the linking of social movements and organisations across Asia and Europe. The current global crises and relative shifting of economic power to China and India make it more imperative than ever that Asian and European scholars and activists share their common experiences and problems as they are converging like never before. This has the potential to be a powerful voice in and contribution to strategic campaigning and advocacy and an important way of actually strengthening social movements. The AEPF People’s Forum events have provided a valued and strategic opportunity for social movements and organisations and networks working for justice and equality. There were no recommendations that they should cease. They should continue. There was a strong consensus on the objectives of the AEPF. It is a venue to bring together social movements and civil society organisations and parliamentarians from Asia and Europe to exchange ideas, visions and strategies for a more just and equal world. It brings people together to work to take forward the AEPF Charter and its principles. There is a commitment to consolidate and strengthen links that come out of the People’s Forums and undertake activities between People’s Forums . It is the view of most ‘outsiders’ that the AEPF does provide a unique and legitimate space for Asia-Europe interaction. The AEPF has been a catalyst for more contacts and links with Asia based networks and organisations and has increased collaboration and joint activities. The AEPF has enabled the sharing between social movements, networks and organisations across Asia and Europe which was not happening before the AEPF. People have been able to see that they are not alone in their struggles and the type of challenges that they are facing.
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