C O U N C I L O F A S I A N L I B E R A L S A N D D E M O C R AT S
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BREAKTHROUGHS CALD 2012 ANNUAL REPORT 1
Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP, CALD Chair Dr. Neric Acosta, CALD Secretary General Hon. Mu Sochua, MP, CALD Women’s Caucus Chair Ms. Selyna Peiris, CALD Youth Chair
CALD Taiwan Election Mission Taipei, Yilan, Taoyuan & Taichung, Taiwan | 5-9 January 2012 CALD General Assembly Colombo, Sri Lanka | 8-11 March 2012 CALD Youth General Assembly & 3rd CALD Youth Workshop Colombo, Sri Lanka | 9-10 March 2012 CALD Study Visit and Seminar Ulaanbaatar & Terelj, Mongolia | 23-27 May 2012 5th ALDE-CALD Summit Brussels, Belgium | 4-8 June 2012 7th CALD Communications Workshop Siem Reap, Cambodia | 17-20 August 2012 CALD Conference on Democratic Transitions Bangkok, Thailand |16-19 November 2012
IN FOCUS: CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate of Change by Dr. Neric Acosta Climate Change Projects: CALD Climate Change Workshop II “Addressing Vulnerability, Fostering Adaptation” Cagayan de Oro & Bukidnon, Philippines | 10-14 February 2012 CALD Climate Change Conference “Towards a Liberal Climate Change Agenda in Asia” Palawan, Philippines | March 23-28, 2012 CALD Climate Change Seminar “Best Practices on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Preparedness” Bangkok, Thailand | 17 November 2012 CALD Statement on Climate Change
Hon. Rauff Hakeem, Sri Lankan Minister of Justice Sir Graham Watson, MEP, ELDR President H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva, Former Thai Prime Minister
48 RESOLUTIONS 49 STATEMENTS & LETTERS 50 BULLETIN 60 SPEAKERS & SESSION CHAIRS 6 4 M E M B E R S & PA R T N E R S 84 ABOUT CALD
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MESSAGE FROM THE
CALD Chair Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP The year 2012 was a year of breakthroughs for the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats. From the inspiring electoral campaign in Taiwan, which it had the privilege to witness in January, to the instructive discussions on Burma’s political transition spurred by its conference in November, CALD spearheaded activities that reflected the dynamism and vitality of its member-parties and the Asian region as a whole. And Asia had indeed been swept by developments whose implications reverberate in other parts of the world. Foremost among these was the political opening in Burma, which commenced a couple of years ago but appeared to accelerate in the past year, as seen most clearly in the resounding electoral victory of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), in the April by-elections. While the NLD’s successful return to mainstream politics has provided space for “cautious optimism,” experience suggests that political transitions are periods of great uncertainty, characterized by unforeseen contingencies and unintended outcomes. Taking this into account, CALD organized a conference on Burma as a venue to share ideas and experiences on how to address challenges brought about by political transitions. We are pleased with the active participation and substantial contributions of two NLD Members of Parliament to the event, as well as their positive feedback and good company. While Burma made significant strides toward an open and democratic polity, it was unfortunate that my country, Cambodia, appears to be moving toward the opposite direction. Governmentsanctioned land-grabbing, crackdown on media and civil society activists, and persecution of the political opposition have intensified as the July 2013 national election draws near, signifying that the current dispensation has no intention of holding free, fair, and credible elections. It was in this light that the International Parliamentary Committee for Democratic Elections in Cambodia
was launched in Manila last September under the stewardship of Philippine Senator and former CALD Chair Franklin Drilon. Through the CALD network, the Committee has been able to attract an increasing number of parliamentarians across the globe, and was able to make representation in the last assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union in Quebec City, Canada. The urgency of holding free, fair, and credible elections in Cambodia, and of changing its current political leadership, became so evident when the country took center stage last year as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Cambodian government’s intransigence regarding the issuance of joint communique reflective of regional security concerns left the regional grouping in disarray, prompting CALD to issue a statement urging ASEAN to enhance its centrality by maintaining its unity amid challenges to regional cohesion and autonomy. With the timely intervention of Indonesia, ASEAN was able to regain its footing, and was even able to adopt the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration toward the end of the year, which, while imperfect, is a significant step in strengthening Southeast Asia‘s human rights framework. As ASEAN prepares for the realization of the ASEAN Community by 2015, another crucial issue of importance, apart from a strong regional commitment to human rights, is climate change. Considering its far-reaching social and economic consequences, climate change is a potential impediment to the political, economic, and sociocultural integration envisioned by ASEAN. With this in mind, CALD embarked on a climate- change project, inaugurated in November 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand, but went in full swing in 2012, with events held in: Cagayan de Oro/Bukidnon, Philippines in February; Palawan, Philippines in March; and Bangkok, Thailand in November. The 1
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Palawan Climate Change Conference deserves special mention, as it resulted in the adoption of CALD Climate Change Statement, defining the organization’s stance on climate change and its agenda for action. CALD’s readiness to embrace climate change, an issue that has not traditionally animated liberals, shows its responsiveness to the changes of the times. CALD, however, also recognizes the importance of building from the achievements of the past, and has therefore committed to a set of continuing projects that have proven their value through the years. Last year, continuing projects such as an election mission, bilateral meeting with Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), and a communication workshop, as always, generated significant interest and enthusiasm among the participants. The Democratic Progressive Party served as gracious host to a CALD delegation to Taiwan’s presidential and parliamentary elections in January. While the party narrowly lost the presidential elections, its positive campaign and successful fund-raising strategy left a huge impression on the delegation. ALDE, for its part, hosted the 5th ALDE-CALD Summit in the European Parliament in June, with extensive discussions and debate on trade relations between Asia and Europe. Last August, CALD held the 7th Communications Workshop with the active participation of CALD Youth members. Toward the end of the year, a synthesis of best practices from Political Party Management workshops, another of CALD’s continuing projects, was published. All of these have been crucial in achieving CALD’s objectives of knowledge-sharing, network-building, and skills-training.
Soon Juan, not being allowed to leave Singapore because of bankruptcy, and with me not being allowed to return to Cambodia without the threat of imprisonment. In my capacity as CALD Chair, I was invited to deliver a keynote address in the 58th Liberal International Congress, and to participate in the Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians for Global Action in Rome, Italy. The Sri Lankan General Assembly, apart from being marked by the chair-party turnover, was also highlighted by a fiery conference on populism, which sparked intense debates among the participants. In the same vein, a seminar on liberalism in May, the first CALD event hosted by the network’s newest member, the Civil Will Green Party, also captured the attention of Mongolian politicians and media even at a time when the entire country was enthralled by national elections. The year 2012 was indeed a year of breakthroughs for CALD and for Asia. I can only hope that 2013 will bring more breakthroughs that move CALD to greater heights in its struggle for a more democratic, developed and secure region.
