Issues

Over 3,000 Participants at Largest Ever ASEAN Civil Society Conference - Final Statement Attached

[Final Statement Below] Over 3,000 individuals and delegates from civil society organizations (CSOs), peoples’ and grassroots organizations representing the ASEAN region as well as Timor Leste and beyond, joined together in solidarity in Yangon, Myanmar from March 21 – 23, 2014 for what became th

ASEAN: Economic integration for whom?

Bangkok Post, 21 March 2014 -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is less than one year away from launching its Economic Community or AEC, a common market that will comprise 600 million people and have a combined GDP of nearly US$2 trillion (64 trillion baht).

It is being propped up by free trade and investment agreements with the European Union, the United States, Japan, China and other big partners. Proponents claim the expansion in economic activities will benefit the poor by boosting production and consumption in the region, but is it that simple?

'Deglobalisation' is the way to reduce inequality

Bangkok Post, 8 March 2014 -- The race of globalisation is leaving the majority of the world’s population far behind. According to Unicef, the richest 20% of the population gets 83% of global income, while the poorest quintile has just 1%. This trend is getting worse. A new UNDP report called “Humanity Divided: estimates that 75% of the population lives in societies where income distribution is less equal now than it was in the 1990s, although global GDP ballooned from US$22 trillion to US$72 trillion.

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Agricultural Investments in Southeast Asia: Legal tools for public accountability - Lessons from a workshop

As trade and investment flows rapidly increase across Southeast Asia, several countries have experienced a surge in large land deals for plantation agriculture. Against this backdrop, civil society organisations have been using a wider range of legal tools to promote public accountability in investment processes. These include scrutinising the negotiation of international treaties, challenging national legal frameworks, raising local awareness about rights, and testing approaches for local consultation and redress.

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