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Conference Summary: Challenges and Outlook to Asian Social Democracy

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Background

After an encouraging surge of democratic mobilization across Asia in recent years -- with the Malaysian opposition making massive electoral gains, Indonesia electing a grass-roots-driven president, and Myanmar’s junta ceding more power to the elected, civilian leadership -- a combination of authoritarianism and right-wing populism is besetting Asia’s most promising democracies, from India to the Philippines.

Over the past decade, Asia has maintained robust economic growth rates, giving birth to a rising middle class. Resource-based nations such as Mongolia have been among the world’s fastest growing economies, while Japan, South Korea, and China have maintained their lead in the global electronics, steel, and machinery market. New tiger economies such the Philippines have dispensed with their age-old image as ‘sick man of Asia’ by registering among the highest growth rates in the region and the world.

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Human Rights Under Assault: The Urgent Tasks for Progressives

Keynote speech by Etta Rosales
Challenges and Outlook to Asian Social Democracy
24 May 2017, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


To our gracious hosts from the Mongolian People’s Party, to our partners in the Network for Social Democracy in Asia, especially our members of parliaments joining us today, to the leaders and emissaries of our sister parties to our friends from all over the world, thank you for allowing me to share some thoughts here with you today.

You may be aware that I come from a country where today, the President is actively engaged in disparaging and undermining the progressive ideas we stand for as a community. In the name of a popular campaign against illegal drugs which has claimed more than 9,000 lives, human rights and due process under the law have become collateral damage. And this is happening not only in the Philippines.

Across the region, reports from Human Rights Watch and even the US State Department point out critical patterns of abuse, discrimination and violence against minorities and opposition forces.

In Cambodia trade unions and anti-government forces are systematically attacked under laws that restrict freedoms of assembly under the guise of national security. More than 200000 prisoners are locked up in 27 jails that can only accommodate 11,000; and pre-trial detention of 6 months and 18 months for misdemeanors and felonies.

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Message of Ibu Megawati Sukarnoputri, former President of Indonesia, to the Socdem Asia - Progressive Alliance Meeting in Denpasar

 

 

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Greetings of Peace to all of us
Salom
Namo Buddhaya
Om Swastiastu

It is with tremendous pleasure and happiness that I stand here and speak to you, delegates of the members of the Progressive Alliance, and delegates of political parties as well as those from labor parties and organizations. Welcome to the Gods Island. This moment reminds me to a historical event which also attended by several countries and initiated by Indonesia, the Asian African Conference. The spirit and soul of the conference has become milestone for the establishment of countries in the Asian, African, and Latin America regions. Dasa Sila Bandung has incinerated the birth of nation movements, to have mutual relationship in order to fight for their freedom and independence who have been under the claw of colonialism and imperialism. For me, this is the most important example in our human kind history, how collective awareness and also solidarity have been overstep the boundaries of countries, they became a positive strength of independence, which therefore was continued by the first Non-bloc Summit Conference in Belgrade/Beograd in 1961. I was present as the youngest delegate, at that time I was 14 years old.

What remained in my memory, and even became an aspiration/dream that I could not erase from my soul and thought is the establishing of a strong brotherhood among countries, an emotional bonding of nations, and eventually a cooperation between countries.  It was certainly extraordinary, that at the time the world’s political condition was crystallized into two huge blocs, the eastern bloc and the western bloc ,  a new hope emerged from and was spearheaded by a handful of  leaders of very young countries.

Clearly and distinctly they said “we non-blocs, we do not side with any bloc”. That movement was based by a spirit of effacing the practice of “exploitation de l’homme par l’homme, exploitation de nation par nation”.

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