CALD Youth, the youth arm of CALD, also had its share of breakthroughs in 2012. In March, it held its first General Assembly in conjunction with CALD. The meeting brought together for the first time the youth wing’s Executive Committee members, who also participated in a concurrent workshop on political leadership. In December, CALD Youth was accepted as a regional member of International Federation of the Liberal Youth – the only one of its kind from Asia. Another milestone in CALD’s institutional evolution was the chair-party turnover from the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka to the Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia. In the Sri Lankan General Assembly held in March, I had the privilege of being selected as CALD Chair for the second time. I remember that during the ceremonies, Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha commented that the circumstances leading to two consecutive turn-overs being held in Sri Lanka showed the difficulties that some CALD members still confront – with his predecessor, Dr. Chee
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MESSAGE FROM THE
Secretary General Dr. Neric Acosta The visage of democratization and societal transformation could not have been more stark and inspiring when Aung San Suu Kyi, erstwhile political dissident for two decades, took her oath of office as Member of Parliament of Burma in May 2012. The wave of change that had begun to sweep through Burma in 2010 with Suu Kyi’s release from eighteen years of oppressive house arrest and her frenetic nationwide campaign for the National League for Democracy’s contesting of 43 seats in the new Parliament, was dramatic in epic ways. Not long after her assumption to public office and the transition from Asia’s most famous political prisoner to elected parliamentarian took place, Suu Kyi travelled to Oslo to belatedly receive her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. A series of high-level meetings in the United Kingdom and across the rest of Europe, as well as in the United States, was scheduled over the course of several weeks, as were tour de force addresses in the British Parliament and the US Congress. When Barack Obama was re-elected as U.S. President in November 2012, the first overseas trip he made was to Asia, with an official visit to Suu Kyi’s home, along with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This was an unprecedented visit of a sitting U.S. President to Burma and the message of hope and change for the whole continent could not have been more momentous. This sea change was, for the CALD family, a high note of reassurance and triumph -- that for every struggle and sacrifice in the face of long years of brutal repression, freedom as every individual’s birthright would in time indomitably prevail. CALD visited Suu Kyi in Rangoon in early 2011, and our lean delegation left deeply inspired by the example of courage and grace she had long exemplified. But a pall of nervous anticipation had nevertheless hung over us, making us wonder whether Burma’s march toward greater openness would continue. The events of the last year have proven that this march of democracy could only proceed unimpeded for Burma, as with many other parts of Asia and the world.
It may be presumptuous of CALD to lay claim to helping this protracted and complex process of change and transition, but as the region’s leading network for liberal democratic political parties, we can certainly share in and proudly embrace this new state of freedom in the ASEAN region. The fact is that Aung San Suu Kyi is a CALD Distinguished Member and our long-time pillar of strength, and all of us in the Council take immense pride in being a part of the constellation of democratic forces that had fought relentlessly for freedom and continue to work for societies and polities that can only be founded on the inalienable principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. As we begin a new year and mark our 20 years as a regional – and with our partners in the Liberal International, ALDE, and other networks, a global -- organization, we at CALD celebrate great achievements and even incremental triumphs. Looking ahead with the horizon of ASEAN 2015, Burma’s road to democracy is, indeed, also ours. Even as build on each of our own respective political parties’ strengths and successes, whether on the highly-charged electoral fronts or in the face of convoluted governance challenges, our neighbor’s fight is truly our own, and our ally’s victories ours as well. As parties and colleagues we draw from each other’s experiences and lessons, and affirm that we are all kindred democratic spirits – strong friends for each other’s travails and unstinting allies in our feats for freedom. Long live democracy for Asia and the world!
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MESSAGE FROM THE
Women’s Caucus Chair Hon. Mu Sochua, MP FOR us, in Asia, this was another year of celebrating women in leadership positions. We started the year with Tsai Ing Wen as the standard bearer of the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan’s electoral campaign in January. In December, Emily Lau was elected the chairperson of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong. Our friends in the National League for Democracy (Burma), whom we collaborated with on a women’s workshop in 2011, now have thirteen women representatives in parliament. This is twenty-five percent of the total number of seats the party contested and won in the by-election. One of its party members received the International Woman of Courage Award from U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton: Zin Mar Aung, an activist for women’s rights, cofounder of a women’s empowerment group, and former political prisoner. We have also seen women take the lead in forwarding important and urgent issues. Mongolia has appointed Oyun Sanjaasuren, co-chair of the Civil Will Green Party, as Minister for Nature, Environment, and Green Development. After fourteen years of parliamentary debates, the Philippines finally passed the Reproductive Health Law, which will allow even the poorest women in the country access to maternal healthcare and the ability to choose their own family planning measures. Personally, I have been campaigning for my party and the movement that we started in Cambodia. As President of the women’s wing of the Sam Rainsy Party, I aspire to have a larger number of women candidates in the 2013 parliamentary elections. Apart from campaigning, we continue to provide training to grassroots women to increase their capacities as political leaders. Together, we forward issues that affect women, including the fair treatment of migrant workers, and an increase in the minimum wage of garment factory workers. We have also stood with victims of land grabbing and held public rallies to bring attention
to this issue during U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit. Yet while many of us can say that there have been positive developments for women in our countries or that women’s rights continue to be fought for where we are, this is not the case for some of our Asian neighbors. One of the biggest stories that shook us all at the end of the year was the brutal rape, and later death, of a young woman in India. Also on the news was the assassination attempt on education and women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai, who is just 15 years old, in Pakistan. Such deliberate attacks against women, their dignity, and their rights, in any part of the world, remind us that this is not a battle to be fought by individuals or societies on their own. With this comes a call for international solidarity to protect women beyond our borders, and a reminder that women’s rights must be upheld above any misconstructions or misrepresentations of cultural values. At the CALD Women’s Caucus, we have been given a powerful platform to bring attention to human rights and democracy for the women of Asia. We are fortunate to have among us leaders in leadership positions committed to using their influence to making the world a more equal place. We also have the opportunity to engage women from the grassroots—who are, for me, the primary reason to come to work everyday. It is not just my duty but also a true honor to serve them. We need to move our women out of silence, to have a voice, and to gain power. I hope that through what we do, we are also able to empower them to become key movers in this continuing shared battle.
