A call to social movements, frontline communities and campaigning networks, and progressive NGOs, academics and parliamentarians across Asia and Europe: 

“People’s Solidarity against Poverty and for Sustainable Development: Challenging Unjust and Unequal Development, Building States of Citizens for Citizens”

Vientiane, Laos, 16-19 October 2012

On 5-6 November, 2012 the 9th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM9) will take place in Vientiane, Lao PDR.  Under the theme ‘Friends for Peace, Partners for Prosperity’, leaders of 49 member states and governments in Asia and Europe will exchange views, priorities and plans on regional and global issues that are of common interest to both regions at the summit.   
Prior to and in conjunction with ASEM9, the Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF9) will hold its 9th biennial People’s Forum on 16-19 October 2012 under the title ‘People’s Solidarity against Poverty and for Sustainable Development: Challenging Unjust and Unequal Development, Building States of Citizens for Citizens’.
AEPF9 will tackle four major themes or People’s Visions, which represent AEPF hopes for citizens of ASEM member countries and the communities they live in.  These are:
•       Universal Social Protection and Access to Essential Services; 
•       Food Sovereignty and Sustainable Land and Natural Resource Management;
•       Sustainable Energy Production and Use; and
•       Just Work and Sustainable Livelihoods.
Progress towards the realisation of these People’s Visions is at the heart of a way out of the multiple crises confronting people, states and institutions globally.  The ecological, debt, financial and food crises, which have been caused and compounded by the policies and practices of many governments in both rich and poor countries and their approaches to regulation of business, have caused increasing social polarization between peoples and states.  In Asia, the crises are exacerbating poverty and inequality; already widespread before the present crises.  In Europe, the crises are creating indebtedness, joblessness and insecurity.  We are increasingly experiencing ‘corporate capture’: multinational and national corporations structuring and determining our lives and livelihoods.  The responses of citizens are often at local and national levels and to complement these, the AEPF is looking to encourage and strengthen cooperation and solidarity of people’s networks regionally, inter-regionally and globally. 
There are three stages that will contribute to building and promoting the Asia-Europe People’s Visions:
Preparation; ensuring that people across ASEM countries have the opportunity to debate, discuss and shape the AEPF9 themes.
The AEPF9 Forum; ensuring that the event is open, dynamic and inclusive and focuses on meaningful and practical discussion for change.
Beyond AEPF9; ensuring that commitments made during AEPF9 are honoured and that a sound platform for AEPF10 is laid.
AEPF9 will be an exciting series of interlinked dialogues, workshops, actions, policy debates and open spaces. You can be part of this event by actively participating in discussions to build the People’s Visions, which will be the basis of declarations from the Forum or by co-organising an event and/or contributing human and financial resources.  There will be a call for expressions of interest to organise workshops and events soon. 
Interested in joining us?  Contribute your knowledge, resources or time to enable AEPF9 to be a success.  This is YOUR forum.
Please watch out for announcements on AEPF9 activities and on how to register as a participant or co-organiser of events at the AEPF website (www.aepf.info).  For further information, you may contact the following people, depending on your location:
AEPF9 Secretariat in the Lao PDR
Learning House for Development  
Secretariat:  [email protected] 
AEPF9 Focal point/Secretariat in Asia
Institute for Popular Democracy
Tina Ebro:  [email protected] or Maris dela Cruz: [email protected]
AEPF9 Focal point in Europe
Transnational Institute Contact
Pietje Vervest:  [email protected]