The Development Roundtable Series on Foreign Policy is inviting civil society organizations/coalitions/networks to contribute to imagining and articulating an alternative foreign policy – democratic, independent, principled, and strategic. We will support efforts by organizations to come up with their own internal processes for thinking through, discussing, and coming together on common organizational/network-wide positions on Philippine foreign policy issues.
Interested organizations who can demonstrate intent and capacity to conduct said processes will be provided modest resources. Organizations are expected to come up with position papers which will be part of an exercise to map out the commonalities and differences in position of members of civil society and social movements on specific foreign policy questions. The mapping will in turn serve as input to the DRTS’ ongoing research on Philippine foreign policy and subsequent roundtable discussions on the issue. The aim is to flesh out, come to agreements where possible, and recognize differences, in order to advocate effectively for a common and specific alternative foreign policy agenda.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The DRTS on Foreign Policy
The Philippines’ foreign policy, or the way it relates with other states in the international system in pursuit of its geo-political objectives, has incontestable ramifications on various issues confronting the country. The economic, political, and socio-cultural structures as well as the security and welfare of the Filipino people are significantly affected by how the government behaves and conducts its foreign policy in the international community and how it deals with its neighbors.
The Development RoundTable Series (DRTS) on Foreign Policy is a project that seeks to advance an alternative foreign policy that is democratic, independent, principled, and strategic.
DEMOCRATIC: Since foreign policy is the articulation of the “national interest” in international affairs, the project attempts to redefine the national interest as a collective interest of the Filipino people, wherein it seeks to involve broader people’s participation in the formulation of the country’s foreign policy.
INDEPENDENT: The project looks into what constitute an autonomous foreign policy that represents national interest, national sovereignty, right to self-determination, and territorial integrity. More importantly, it promotes a foreign policy that is not anchored on continuing the decades-long military alliance with the United States.
PRINCIPLED: The project responds to foreign policy issues not only based on economic or geo-strategic benefits but also in terms of their moral, legal, and ethical considerations.
STRATEGIC: The project sees the promotion of an alternative foreign policy as part of a bigger goal to resolve perennial problems and to achieve global peace, development, and social justice.
The Research on Philippine Foreign Policy
To be able to support the goal for an alternative foreign policy, a comprehensive and a well grounded research is vital. One of the objectives of the Philippine Foreign Policy Research is to come out with a clear understanding of the contemporary alignment and realignment of actors and institutions advocating specific foreign policy prescriptions. It specificially aims to map out the cleavages and convergences among individuals, institutions, and/or organizations from across the political spectrum and the grounds underlying those alignments and divergences. (To read more about the project, click here <http://www.focusweb.org/drts/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=65&Itemid=11> )
A position paper that details the organizations’ positions (and rationale for such positions) on the following themes:
a) Alliance with the US [Is there still a need to continue the decades-long alliance (especially in terms of military and security) with the US? What’s your position on the VFA? What’s your view on US presence in the Philippines?]
Pakikipag-alyansa sa US [May pangangailangan pa bang ipagpatuloy and deka-dekadang pakikipag-alyansa (lalo na kaugnay ng militar at seguridad) sa US? Ano ang inyong posisyon sa VFA? Ano ang pananaw ninyo sa presensya ng US sa Pilipinas?]
b) Relations with Europe, Australia, and Japan [What’s your view of Europe/EU, Australia, and Japan? Are our relations with these states advantageous or disadvantageous for the country? What’s your position on JPEPA? What’s your view of the proposed VFA with Australia?]
Pakikipag-ugnayan sa Europa, Australia, at Hapon [Ano ang inyong pananaw sa Europa/EU, Australia, at Hapon? Makakabuti o makakasama ba sa ating bansa ang pakikipag-ugnay sa mga estadong ito? Ano ang inyong posisyon sa JPEPA? Ano ang pananaw ninyo sa panukalang VFA sa Australia?]
c) Relations with the rising powers (Brazil, Russia, India, and China)? [What’s your view of Brazil, Russia, India, and China? Are they allies or threats to the country?]
Pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga umuusbong na makapangyarihang bansa (Brazil, Rusya, India, Tsina)? [Ano ang inyong pananaw sa Brazil, Rusya, India, Tsina? Kaalyado o banta ba sila para sa ating bansa?]
d) ASEAN, Regional Democracy and Human Rights, Regional Integration, and Regional Peace and Security [What’s your view of the ASEAN? Should ASEAN take an active role in democracy and human rights issues that concern its member states (i.e., Burma/Myanmar)? Do you agree with regional integration? If you agree with economic regional integration, will this be for the purpose of serving as a step towards global free trade or towards a regional market protected by tariffs and quota as a base for regionally coordinated import substitution? What should ASEAN’s role be in long standing tension spots in the region (i.e., South China Sea/Spratly Islands)?]