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MESSAGE FROM THE
Youth Chair Selyna Peiris I recently came across a radio address by Winston Churchill where he quotes Alexander the Great as saying, “The people of Asia were slaves, because they had not learned how to pronounce the word ‘no’.” I began to ponder on the gravity of this statement and to my dismay, I found the bells of truth ringing quite prominently within that statement even to this date. It is reality that, with the exception of a notable few nations within the continent, we as Asians tend to compromise in our goal for a free and fair society. We are often satisfied with mediocrity and lack of vision and satisfy ourselves by accepting what is given to us. Rarely do we demand what is rightfully owed to us by our leaders. This realization begs the following questions: How do we, as the upcoming generation of our nations, change this predicament? How do we begin the process of saying ‘no’ and demanding the best for our society by our leaders? Two words come to mind: strategy and pragmatism. Gone are the days where populist revolution amounts to actual change. The presence of new technology has changed the nature of the game both in a positive and negative manner. Cutting a long story short, our youth gives us the time to begin to think strategically to start a process of pragmatic change. In this process, the importance of learning and sharing lessons within regional and international networks of like-minded youth is of utmost importance. It is in this spirit that CALD Youth has created a space for liberal- minded young politicians and activists from Asia and around the world to meet, learn, and be motivated from one another’s experiences. 2012 was a year of breakthroughs for CALD Youth. We began the year joining the CALD General Assembly and conference on the populist challenge to liberal democracy in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Personally, it was an honor for me to be able to speak before such an esteemed group of delegates on new populism and, more importantly, the role of young leaders in taking strategic and non-violent approaches to political change. Together with the General Assembly, CALD Youth also had our own
workshop on preparing the Asian youth for leadership. We were able to explore in depth the ideology and practice of liberal democracy, the art of political youth organizing and also deliberate on issues affecting the youth in Asia. Our next program, in Siem Reap, Cambodia, came in time for CALD Youth’s second birthday and most aptly on strategic political communication. Apart from learning skills that would be useful in future electoral campaigns, the participants were given a chance to exercise their public speaking and political skills. Even though we came from different countries and different contexts, we all shared the same thirst for political involvement and making a difference in our own societies and countries. Months later, these speeches and the passion in which they were pronounced still resonate with among us and continue to inspire. Aside from our programs, we also ended the year by strengthening a partnership with some good friends. Representatives from the International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY) participated in three CALD activities this year, while CALD Youth participated in two of theirs. In December, we became their regional member organization for Asia. Expanding our network across the globe gives us the opportunity to expand our horizons and feel a sense of international solidarity as we work toward a more democratic and free Asia. Being part of this global movement also gives us the platform to show our commitment to freedom and democracy with the rest of the world. With all the opportunities that came for us in 2012 comes the challenge of making an even bigger impact in the following year. With this in mind, we have discussed future programs, exchanges. and plans and our member parties have all committed to making such endeavors a reality and a success. The stage has now been set. As Victor Hugo said, “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” 5
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P R O J CALD Taiwan Election Mission 4-9 January
CALD General Assembly 8-11 March
3rd CALD Youth Workshop & CALD Youth General Assembly 9-10 March
Taipei, Yilan, Taoyuan, and Taichung, Taiwan
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Colombo, Sri Lanka
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E C T S CALD Study Visit and Seminar 23-27 May
5th ALDE-CALD Summit 4-8 June
7th CALD Communications Workshop 17-20 August
CALD Conference on Democratic Transitions 16-19 November
Ulaanbaatar and Terelj, Mongolia
Siem Reap, Cambodia
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Taipei, Yilan, Taoyuan, and Taichung, Taiwan | 4-9 January
CALD Taiwan Election Mission
THREE little piggybanks offered by young triplets to the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) inspired a fundraising campaign that soon became a moving story of how the weak can confront the strong. Face by a formidable opponent that has been described as one of the wealthiest political parties in the world, DPP took to a fundraising drive for the 2012 presidential and legislative elections that saw it distributing thousands of piggybanks across Taiwan. It eventually raised the equivalent of US$6.7 million from those piggybanks that DPP supporters filled and returned to the party – which only shows that the support of the people is the greatest resource in any electoral exercise. CALD was privileged to witness this people-driven campaign firsthand when it sent a fourteen-member electoral mission to Taiwan on 4-9 January. Elected officials, potential candidates, and campaign workers from CALD member organizations joined the mission to observe the campaign of DPP Chair Dr. Tsai Ing Wen, Taiwan’s first female presidential candidate and DPP standard-bearer in the 14 January 2012 elections.
Electoral observation missions are among CALD’s regular activities that allow CALD member organizations to gain wider perspectives on politicalcampaign strategies. Since 2000, CALD has been collaborating with the DPP to observe elections in Taiwan, inarguably one of the world’s most advanced democracies. The highlight of the January mission to Taiwan was DPP’s Super Sunday rally in Taipei City during which Dr. Tsai spoke before an estimated 100,000 supporters. Also in attendance were Tsai’s running mate, Su Jia Chyuan, and the party’s candidates for the Legislative Yuan in Taipei City. The CALD mission also visited campaign branches in the cities of Taipei, Taoyuan in the northwest, and Taichung in west-central Taiwan, where they observed campaign activities, including a briefing of volunteers, street sweeps, and rally preparations. In addition, CALD mission members had briefings at the Central Election Commission of Taiwan, a survey research center, and the Yilan County Hall. A workshop on election campaign strategy was conducted as well, where fundraising,
PARTICIPANTS BURMA Nyo Ohn Myint INDONESIA Patria Ginting MALAYSIA David Ang Liang Teck Meng
MONGOLIA Gankhuu Gendendaram Ganbat Gongorjav PHILIPPINES Sigfrido Tinga SINGAPORE Frederique Soh
SRI LANKA Newton Peiris THAILAND Rachada Dhnadirek FRIEDRICH NAUMANN FOUNDATION FOR FREEDOM
Jules Maaten Asit Prueangwet Juliane Schmucker INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF LIBERAL YOUTH
TAIWAN Jessie Chou Mike Fonte Huai-hui Hsieh Sophie Ping-Ya Hsu Brooke Lee
Naomi Ichihara Røkkum
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DPP candidates onstage during the Super Sunday rally
polling, propaganda, and grassroots mobilization were among the topics taken up. By the way, DPP – and the rest of Taiwan -- were against not just one, but three Big Bad Wolves, said DPP campaign spokesperson Cheng Li Chun: big business, the ruling party’s huge assets, and the use of the state apparatus to influence the electoral battle. At one of DPP’s campaign branches
Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, presidential candidate of the DPP
Local candidates with former CALD Secretary General Bi-khim Hsiao
Participants take over a campaign stage
Campaign headquarters of Smiling George for legislator
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Colombo, Sri Lanka | 8-11 March
CALD General Assembly “POPULISM can either be a remedy or a malady.” So said Sri Lankan Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem at the CALD General Assembly Conference that was held 8-11 March in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Focusing on the “The Populist Challenge to Liberal Democracy,” the conference tackled one of the most controversial issues in the world today: the revival of populism and its implications for democratic governance. But as Hakeem indicated in his keynote speech at the meeting, populism is not that easy to put in a box, and can be a highly divisive and contentious issue. This became evident as early as the first session, when CALD Secretary General Dr. Neric Acosta asked the participants to write a word or phrase they associated with populism. After the responses were categorized as positive, negative, or neutral, the results showed that the participants were almost equally divided on the issue. Then again, some were of two minds when it came to populism. For instance, while Sam Rainsy Party’s Saumura Tioulong wrote “Hitler” as the word she
The Sam Rainsy Party accepts CALD chairmanship
associated with populism, she discussed populism in largely positive terms, even claiming that being attuned to the needs and wishes of the people is the “best (feature) of representative democracy.” For her part, CALD Youth Chairperson Selyna Peiris, by highlighting the role of leadership in populism, arrived at the same conclusion: populism can either be good or bad, depending on the intentions or objectives of leaders who head populist movements. The next two sessions were spent looking at regional or country experiences regarding populism, highlighting in particular the cases of Southeast Asia, South Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Cambodian opposition MP Sam Rainsy discussed the situation in his country, where he said populism has taken a “brutal, authoritarian form,” with Prime Minister Hun Sen now being the longest ruling dictator in the world. Liberal Party of Sri Lanka’s Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha, meanwhile, took a sub-regional comparative approach by comparing Sri Lankan populism with that of Pakistan and India.
