Global context is changing. Significant change post-1945 in global order is the creation of regional organizations to handle issues that have transnational dimensions character such as conflict prevention and resolution, protection of the environment, poverty eradication, democracy and human rights, economic development, and fiscal policies. From Europe to Asia, Africa to Latin America, the Caribbean to the Pacific, regional organizations continue to play significant roles in shaping the agenda of global relevance and development. In fact, there has been an increased level of interaction between and amongst regional organizations across the region.
There are many development, challenges and compelling similarities that African Union (AU) and the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can share from each other. AU may perceives the economic development in ASEAN is useful, while ASEAN can benefit from understanding the process of institutional development within the AU, especially its framework on regional security and key institutions, such as the legislature and the good governance peer review mechanism. Both Associations have expressed desire to move from state-centered integration to people-centered integration. Having a common approach to global issues can yield positive results for both regions. It is also important to perceive ASEAN and AU within the milieu of an increasing drive to enhance connectedness amongst state actors in the global South. At the core of these interactions are the need to address common challenges and the desire for increased relevance and visibility in the shaping of the global agenda.
At the same time, transnational networks of civil society organizations, loose associations of diverse groups and social movements are coming together in powerful ways in both regions. What are the implications of these geopolitical changes to the daily life of individual of the regions? How are NGO activists engaging with regional processes and blocks, including South-South cooperation efforts? How can diverse civil society groups effectively participate in process of inter-governmental decision-making?
Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) based in Jakarta, Indonesia and The Centre for Citizens’ Participation on the African Union (CCP-AU) based in Nairobi, Kenya and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, are working in partnership to explore the possible inter-regional network among civil society organizations. One of its activities is the “ASEAN-AU Exchange Visit for Civil Society Organizations”.
ASEAN-AU Exchange Visit for Civil Society Organizations
One of the ways to enable the process of sharing and learning among civil society’s advocacy to ASEAN and AU is through study visit to each other’s events to get the first-hand experience on engaging the inter-governmental processes. For this activity, each region will send six civil society delegates (including one team leader from HRWG and CCP-AU) representing the issues:
a) Regionalism/ Global Governance,
b) Economic Justice,
c) Democracy and Human Rights,
d) Gender Equality and Women’s Rights,
d) Peace and Security,
e) Labor and Farmer’s Rights.
Itinerary – During the Visit, the civil society delegates will attend the civil society’s event to the Association i.e. ACSC/APF or AU NGO Forum, meet with key actors from non-government organizations, think tank, media, and visit community-based activities.
Dates and Place – The AU Summit is held twice a year and the first (the 18th AU Summit) having been in January 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia whilst the second (the 19th AU Summit) will be conducted in Malawi, on July 9-16, 2012. It is expected that civil society delegates from ASEAN would be in Malawi on the week of July 1-8, 2012 tentatively.
Follow-up Activity – In order to provide a venue to exchange and document the lesson learnt about the visit, as the follow-up of the Exchange Visit, HRWG and CCP-AU will organize an “Inter-regional Learning Workshop” in 2013, which will be attended by the delegates of both regions.
With the support from Open Society Foundation, HRWG will cover the following expenses for civil society delegates from South East Asia:
1. Round-trip airfare between your home county city to Malawi,
2. Accommodation in Malawi,
3. Daily stipend for meals that not covered during the Visit,
4. Local Transport in Malawi,
5. Travel Health Insurance,
6. Visa application fees, and
7. Airport taxes (if applicable).
To be considered for this 2012 ASEAN-AU Exchange Visit for Civil Society Program, candidates must:
1. Have a minimum of five years experience working in an NGO in Southeast Asia countries on one of the six priority issues: a) Regionalism/ Global Governance, b) Economic Justice, c) Democracy and Human Rights, d) Gender Equality and Women’s Rights, e) Peace and Security, and f) Labor and Farmer’s Rights.
2. Hold minimum undergraduate degree (or equivalent qualification),
3. Able to communicate in English (speaking, writing, listening),
4. Hold a citizenship of Southeast Asian countries.
5. Have knowledge on regional inter-governmental institutions, at the minimum on ASEAN.
You can apply for the course by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send the application form, CV, a letter of recommendation (can use the attached sample) and a letter of motivation. The closing date for application is 29 May 2012. Youth participation is encouraged.
- Application Opening: 27 April 2012
- Application Submission: 29 May 2012
- Application Review: 30-31 May 2012
- Announcement of the Result: 1 June 2012
Application – Form application is attached.
Review Process – a group of independent individuals was formed for this purpose coming from different background to select the candidates for this Exchange Visit Program.
For more information, please send e-mail to email@example.com
Human Rights Working Group: Indonesia’s NGO Colition for International Human Rights Advocacy
Jiwasraya Building Lobby Floor. Jl. RP. Soeroso No. 41 Gondangdia, Jakarta, Indonesia