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Stating the Obvious: 100 days of the Pandemic and Duterte

Like watching the never-ending seasons of The Walking Dead, president Duterte has once again extended community quarantine. I first heard the term “new normal” in 2010 when Typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila. What once was a concept communicated by disaster experts, day by day becomes a global reality. This pandemic has been unprecedented; it has affected our economy, our rights, our way of life. In doing so, it has exposed much about the fundamental challenges the regimes present; the political communities we belong to; and, for many, the weaknesses of the authorities who govern us.

Being a pandemic, foreign and global economies have been hit hard. For example, the United States federal government released a $3 trillion stimulus in just 3 months for COVID-19. The IMF projects a negative growth of the world’s economy at -3% in 2020, three months into this global lockdown. In comparison, during the 2008 global financial crisis, the US then spent $6 trillion in a span of 6 years in around 3 major stimulus packages. That year, IMF’s global growth prediction was only -1%.

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Southeast Asia is dominated by young population (15-35 years old in average) composing 65% of the 500 million peoples in the region. Given the elitist nature of political systems in Southeast Asia, limitations to political education and participation within the system and unequal opportunities for young people, there is difficulty in accessing programmatic trainings in politics which are often only accessed by established politicians or trade unionists. Political parties and organizations also have difficulty in sustaining training programs because of lack of funding and unfavorable political environment.

Recognizing the need to consistently develop second liners and provide a capacity-building platform for a new generation of progressive leaders, the Network of Social Democracy in Asia (SocDem Asia) developed its own political education and training program. A platform at the regional level where shared learning and collaboration is encouraged, the Political Management Training for Young Progressives (PMT), is an institutionalized regional program that caters to the young, emerging leaders from Socdem Asia member parties. To better cope with and respond to challenges of the times, young progressives are provided with analyses and tools that aid and advancetheir political work.

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SocDem Asia Congratulatory message to FRETILIN's appointment to key ministries in the Government of Timor-Leste

30 June 2020

Mr. Mari Alkatiri
Frente Revolucionaria de Timor-Leste Independente (FRETILIN)

Dear Mr. Alkatiri,

On behalf of the Network for Social Democracy in Asia (SocDem Asia) we would like to warmly congratulate FRETILIN on the appointment of its members to key ministries in the Government of Timor-Leste. We understand that FRETILIN after much reflection and analysis of the country’s current situation made a decision to support the government to provide much needed political stability to the country.

It is important that under these precarious economic, social, and health conditions affecting the world social democratic parties such as FRETILIN must step forward to provide political leadership to push governments and countries towards a more equitable and fairer future. We are optimistic that FRETILIN will accomplish this task.

We hope to meeting you soon under more normal conditions and to further strengthen the partnership between FRETILIN, SocDem Asia and other member-parties.

For the Steering Committee of SocDem Asia,

Machris Cabreros
Network Coordinator

View PDF - Congratulatory Message to FRETILIN