Neric Acosta, Ng Lip Yong, Saumura Tioulong, and Selyna Peiris during the session on new populism
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Member party representatives to the CALD General Assembly 2012
Prof. Francisco Luis Perez Exposito, a Spanish academic now based in Taiwan, then presented the Latin American case, emphasizing the factors that have led to the revival of populism in the region, such as low levels of education, social inequality, clientelism, weak political parties, corruption, and “strongman worship.” Jules Maaten of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Philippine Office wrapped up Session Three by tackling the themes of contemporary European populism: fear (of Islam, immigrants, refugees), uncertainty and overwhelming complications
(brought by globalization, regionalization), and anti-establishment stance (against the European Union, common currency). In the fourth session on populism and policy-making, former Foreign Affairs Minister of Thailand Kasit Piromya recalled former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s “dual-track approach” of embracing both globalization and localization – and how the latter resulted in many populist policies that proved to be detrimental to the nation’s political and economic development. Choidorj
Liberal Forum Pakistan, Liberal Party of Sri Lanka, and Civil Will Green Party of Mongolia
Sarath Amunugama, Senior Minister for International Monetary Cooperation
Feisal Samath and Lito Arlegue
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PARTICIPANTS CAMBODIA Kong Korm Sam Rainsy Son Chhay Saumura Tioulong INDONESIA Ihsan Yunus JAPAN Gaku Kato MALAYSIA Jayanthi Balaguru Chia Kwang Chye Ng Lip Yong MONGOLIA Choidorj Markhaaj PAKISTAN Chaudhary Usman Ali PHILIPPINES Neric Acosta Jat Caringal SINGAPORE Vincent Cheng Vincent Wijeysingha
SRI LANKA J Cassim Chandrani Romesh Fernando Laxmi Kamal Nissanka Newton Peiris M Ranjan Shalini Senanayake Ananda Stephen Rajiva Wijesinha TAIWAN Huai-hui Hsieh THAILAND Kasit Piromya FRIEDRICH NAUMANN FOUNDATION FOR FREEDOM Jules Maaten Asit Prueangwet INTERNATIONAL NETWORK OF LIBERAL WOMEN Christine de Saint Genois
Markhaaj of Mongolia’s Civil Will Party then related the “populist policy marathon” between the two major political parties in his country, and how this affected his party’s ideological position and electoral viability. The relationship between populism and the media was the focus of Session Five. Perhaps unintentionally echoing his colleagues elsewhere in the world, Sri Lankan newspaper editor Feizal Samath noted, “Sri Lankan politicians have always used the media to promote their agendas, populist or otherwise, some better than the others.” But when Singapore Democratic Party’s Dr. Vincent Wijeysingha reminded the participants of what populism should be -- “Populism must represent the popular will, rather than pandering to special interests in society” – it was obvious that the special interests included the media, along with those who use the media for their particular interests. Rounding up the session was Kasit who discussed how the media and political entrepreneurs could be used to counter populism in Thailand, highlighting the fact that the media is a dual-edged sword that could be used to advance or hinder populism. The last session returned to the relationship between populism and democracy, and how a symbiotic relationship could be forged between the two. Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan’s Hsieh Huai Hui focused her presentation on her party’s primary system, which, starting 2010, has been based entirely on public polls. Then she put this question on the table: Could such a system be labeled populist or could it be considered as an effective mechanism to gauge electoral success? Bringing up the rear in the session, though, was Gaku Kato of Democratic Party of Japan, who made his position on the populism-democracy nexus very clear: “(Populism) cannot bring any solution for real politics. It only causes the disorder of the society in the long run even though it may help to break though a stagnant situation in the short run.” And so the CALD General Assembly Conference ended with most participants expressing great interest on populism, but not necessarily agreeing on whether it is positive or negative, remedy or malady, threat or corrective, or meaningful or destructive. Yet the mere fact that questions were raised, debates ensued, and interests were awaken are reasons enough to consider the conference a huge success.
Outgoing CALD Chair Rajiva Wijesinha
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Sam Rainsy and Jules Maaten participate in the ceremonial lighting of the lamp, a Sri Lankan tradition
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Colombo, Sri Lanka | 9-10 March
CALD Youth General Assembly rd & 3 CALD Youth Workshop FIRST was the role of youth wings in political parties. Then came strategic planning. So when time came around for CALD Youth’s third workshop, it just seemed logical that it would be on preparing youth – specifically those from Asia – for leadership. And what could be more appropriate than holding it simultaneously with the CALD General Assembly in early March, in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo? For two days (9-10 March), eleven young participants from CALD member parties participated in various activities and group discussions designed to let them get the feel of what it takes to be on the political forefront. With the help of the workshop facilitator, Mardi Mapa-Suplido, the participants learned more about liberal democracy and political youth organizing; the power principle; social mobilization; and planning for an international youth action. They also had a chance to state their stance on issues affecting the youth in Asia. Notably, the workshop had begun with a task on planning an international youth action that could be adopted in each of the member countries. By the time it was over, it had been decided that a campaign on youth voting during elections would be CALD Youth’s first international youth action.
The day after the workshop, CALD Youth held its Executive Committee Meeting in Galle, in Sri Lanka’s southern tip, to discuss administrative matters and future activities of the organization. It was agreed upon that the participants present would serve as their respective parties’ representative to the CALD Youth Execom. Among these participants, Third Bagro of the Liberal Party of the Philippines was elected as the secretary general of CALD Youth. He will serve together with Selyna Peiris of the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka, who remains as CALD Youth chairperson.
Oh Tong Keong and Enkhsaikhan Boldkhuu
PARTICIPANTS HONG KONG Dan Shum
MALAYSIA Oh Tong Keong
PHILIPPINES Herminio Bagro, III
INDONESIA Irine Yusiana Roba
MONGOLIA Enkhsaikhan Boldkhuu
SINGAPORE Surayah Akbar
SRI LANKA V Jogeswaran Selyna Peiris Upali Saddananda
TAIWAN Yang Hao-Ju THAILAND Sucheen Angchuan
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Irine Yusiana Roba, Selyna Peiris, Dan Shum, and Milia Yang
Milia Yang, Enkhsaikhan Boldkhuu, and Surayah Akbar
Milia Yang, Enkhsaikhan Boldkhuu, and Surayah Akbar
Milia Yang, Enkhsaikhan Boldkhuu, and Surayah Akbar
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Ulaanbaatar and Terelj, Mongolia | 23-27 May
CALD Study Visit & Seminar FREEDOM: The primordial desire of humanity. The inviolable right of every human being. The heart and soul of liberalism. For a few days in late May, members of the CALD family found themselves under the expansive skies of Mongolia where they discussed, debated, and experienced freedom. Indeed, during the “Liberalism: It’s All About Freedom” Seminar and Study Visit that took place 23-27 May, liberals from Asia and beyond reexamined liberalism’s fundamental principles and experienced the Mongolian notion of freedom. First off was a one-day seminar on the liberal ideology that was held, quite aptly, at the Government House, in a room that was once office of the Mongolian President but is now open for use of the general public. After the opening remarks of officials of the Civil Will Green Party (CWGP), CALD, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) and Liberal International (LI),
PARTICIPANTS CAMBODIA Mardi Seng
THAILAND Ong-art Klampaiboon
INDONESIA Putri Astrid Kartika
FRIEDRICH NAUMANN FOUNDATION FOR FREEDOM Rainer Adam Asit Prueangwet
MALAYSIA Ng Lip Yong SINGAPORE Jaslyn Go SRI LANKA Rajiva Wijesinha
LIBERAL INTERNATIONAL Robert Woodthorpe Browne
the CALD multimedia presentation was shown to familiarize local seminar participants with the regional network, CWGP being CALD’s newest CALD and the seminar being the first CALD event in Mongolia. The seminar proper then began with Session One, chaired by Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) Jaslyn Go, and which focused on liberal ideology and how it shapes political practice. Tasked with discussing liberalism in Asia, FNF Regional Director for Southeast and East Asia Rainer Adam decided to address in particular in particular the most contentious topic in the practice of liberalism: the role of the state. Remarked Adam: “(W) e do not want government to be overbearing or to take freedoms and responsibilities away from its citizenry, but we do want government to make sure that the players stick to the rules of the game and that there is a level playing field.” CALD Executive Director Lito Arlegue meanwhile took up the “3Rs” of liberalism (reason, rights, and representation) during his presentation, and walked participants through the relationship of these to each other, and how they apply to the liberal conception of international affairs. The session’s last part, however, brought the host country to the fore with CWGP Co-Chair Oyun Sanjaasuren looking at the political dynamics and economic realities in Mongolia and how these had pushed CWGP to its current position in the political spectrum: “We will be the voice for moderate policies. We will be the voice for government participation (in the market) to a necessary degree. We’re also not for calling to leave everything to the market, but we also don’t want government to decide to be too much part of businesses.”