ASEAN, Rehiyonal na Demokrasya at Karapatang Pantao, Rehiyonal na Integrasyon, at Rehiyonal na Kapayapaan at Seguridad [Ano ang inyong pananw sa ASEAN? Kinakailangan bang magkaroon ng aktibong papel ang ASEAN sa mga isyu ng demokrasya at karapatang pantao na sangkot ang mga kasaping estado nito (i.e., Burma/Mynmar)? Sang-ayon ba kayo sa integrasyong rehiyonal? Kung sang-ayon kayo sa rehiyonal na integrasyon, para ba ito sa layuning magsilbing hakbang para sa pandaigdigang malayang kalakalan o tungo sa isang rehiyonal na merkado na protektado ng taripa at quota bilang basehan ng isang may koordinasyong rehiyonal na pagpapalit sa pag-aangkat? Ano ang dapat maging papel ng ASEAN sa mga matagal nang tensyonadong lugar sa rehiyon (i.e. South China Sea/Spratly Islands)?]
e) Relations with the Middle East [What’s your view of the Middle East? Are our relations with Middle East states advantageous or disadvantageous to the country? What’s your view of the Israel-Palestine conflict?]
Pakikipag-ugnayan sa Gitnang Silangan [Ano ang inyong pananaw sa Gitnang Silangan? Makakabuti o makakasama ba sa ating bansa ang pakikipag-ugnay sa Gitnang Silangan? Ano ang pananaw ninyo sa tunggaliang Israel-Palestino?]
f) Relations with the Global South? [What’s your view of the Non-Aligned Movement and G-20? What are the possibilities of these initiatives in view of the continuing dominance and hegemony of the Global North?]
Pakikipag-ugnayan sa Global South [Ano ang inyong pananaw sa Non-Aligned Movement at G-20? Anu-ano ang mga posibilidad ng mga inisyatibong ito sa harap ng patulay na dominasyon at hegemoniya ng Global North?]
g) Relations with multilateral institutions [What’s your view of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), and World Trade Organization (WTO)? Do you think these institutions can be reformed? Or should these institutions be dismantled? What’s your view of the United Nations (UN) and the International Labor Organization (ILO)?]
Pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga institusyong multilateral [Ano ang inyong pananaw sa International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), at World Trade Organization (WTO)? Marereporma pa ba ang mga institusyong ito? O dapat bang buwagin na ang mga institusyong ito? Ano ang pananaw ninyo sa United Nations (UN) at International Labor Organization (ILO)?]
h) Migration and overseas work [Should the Philippines include the promotion of overseas employment in its (domestic and) foreign policy? Given that the number of migrant and overseas contract workers continues to grow, what are the ways to shape foreign policy in order to protect Filipino workers?]
Migrasyon at pagtatrabaho sa ibayong dagat [Dapat bang isama na ng Pilipinas ang promosyon ng pagtatrabaho sa ibayong dagat sa patakarang (panloob at) panlabas nito? Sa harap ng patuloy na pagdami ng bilang ng mga nagtatrabaho sa ibayong dagat, anu-ano ang mga pamamaraang magagawa upang maproteksyunan ng patakarang panlabas ang ating mga manggagawa?]
i) Mindanao [Should the country’s external or foreign relations play a role in the promotion of peace in Mindanao? What’s your view of OIC’s, Malaysia’s, US’, and China’s role in the peace process in Mindanao?]
Mindanao [Dapat bang magkaroon ng papel ang ugnayang panlabas ng Pilipinas sa promosyon ng kapayapaan sa Mindanao? Ano ang inyong pananaw sa papel ng IOC, Malaysia, US, at Tsina sa prosesong pangkapayapaan sa Mindanao?]
j) Terrorism [What’s your definition of terrorism? What’s your view of the so-called “Global War on Terrorism”? What are alternative, cooperative, and progressive security measures against terrorism that the Philippines can employ?]
Terorismo [Ano ang inyong depinisyon sa terorismo? Ano ang pananaw ninyo sa “Global War on Terrorism”? Anu-ano ang mga alternatibo, kooperatibo, at progresibong pamamaraang pangseguridad na maaaring gamitin ng Pilipinas?
The position paper should contain the following sections:
· An introductory page
· A summary of positions
· Main text on issues
The paper must be submitted electronically in word file format, single space, in a standard A4 size document.
Submissions must tackle at least 7 of the 10 policy issues. Positions must be stated in clear, concise terms in no less than 2 pages for each given issue. The full position paper should be at least 18 pages in length.
A modest amount to cover food, venue, and transportation expenses for workshops and consultations is available to groups able to demonstrate their requirement for organizational support, as well as their intent and capacity to conduct the process. Preference will be given to coalitions or groupings that need resources to achieve broad participation among their members.
Interested parties must FIRST submit a SHORT PROPOSAL explaining:
- the proposed methodology, i.e. process of consultation with members of their respective organisations/networks
- the proposed timeframe for consultation and writing (position paper must be submitted no later than 30 December 2008)
- foreign policy issues that will be addressed in the paper (at least 7 must be selected)
- brief organizational background (with details of membership, for networks and coalitions)