By PNA / Xinhua and U.S. News Agency / Asian
The 9th Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF-9) concluded here Friday with a final declaration ratified by all participants.
The declaration emphasized the participants concerns in four major areas, including universal social protection and access to essential services.
At the closing session of the meeting, Maris Dela Cruz, member of the International Organization Committee of AEPF, said the participates to the meeting engaged in an in-depth discussion from different perspectives in the last three days, in order to come up with people’s vision and recommendations on people’s solidarity against poverty and sustainable development.
Referring to the social protection, the declaration called on the government to implement a transformative and universal social protection system together with alternative national development strategies to chart a people-cantered development that is just, democratic, and sustainable, reversing the neo-liberal policies of liberalization, deregulation, and privatization.
Within the social movements, food sovereignty has prevailed as an alternative to the industrial agricultural model.
The declaration emphasized that peasants, small-scale food producers, and rural populations should be able to decide their own development path.
Sustainable energy production and use was seen as an issue of major importance.
The declaration noted that anything that cannot be re-used, recycled, or re-designed is pollution, which is a threat to human and planetary existence and a negative legacy to future generations.
Thus it must be eliminated, prevented from being produced or banned from entering the market.
As for the sustainable livelihoods, it suggested social movements and workers’ organizations to work with governments to develop a people-centered social charter that can enable just work, sustainable livelihoods and universal social protection.
The AEPF-9 participants also noted that the peace, security and people’s solidarity are the preconditions for poverty reduction and sustainable development.
Prior to and in conjunction with the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting ( ASEM-9), the 9th Asia-Europe People’s Forum opened in Lao capital Vientiane Tuesday, with participation of around 1,000 representatives from civil society organizations in Asian and European countries.
Since its formation in 1996, the AEPF has become the only continuing civil society inter-regional network connecting people’ s movements and advancing their voices in ASEM.