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In front of the Government House of Mongolia in Sukhbaatar Square
CWGP Political Council Member Gan-Ochir Zunduisuren chaired the second session, which focused on liberalism and the challenge of development. Thai MP Ong-Art Klampaiboon of the Democrat Party examined the connection of liberalism to socio-political development. In particular, he discussed the importance of strengthening political institutions and the rule of law in building and sustaining democracy, and how efforts should be exerted toward this direction. CWGP Co-Chair Demberel Sambuu then tackled economic freedom and business environment in Mongolia. After looking at the ranking of Mongolia in different economic freedom indicators, he concluded that the country is still finding the balance in its “love of the market and of the state.” The last session, chaired by Mardi Seng, deputy treasurer of the Cambodian opposition Sam Rainsy Party, scrutinized liberalism’s responses to key global issues such as globalization, global terrorism, and sustainable development. LI Treasurer and Bureau Member Robert Woodthorpe Browne stated clearly the liberal position on globalization. “We believe,” he said, “that the phenomenon of globalization is at root a force for progress: increased trade, development, migration and green capitalism all have the potential to make the world richer – financially, ecologically, and culturally.” Liberal Party of Sri Lanka (LPSL) Leader Rajiva Wijesinha, for his part, remarked, “The Liberal response to terrorism must be both sensitive and principled. It must recognize that, given the importance of the right to life, and the obvious fact that terrorists on principle do not uphold this right for the citizens’ governments must protect, governments have an obligation to combat terrorism forcefully. This can lead to special measures
Demberel Sambuu, co-chair of the Civil Will Green Party
Cultural show at the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry 17
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The Chinggis Khan statue outside Ulaanbaatar
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that might take away from the freedoms we enjoy, but such measures must be clearly enunciated, and enforced with accountability, justiciability and, where feasible, transparency.” Finally, CALD Climate Change Committee Member Ng Lip Yong discussed the relationship between economic growth and sustainable development. According to Ng, countries should be aware of the ecological costs of its pursuit of economic development, and should carefully balance these with their developmental goals. The next day had members of the CALD delegation attending a briefing about the 28 June general elections in Mongolia, during which they learned about voters’ profile, new election laws, electoral issues, and the current level of voters’ support for the major parties, among other things. CWGP Secretary General Gankhuu Gendendaram and CWGP Election Headquarters Manager Tungalag Davaa also pointed out that the then upcoming polls were different not only because of the new election law combining first-pass-the-post and party-list systems, but also because the levels of support of the two dominant parties were much lower and the percentage of swing votes was almost 60 percent. In other words, opposition parties like the CWGP now had a bigger chance to increase their electoral base. Capping CALD’s visit to the Central Asian state was an opportunity to experience Mongolian life during the reign of Great Mongol Emperor Chinggis Khaan. In a resort camp appropriately named “13th Century,” the CALD delegates had a taste of the nomadic lifestyle, which has been described as attuned to liberalism’s core principles of freedom and individualism. The delegates freely enjoyed the vast open spaces of the Mongolian countryside – riding camels and horses, watching a cultural performance, and gazing at millions of stars in the clear Mongolian sky. The delegates were also treated with performances that showed how Mongolians effortlessly blend the old and the new – among them a spectacular traditional cultural program during the dinner hosted by CWGP Co-Chair Sambuu and an upbeat live band performance of no less than CWGP
Ong-art Klampaiboon of the Democrat Party, Thailand being interviewed by Mongolian media
Secretary General Gendendaram during the farewell dinner at an Irish pub. Freedom, it is said, is the fundamental principle of liberalism. In Mongolia, the CALD delegates not only discussed it within the four corners of a seminar room, but actually experienced it in the frontierless countryside and in trying out the nomadic tradition of their gracious Mongolian hosts.
Seminar participants in the Government House
Participants pose for a photo with Chinggis Khan
At the campaign headquarters of the Civil Will Green Party
Oyun Sanjaasuren, co-chair of the Civil Will Green Party, with Ong-art Klampaiboon 19
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Brussels, Belgium | 4-8 June
5 ALDECALD Summit th
“TRADE is the most powerful tool to lift people out of poverty.” This statement from Sir Graham Watson, MEP and President of the European Liberal and Democratic Reform (ELDR) Party, captured the main message of the 5th ALDE-CALD Summit. Held in the European Parliament on 4-8 June, the biennial meeting’s theme for its 2012 edition was chosen in light of the unfolding economic crisis in Europe and its potential implications for Asia: “Trade: From Patronage to Partnership.”
More than 40 delegates from all over the world participated in the summit, which had Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) President and MEP Guy Verhofstadt arguing in the opening session that Europe’s economic turmoil was “more of a political crisis than an economic crisis.” He asserted, “It is about the inability of European leaders to take the right decision at the right time.” Still, Liberal International President and MEP Hans van Baalen said that despite the crisis, there was still a reason for optimism when one looked at the international environment. This optimism can be translated into reality when liberals argue for greater freedom, not less, in the midst of the ongoing crisis, he said. Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Philippines Country Director Jules Maaten later pointed out that freedom can be the basis for facilitating greater cooperation amongst countries, particularly in terms of trade. Indeed, the first session reiterated that freedom should be the core value when countries trade with one another. It also highlighted that trade should not only be in terms of goods, but also of services. European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom said, however, that while increasing labor force mobility was desirable, it was not politically feasible at the moment. This was unfortunate as Asia’s comparative advantage is in terms of labor. Cambodian opposition MP Saumura Tioulong remarked as well that the plight of some Asian countries is made worse by their position in the international trading regime, where they are relegated to the production of raw materials and low- technology goods.
Delegates from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Burma at the Grand Place 20
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Delegates with ALDE President Guy Verhofstadt
With Susanne Hartig of the European Liberal Forum
Dinner after the chocolate workshop at La Maison des Maîtres Chocolatiers Belges
PARTICIPANTS BURMA Win Htein Nyo Ohn Myint CAMBODIA Ir Channa Sam Rainsy Saumura Tioulong INDONESIA Hanjaya Setiawan MALAYSIA Ng Lip Yong MONGOLIA Togtokh Battsetseg PHILIPPINES Jerry P. Treñas
SINGAPORE Bryan Lim SRI LANKA Rajiva Wijesinha THAILAND Nutt Bantadtan FRIEDRICH NAUMANN FOUNDATION FOR FREEDOM Hans H. Stein Jules Maaten Moritz Kleine-Brockhoff
LIBERAL INTERNATIONAL Hans van Baalen Emil Kirjas Robert Wintraecken INTERNATIONAL NETWORK OF LIBERAL WOMEN Christine de Saint Genois INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF LIBERAL YOUTH Thomas Leys
ALLIANCE OF LIBERALS AND DEMOCRATS FOR EUROPE Brenda Ramjee Opal Joy Brown Emmanuel Gregoire Metin Kazak Pascal Kerneis Silvana Koch-Mehrin Cecilia Malmstrom Therese Murdock Niccolo Rinaldi Marietje Schaake Peter Thompson Willem van den Broucke Guy Verhofstadt Ian Vollbracht Graham Watson
ALDE-LAT Eynar de los Cobos Carmona Buchard Enrique Rodriguez ALDE-PAC Hon Sall Amadou Ciré
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By the second session, it was being pointed out that development should not be the only goal of trade. Trade should also be the means to achieve other objectives such as environmental protection and promotion of labor rights, as noted by the European Commission’s Peter Thompson. ALDE Coordinator for Urgencies Marietje Schaake MEP supported this view, noting that economic interest should not be separated with the values that Liberals hold dear such as human rights, democracy, and rule of law, among others. Sri Lankan MP Rajiva Wijesinha warned though that adding such social standards in trade agreements could also run the risk of having these clauses turned into trade barriers. He also emphasized the need to ensure that monitoring of the clauses’ implementation should be based on objective assessment. Session Three, meanwhile, emphasized the need to promote trade in all fronts, whether through bilateral trade agreements or multilateral trade negotiations. With the Doha Development Round
Speakers on multilateralism versus bilateralism in international trade
stalled, all the panelists in this session agreed that bilateral agreements should be pursued as the second best option. In their view, bilateral agreements are not contradictory to multilateral negotiations, but are actually building blocks to it. A discussion session was then held where participants from Latin America (ALDELAT) and Africa (ALDEPAC) shared their experiences on trade and compared them with those of Europe and Asia. The meeting was officially closed by ALDE Vice President and MEP Niccolo Rinaldi, who expressed his appreciation for the productive and meaningful discussions on how to make trade mutually beneficial to all concerned. As CALD Chairperson and Cambodian opposition MP Sam Rainsy also pointed out, “Trade is related to other values that we hold dear, particularly human rights and individual empowerment. In this respect, is not an end in itself, but only a means toward a higher end: the betterment of the individual.”
