ASEAN YOUTH STATEMENT : OUR VOICE, OUR POWER, OUR MOVEMENT !
We represent youth from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. We gathered together in Petchaburi, Thailand from October 15 to 17 2009 to share our issues, concerns and experiences in our respective countries.
As the future of ASEAN, we affirm our role in shaping the development of our region and want to express to the ASEAN leadership that we:
- Believe in youth potential to become leaders at the local, national and regional level.
- Conscious of the solidarity and unity amidst the diversity of beliefs and cultures in the region
- Recognize that education is a state obligation towards the people, particularly youth.
- Fully aware of the impact of Climate Change on the survival and livelihood of local communities
- Alarmed by the exploitation of migrant workers in South East Asia
- Are deeply concerned by the lack of transparency within ASEAN and the lack of opportunities for civil society’s participation
- Assert youth, stateless peoples, women, children, ethnic groups, differently-able people and other groups must have the right to participate in decision-making process for self-determination and community-based sustainable development. Local wisdom and environmental resource management are essential parts of the community rights-based development process.
- Supporting the establishment of the ASEAN Inter-governmental Human Rights Commission (AICHR)
- Emphasising social responsibility of state and private actors in economic development
- Urging for further the ASEAN way of initiating positive and people-centered reforms and creating policies and mechanisms for a people’s centered development
PILLAR 1: SOCIO-CULTURAL
- Calls for the ASEAN member states to establish a mechanism for youths to participate and monitoring the development of community-based education curriculum and formal education that fosters appreciation, understanding and cooperation domestically and within ASEAN, including education on positive history, peace, human rights, gender and cultural sensitivities, environmental awareness, special education and life-skills.
- Demands the ASEAN member states to allocate at least 6% of the Gross National Product and give higher budget allocation from the National Budget to the development of formal and alternative education.
- Endorses the establishment of an educational fund equally based on the economic capacity of each country contributed by all ASEAN member states to support better access to good quality relevant education for all, especially marginalised youths.
- Recommends the sharing of best practises in all forms of education among ASEAN member states.
- Calls for the recognition of local, national and regional independent youth เgroups/networks which will serve as hub for information exchange, policy advocacy and monitoring of issues such as human rights, peace building, cultural exchange, sustainable development, etc.
- Emphasises the need to empower and protect the culture, environment and other distinct identities of the local communities, especially marginalised and ethnic communities,
- Promoting youth voluntarism and support community-based vocational education to encourage youth to return back to their homeland and serve their own community development and sustainable livelihood
- Supports the formulation of an ASEAN Youth Policy by youth representatives from a diversity of backgrounds. The policy-making process should begin with the current Youth Charter.
PILLAR 2: ECONOMICS
- Demand ASEAN member states to promote fair trade and give higher priority to social, cultural, environmental impacts in economic planning, by implementing affirmative actions such as, but not limited to:
a. Protecting rights and food sovereignty of small-scale producers such as farmers and fishermen.
b. Monitor and intervene in anti-competitive practises by industrial firms in the fishing, agricultural and cottage industries against small-scale producers.
c. Monitor and protect migrant workers’ rights
10. Recommends ASEAN members to use Gross National Happiness (GNH) to replace Gross Domestic Product as an indicator to measure socio-economic progress.
- Calls upon ASEAN member states and civil society to promote and monitor on effectiveness of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the private sector.
- Urges ASEAN member states to accommodate youth entrepreneurship by protecting local markets against unfair competition due to market liberalisation.
- Reminds the ASEAN member states to commit to the expansion of domestic economic infrastructure based on needs of local communities.
- Calls upon the ASEAN member states to collectively address the negative impacts of trade imbalances due to ASEAN Free Trade Agreements.
- Demand for civil society to be able to conduct independent assessment of economic, social and environmental impact with the genuine participations of local communities prior to trade negotiations.
- Urges the expansion and strengthening of “decent work” standards according to the ASEAN Charter, especially in regards to young workers, by conducting assessments of local employment,
PILLAR 3: PEACE AND SECURITY
- Demands the ASEAN Inter-governmental Human Rights Commission (AICHR) to be an independent body which is capable of conducting investigation on violations of human rights in a fair, accountable and transparent manner.
- Demands the AICHR to be pro-active on the rights of youths and students such as but not limited to the rights: to organise and conduct Human Rights campaigns; to form youth and student unions; to political and civil expression such as peaceful demonstration; to education and academic freedom.
- Secure ASEAN and its members to implement the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) as well as follow other international Human Rights mechanism to protect and promote all human rights.
- Recommends the revision of the ASEAN Charter in the principle of ”Non-intervention” according to serious human rights violation cases to allow:
a. strengthening mechanism to protect human rights in the region.
b. building peaceful settlement of internal and trans-boundary conflicts on a regional level.
PILLAR 4: ENVIRONMENT
- Calls upon ASEAN member states to decrease dependency on fossil fuels and jointly develop sustainable alternative energy without negative impacts to environment and people.
- Urges ASEAN member states to promote the transfer of energy-efficient and/or environmentally friendly technologies
- Demand the ASOEN to cooperate with civil society to pressure corporations to internalize social and environmental costs in their projects and industrial processes based on established international protocols on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and Health Impact Assessment (HIA).
- Demands the ASOEN to support the management and prevention of all trans-boundary environmental impacts from destructive development projects.
- Calls upon for ASOEN to recognise local knowledge for sustainable livelihood for local and natural resource management.
- Demands the elimination of the use of large-scale hydro-power and nuclear power plants from CDM.