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Deepening Solidarities Beyond Borders Among Southeast Asian Peoples: A Vision for a Peoples' Alternative Regional Integration

For fourteen years (20052019), civil society organizations (CSOs) in Southeast Asia, under the umbrella of the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples Forum (ACSC/APF) have been engaging official ASEAN bodies and yearly summits. This is done via parallel gatherings in countries hosting the ASEAN meetings. Intense discussions among CSOs and peoples organizations across the region result in statements containing detailed recommendations for a more democratic, inclusive, participative, and ecologically sound ASEAN on behalf of the region's marginalized and excluded populations. Unfortunately, ASEAN has ignored these proposals and has been largely dismissive of CSO engagements. This vision paper proposes a new strategy for Southeast Asian CSOs, social movements, and peoples' organizations—one premised on moving away from engagement with ASEAN and establishing a new peoples' regional integration based on the alternative practices on the ground—an integration from below that will be the direct opposite of the ASEAN model of integration.


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