CALD, ALDE, and FNF representatives at the closing session
Jules Maaten, Guy Verhofstadt, Graham Watson, and Sam Rainsy
Rajiva Wijesinha and Graham Watson
The ALDE-CALD Summit was also an opportunity to network with Latin America
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Tasting Belgian chocolates at the Grand Place
The 5th ALDE-CALD Summit opens at the European Parliament
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Siem Reap, Cambodia | 17-20 August
7th CALD Communications Workshop THE activity had been aimed to prepare young leaders for their future political campaigns. But with the young participants at the 7th CALD Communications Workshop so gung-ho to “change the governing system,” “tear down walls in the minds,” and firestart an “intelligent revolution,” this particular set of Asia’s future might just have always been ready for any political challenge or task. For four days in August, twenty-one young leaders from nine Asian countries delivered persuasive speeches on their topics of interest, including gay rights, social media, and their passion for political involvement, in preparation for their future electoral campaigns. They were all participants in the latest CALD communications workshop – “Strategic Political Communication for Youth Candidates” – but their enthusiasm would have made any observer think they were launching real campaigns. Dutch communications consultant Pam Evenhuis facilitated the workshop that was held in Siem
Reap, Cambodia – in a site that was just a stone’s throw away from the historical complex of Angkor Wat – from 17 to 20 August. Evenhuis asked participants to identify their personal ideals, and they committed to education reform, people-powered politics, transparency, solidarity among generations, and good governance. The communications experts also gave tips on speech delivery, political goals, and branding. He added, “What is very important within political communication is the ability to communicate in such a way that the receiving end can remember. You should be able to build such a reputation that, instantly, we remember who you are.” CALD Secretary General Dr. Neric Acosta, meanwhile, provided inputs on characteristics of successful campaign messages and making sound political statements and speeches. A veteran public speaker, he stressed the importance of connection with the constituency, context, content, and conviction in speeches. Acosta also challenged participants to recognize their purpose. “The
PARTICIPANTS CAMBODIA Heng Chaosay Sann Seakkin So Channtha INDONESIA Maria Restu Hapsari Irine Yusiana Roba
MALAYSIA Lim Teck Ang Simon Ong
SINGAPORE Sheeba Balakrishnan Frederique Soh
THAILAND Nutt Bantadtan Premmanat Vajrabhaya
MONGOLIA Akmurat Eedgee Monsor Nyamdavaa
SRI LANKA Selyna Peiris Upali Saddananda
PHILIPPINES Herminio Bagro, III Samuel Nantes
TAIWAN Anne Chen Edgar Chan
FRIEDRICH NAUMANN FOUNDATION FOR FREEDOM Juliane Schmucker Neang Sovathana
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF LIBERAL YOUTH Ivo Thijssen
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Young leaders and future candidates
purpose will always connect to a passion—why you love doing it,” he said. “Only when you are clear about purpose and passion will you know how to proceed.” Also on hand to show her support for the workshop’s young participants was CALD Women’s Caucus Chairperson and Cambodian opposition MP Mu Sochua. “I want to have a conversation with you,” she said during her remarks that she gave on behalf of the Sam Rainsy Party. “I think I’m here to listen to you because if the party wants to maintain its stance, its ideology, and its dream, it has to always be young.” For sure, the activity brought participants closer to the liberal ideology and its international networks. One of the workshop’s resource persons, Ivo Thijssen, bureau member of the International Foundation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY), pointed out that liberalism is about individualism and the right to self-determination. He discussed the attacks against “the individual” by other ideologies, and gave examples of IFLRY’s work on issues, including freedom of expression and climate change.
Up Vajrabhaya and Akmurat Eedgee
Apart from learning from the presentations of the resource persons, participants actively engaged in group activities where they identified liberal responses to healthcare, education, human rights, poverty, and anti-corruption. They also built campaign plans, taking into account the importance of volunteers and how to attract and engage them. The workshop, which included the CALD Youth Executive Committee Meeting, is a precursor to the proposed CALD Youth Festival to be held in 2013.
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Bangkok, Thailand | 16-19 November
CALD Conference on Democratic Transitions UNCERTAINTY. With this word, former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva provided the link between the seemingly disconnected themes of two events that CALD held back-to-back in Bangkok in mid-November. CALD had partnered a half-day seminar on climate change with a longer conference on Burma’s political transition and Khun Abhisit was the keynote speaker for the twin events. Anyone still scratching his or her head over what looked like an odd pairing probably thanked the astute Democrat Party of Thailand stalwart when he observed: “Uncertainty, whether we like it or not, is just part of our lives, and increasingly so, whether it is a natural phenomenon…with human contribution such as climate change and its effects, as well as political uncertainties (such as) democratic transitions… which unsurprisingly, in a world of rapid changes, is likely to arise not just
in countries moving toward democracy but also in established democracies….” The climate change seminar took place in the morning of 16 November (See In Focus section). By the afternoon of the same day, delegates were ready for Event Two: a one-day conference on “Managing Burma’s Political Transition: The Challenges Ahead.” CALD Chairperson Sam Rainsy and DP Foreign Affairs Chair Kiat Sitheeamorn gave the welcome remarks. Dr. Myo Aung of the National League of Democracy of Burma (NLD) then gave the first presentation for Session One, which focused on crafting a political pact between competing forces. The Burmese legislator, who talked about the transition and contextual problems faced by Burma, said that while the NLD is not considering
PARTICIPANTS BURMA Myo Aung Naing Ngan Lin Nyo Ohn Myint CAMBODIA Sok Hour Hong Ry Long Sam Rainsy Saumura Tioulong HONG KONG Sin Chung-kai
INDONESIA Hanjaya Setiawan Ihsan Yunus MALAYSIA Lau Chin Hoon Ng Lip Yong MONGOLIA Kh. Bat-Yalalt Demberel B. PAKISTAN Sobia Kazim
PHILIPPINES Neric Acosta Nancy Catamco Chito Gascon Carla Paz Manto SINGAPORE Surayah Akbar Solange Chee James Gomez SRI LANKA Kamal Nissanka Selyna Peiris Rajiva Wijesinha
TAIWAN Anne Chen Kuang-Jung Hsu Sophie Ping-Ya Hsu Shih-Chung Liu Yi-Jin Yeh THAILAND Nutt Bantadtan Kiat Sittheeamorn Nataphol Teepsuwan Abhisit Vejjajiva
FRIEDRICH NAUMANN FOUNDATION FOR FREEDOM Katrin Bannach Poraporn Chatramongkhol Pimrapaat Dusadeeisariyakul Jules Maaten Juliane Schmucker
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The Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan with Khun Abhisit
a “formal pact with party” at present, “this is not to be excluded in future policy.” Hong Kong lawmaker Sin Chung Kai of the Democratic Party followed this up with a look at the operation of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council or LegCo. While he noted that there had been small successes in making LegCo more democratic and inclusive, he pointed out that the influence of China remains a stumbling block in Hong Kong’s transition to democracy.
