ASIA PACIFIC SOCIAL FORUM PROCESS MEETING

Call to people’s movements, networks, NGOs, policy activists

Dates: 10, 11, 12 th August 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Over 200 organisations from across the Asia Pacific region participated in the online Asia Pacific Social Forum on 18-20 Feb 2022 with only two months of process and preparation. This clearly demonstrated the felt need for exchange and solidarity in the region and the possibility of reviving and renewing the social forum process in the region. 

People in most parts of Asia are dealing with authoritarianism, war and conflict, deep inequalities, destruction of the environment, decent habitat and livelihood and a shocking lack of social security. There are increasing restraints on right to speak and organize. While most of these issues have to be battled locally and nationally, the advantage of having a global outreach where experiences, strategies, information and solutions can be exchanged is critical in what is a very globalized world. Such opportunities exist in our region only at sectoral and intergovernmental level.  It is very useful to have a space like the Forum where various peoples movements, networks can meet and interact without the pressure of having to agree on the details of their politics, strategy, tactics and ideology. All that is needed is a broad commitment to a sustainable, just and equitable world, free from war, casteism, racism, religious sectarianism and patriarchy.

 

The International Council of the WSF ( IC) is engaged in discussions regarding the future of the Forum. The World Social Forum in Mexico in the first week of May was poorly attended, and in terms of participation from Asia it was practically nil, with the refusal of the Mexican government to grant visas for Asians. However, in the meantime,regional and thematic social forums are being successfully held, and on a regular basis, fulfilling the need for social movements to come together in these difficult times to learn from each other, to strategise, and build sectoral and regional struggles and solidarities. Many global, national and local networks and resistance movements participate in these forums, even without participating in the discussions within the IC on the future of the forum. The IC is planning an international seminar on the future of the Forum in Tunis to try and resolve differences.

 

We propose that we should keep up the momentum generated by the APSF in February 2022, by holding a physical meeting in August this year to explore how to take the process further. The meeting will include participants of different networks, movements, organisations from different countries in the region and will discuss the situation in the region and responses to it. A tentative agenda for the meeting could include:

1.     Reports of the situation in major areas of conflict- Ukraine, and hot spots in Asia

2.     Reports of important struggles, campaigns, in the region

3.     Discussion: What kind of solidarities are needed and how this can be organized: sub-regional, regional, global.

4.     Future steps in Asia Pacific solidarity and the social forum process in the region including possibility of organising a regional or global event. 

5.     Asia Pacific participation and visibility in the International Council of the social forum.

 

Participation in the Bangkok meeting is open to all those who have been active in the social forum process, in the region and/or globally, and also those who would like to become part of it. The meeting is open to all those who are in broad agreement with the Charter of Principles of the WSF, especially a commitment to a just, sustainable and equitable world, free from war, casteism, racism, and patriarchy. All participants will be expected to take care of their travel/air fare, boarding and lodging.

Venue is near Bangkok and the airport is Suvarnabhoom

The total cost of local logistics (lodging, meeting place, meals other than dinner) will come to roughly USD 150 per person. Check in begins on the 9th afternoon/10th morning and check out is on 12th noon. If anyone stays extra days the expenses will increase. Participants have to book their own tickets to and fro and arrange their own visas and taxi fare from airport and back. Country level processes are encouraged to raise resources for their delegates.

 

We call upon organisations across the region to send representatives to attend this important meeting and become part of the Asia Pacific Solidarity process.

 

 
For confirmation of participation and general enquiries please write to: 

fg-asfp@riseup.net

For local logistics (venue, boarding, lodging etc) you can write to:  bverawongse9@gmail.com

 

We look forward to hearing from all networks, peoples movements, NGOs, policy groups from the Asia Pacific region. Please join the process. Please share this message with those who may be interested to participate as well.

 

In solidarity

Facilitation Group for the Asia Pacific Social Forum Process