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Statement on the ASEM summit: More decent jobs, increased equality and a better climate

decent workIn the last two decades, the vast regions of Asia and Europe have moved closer to each other, resulting in the establishment of a number of cooperation and coordination mechanisms, including the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). Bringing together the 28 members of the European Union (EU), the 10 members of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, Japan, and the South Korea, India, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Switzerland, Norway and Bangladesh, the ASEM represents one of the biggest and most consequential global platforms for inter-regional dialogue. Put together, Asia and Europe represent 52% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 68% of global trade, and 60 % of the world population.

 

The increased mutual interest between Asia and Europe has also brought progressive forces from both regions closer together. The upcoming ASEM Summit in Milan 16-17 October has created the momentum to unite SOCDEM Asia and the Global Progressive Forum (a cooperation between the Party of European Socialist and the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament) to discuss a common progressive agenda.

 

ASEM cooperation, up until today, had a very strong focus on economic recovery, trade liberalization and sustained growth. Social protection and decent work is mentioned only in the fringes of the ASEM Chair’s conclusions, and marginal attention is given to the plethora of measures that can be implemented to promote equality.

 

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SOCDEM Asia Conducts Training for Young Politicians in Southeast Asia

SOCDEM Asia gathered 20 young politicians from Indonesia, Malaysia, Timor Leste and the Philippines for Political Management Training. The program, in pilot run, was a 5-day training for young progressive leaders that aimed (1) to provide capacity-building training on political management for young progressives; (2) to provide a platform for sharing and shared-learning of young progressives in the region; (3) to provide a common venue to foster strategic connections among young progressives.

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Media Tool Kit for Young Progressives

Media and communications work can make or break a political or electoral campaign. Existing media institutions are  fast (and in this digital age, even instantaneous), effective, and cost-efficient channels for spreading information and  political messages by any interested party with the means and the energy, from global conglomerates or national  governments armed with public relations machineries to a smart-alecky teenager fueled by caffeine and hormones. 

An incisive article in a newspaper can lead to the collapse of a government. Video footage shown on TV or viewed  on Youtube can fuel public outrage that may lead to lawmakers enacting new laws or doing away with old ones.  Effective communications work can produce messages and symbols (e.g. meme, see below) that can consolidate  consensus for a particular political perspective, for example, rally public support for a politician or pillory a political  opponent.

View PDF - Media Tool Kit