The third session featured speakers with first-hand experience on peace negotiations and peacebuilding – just the thing for the focus on forging ethnic harmony and a democratic union. Nyo Ohn Myint, a member of Burma’s peace negotiation panel, updated the participants on the progress of peace negotiations with Burma’s ethnic groups. Philippine Undersecretary Chito Gascon, member of the Technical Working Group on Power Sharing in the peace negotiations in his country, shared some lessons learnt in the ongoing peace talks
Session Two had speakers from Burma, Thailand, and Singapore sharing their thoughts on establishing democratic institutions and the rule of law. NLD’s U Naing Ngan Lin had a practical suggestion, commenting, “(In) order to promote sustainable development, public participation, transparency and accountability, and also in order to uphold the rule of law, (democratic) institutions still require to be strengthened. In strengthening these institutions, capacity-building training, workshops, seminars, and the like are necessary.” DP Director General Nataphol Teepsuwan meanwhile turned the issue on its head by pointing out that institutions and the law could also be used against democracy, particularly by persecuting the political opposition such as what was happening in Thailand. The session was concluded by Dr. James Gomez, policy unit head of the Singapore Democratic Party. Although he began by talking about the challenges to building democratic institutions and the rule of law in his country, Gomez wound up his presentation with a discussion on the role of civil-society organizations in the development of nascent ASEAN human rights regime.
Freedom to Organize
between the Government of Republic of the 27
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Sam Rainsy and Neric Acosta launch CALD’s newest publication
Philippines-Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GRPMILF). Gascon noted that ethnic conflict is an issue that should be addressed head on because it is ultimately “a hindrance to development, a hindrance to social inclusion, and a hindrance to democracy itself.” Sri Lankan Presidential Adviser on Reconciliation Rajiva Wijesinha then discussed Sri Lanka’s experience, arguing that the solution to the problem of ethnic conflicts lies on a basic Liberal principle -- “the idea that society consists of individuals, and theories of governance should be based on the welfare of individuals, not particular interest groups.” Political economy and environmental protection was the topic of the fourth and last session. Professor Hsu Kuang Jung of Taiwan expounded on the link between democracy and environmental movements in Taiwan, as well as on cases (nuclear power and waste/petrochemical projects) that manifested the dynamics amongst the government, political parties, and civil society organizations in the formulation, implementation, and revision of environmental policies.
center of climate change and political transition issues. “Democracy after all is not about governments,” he said. “It is rather about the governed. Political parties therefore must…enhance the power of individuals to make decisions. Better understanding of the needs of others is vital…but so too is awareness of the consequences of the decisions we make.” CALD Chairperson Sam Rainsy officially closed the seminar/conference by conveying his wish that the back-to-back events would hopefully “make us better equip in our country, in our region, regarding climate change and democratic transition.” He then enjoined CALD to continue its revered tradition of discussing the most relevant and most provocative themes in its annual conferences -- for this has been most helpful not only to CALD members, but also to the broader cause of democracy and freedom in the region and beyond.
Dr. Wijesinha provided the sessions synthesis, stressing democracy should be at the front and
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Kiat Sitheeamorn, Nutt Bantadtan, and Sam Rainsy
Selyna Peiris, James Gomez, Nataphol Teepsuwan, and Naing Ngan Lin
Nyo Myint, Lau Chin Hoon, Chito Gascon, and Rajiva Wijesinha
Selyna Peiris with Fredo
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Climate Change 30
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Climate of Change CAN A LIBERAL AGENDA INCLUDE CLIMATE CHANGE? by Dr. Neric Acosta Those of us in the environmental advocacy front and also affiliated with liberal networks are asked time and again if addressing climate change can really be a part of a ‘liberal agenda.’ The working premise or assumption being that the narrative of climate change and the official, government-led responses to such militate against the tenets of individual freedom and enterprise. The extreme position on this would be one of outright denial of climate change, or at the very least, a disputing of the science behind the entire discourse on a warming planet gravely altering climatic patterns across continents. Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’ is a hoax, they say, and anything that has to do with the discussions on climate change necessarily points to bigger government spending and state interventions on private business and economic activity. The ‘green front’ is all about being alarmist and its proponents nothing more than doomsday-scenario criers, they point out, with reason to get the powers of the state breathing down the necks of private enterprise, as it were. The latter – such as it is manifested in terms of higher taxes on carbon emissions and fossil fuels -- is seen as downright interventionist and a curtailment of economic freedom. Capping emissions based on inter-governmental targets are disincentives to business. This, all told, becomes a thoroughly anti-liberal stance. The less extreme view, but one more agnostic, would point to climate change and its impacts as imminent reality, but perhaps not as bad as it is made out to be. In this case, the apocalyptic scenarios of rising sea levels and severe weather disturbances are not entirely something to fear. In this respect, money used for climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies – from shifting to renewable sources of energy to increasing disaster-preparedness and risk-management – can be used in arguably more cost-efficient and higher value-for-money ways or better cost-benefit analyses. Bjorn Lomborg, renowned economist and author of the widely-popular 2001 book “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” is one such prominent voice in this school of thought. Why spend for longterm, amorphous mitigation programs when such resources will go a long way towards addressing poverty and malnutrition in the developing world, or curbing malaria and other pervasive but rehabilitative diseases, or reforesting denuded mountains? This is no doubt about the valid issues of cost effectiveness, various externalities and resource use to raise here. But if economies are derailed and political and social dislocation happen because of climate events that occur with increasing ferocity and frequency – typhoons, flooding, landslides, excessive rainfall, droughts – then we need to ask about not just the cost of climate change programs and interventions, but also about the higher cost of inaction and the lack of
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I N F O C U S | Climate Change
overall preparedness. If infrastructure and property are damaged extensively because of one super storm like Hurricane Sandy in New York and the US East Coast, or if industry and manufacturing grind to a halt because of months-long flooding in Bangkok and outlying provinces, or if agricultural productivity is lost because of a protracted drought in Australia, or if ‘climate refugees’ multiply and face health epidemics in congested evacuation centers or camps such as those in the Philippines, then climate change programs become simply, inarguably a matter of economic and social survival. If one were to take the perspective of all this being a planetary emergency, climate change cannot be simply a part of any political agenda, or a matter of ideology, but an imperative for every government and society to embrace. If it is the imperative we know it is, then our actions – whatever our political persuasion – must be geared towards this mode of survival and longer-term sustainability. Yet if we are to be fastidious about it, the liberal agenda should see climate change from the prism of three elemental principles: freedom, rights and the rule of law. Freedom in the form of information and the access to all available data and the scientific research on meteorology and climate is key in understanding the realities of a climate change. It is also about freedom in terms of human security, especially those who are poor and have less access to income and opportunity – to be free from the fear of losing homes and lives because of the increasing and widespread impacts of natural disasters and calamities. The flip side of this coin of freedom is about rights. The right of every citizen and household and community to information and all available knowledge about risks and vulnerabilities that attend climate change realities, and the right to be free from forms of danger and risk to life and livelihood. These are rights that are inalienable for every individual. When Typhoon Sendong (international name Washi) tore through Northern Mindanao, Philippines in December 2011, the local government of the region’s premier city (where devastation was staggering with over 3,000 deaths and untold damage to property) was caught woefully unprepared. It was soon revealed that the city did not have a comprehensive land use plan and geo-hazard zones were not clearly defined to have a risk reduction and management plan in place for highly vulnerable and poor communities. Worse, populist programs initiated by local politicians allowed landless families to build makeshift dwellings on hazardous riverbanks and riverbeds over time, irresponsibly putting thousands of lives in harm’s way when the rivers swelled and countless logs from denuded forests upstream were violently swept to sea. Humanitarian aid and reconstruction efforts were largely mismanaged in the wake of the disaster, and to this day, charges of corruption hound fuller rehabilitation and resettlement programs. This leads us to the fundamental requisites of good governance and the rule of law in addressing climate change and its impacts. In an age of increasing uncertainty and mounting vulnerabilities, ill governance and the absence of transparency could prove nothing short of fatal. To effectively adapt to climate change impacts and increase the resilience of communities, an accountable government, an informed citizenry, and a vigilant, free press become unassailably critical. The answer to the question raised at the outset is clear. Climate Change is and should be in the liberal agenda or platform. This is, all told, the kind of political climate that needs to change: that the more democratic, free, well-governed -- and yes, liberal -- a society, the more resilient it becomes in the face of physical risks and hazards that come with the unsettling vagaries of climate change.
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“Addressing Vulnerability, Fostering Adaptation”
CALD Climate Change Workshop II
Cagayan de Oro & Bukidnon, Philippines | 10-14 February 2012 Dealing with the “New Normal” TYPHOONS are common occurrences in much of the Philippines, but the island of Mindanao down south is among the areas in the country that are spared of such nasty weather. Or at least it used to be. In mid-December 2011, a superstorm called “Sendong” (international name: Washi) lashed through northern Mindanao and ended up taking more than 1,400 lives. Most of those killed were residents of Cagayan de Oro City, capital of the province of Misamis Oriental, many of them victims of flashfloods and landslides triggered by Sendong’s heavy rains. It thus only made sense that when CALD convened for its second workshop on climate change just a couple of months later, it chose to do so in Cagayan de Oro City. Meant to continue the regional grouping’s discussions on the “new normal” that is climate change, the workshop took on the theme “Addressing Vulnerability, Fostering Adaptation.” Specifically, the workshop, which was held 10-14 February, looked at the impact of erratic weather patterns caused by climate change on the health, safety, and livelihoods of people – particularly the poor. Moreover, it highlighted the importance of different adaptation strategies to decrease the vulnerability to climate change and increase resilience to future impacts. The event began with an opening conference organized in cooperation with Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan. Philippine Presidential Assistant on Climate Change Elisea “Bebet” Gozun, the main speaker, talked about the devastation wrought by Sendong in Cagayan de Oro, the issues and problems that arose in the relief and rehabilitation efforts, and the strategies being pursued by the Philippine government to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Secretary Gozun also identified in her speech practical steps every individual could take in order to lessen global warming. Engineer
Dexter Lo of Xavier University, meanwhile, gave a stimulating presentation on the scientific information gathered pre- and post-Sendong, and how such data could have been used to increase the resilience of Cagayan de Oro residents. The formal workshop sessions started the next day. In his welcome remarks, CALD Chairperson Rajiva Wijesinha reiterated the importance of disseminating information on how climate is changing and its possible impacts. He said, though, that this phenomenon presents not only threats but also opportunities. Wijesinha then noted “the need for maximizing economic opportunities for the worst off in the interventions we propose to mitigate the effects of climate change.” FNF Philippine Office Country Director Jules Maaten, for his part, drew attention to the difficulties in making ordinary people act on the issue of climate change. “As liberals,” he said, “we should be in a better position to inspire people to action because of our more nuanced understanding of human nature.” In his presentation, Philippine Climate Change Commissioner Naderev “Yeb” Sano discussed the progress (or lack of it), in international climate change negotiations, highlighting in particular his experience in the conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South
Participants at the opening conference in Xavier University—
Africa. Lamented Ateneo de Cagayan Sano: “Negotiators in Durban 33
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I N F O C U S | Climate Change
essentially agree to do nothing about climate change until 2020.” CALD Secretary General Neric Acosta then tackled the threats brought about by erratic weather patterns, and how good governance can address these risks. Guided by these inputs, the last workshop session focused on specific CALD policy positions on three policy areas: 1) land use and demographic settlement; 2) water-related issues and marine and coastal resource management; and 3) renewable energy, investment and economic opportunities. In the end, the participants agreed to press for: Collation and active dissemination of relevant information with regard to the sources of risk; Coherent policies with regard to land use, and mechanisms for enforcing such policies at all levels of government;
On the last day of the workshop, the participants visited several areas in Cagayan de Oro that had suffered the brunt of the devastation caused by Sendong. Their “city tour,” however, also included rehabilitation/relocation areas that showed the rehabilitation efforts undertaken by the national and local governments, civil society organizations, and private individuals, particularly in providing temporary shelter and sustenance to the displaced. The day before, the participants were also able to visit Kampo Juan in the nearby province of Bukidnon, showcasing an eco-farm based on the principle of climate-smart tourism. CALD Secretary General Acosta, who calls Bukidnon his home province, hosted a sumptuous dinner for the participants at his residence there, the perfect end to a fruitful day.
Exploration of alternatives on the basis of propoor policies that stress the need to ensure equitable opportunities for all;
Community based preparation and early warning systems;
CAMBODIA Saumura Tioulong
SINGAPORE Frederique Soh
HONG KONG Hui Chi Fung
SRI LANKA Rajiva Wijesinha
Recognition of the importance of water conservation and management at all levels (rain-water harvesting, ground water retention, development of small reservoirs and local distribution systems);
INDONESIA Wijaya Dwiatmaja Taufan Tampubolon
TAIWAN Lee Yu-Jung
The development of alternative energy sources with encouragement of investment in bio-energy plants, as well as solar and wind energy; and
MONGOLIA Zorigt Erdenechuluun
Community involvement in mechanisms to preserve and maximize resources, including reforestation;
The development of partnerships and cooperatives for diversification of agriculture with support for bio-energy sources in tandem with food crops.
Construction at a relocation site for flood victims
MALAYSIA Ng Lip Yong
PHILIPPINES Neric Acosta Love Basillote Phillip Fullon Mylene Garcia-Albano Mel Senen Sarmiento Von Vargas
THAILAND Chuenchob Kongudom Dee Dee Tangsanga FRIEDRICH NAUMANN FOUNDATION FOR FREEDOM Jules Maaten Jury Peralta Asit Prueangwet
Visit to one of the devastated areas in Cagayan de Oro
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“Towards a Liberal Climate Change Agenda in Asia”
CALD Climate Change Conference Palawan, Philippines | March 23-28, 2012
More Than Words IT was supposed to be the culminating event in the first phase of CALD climate change initiatives, and so it was only fit that the CALD conference on the phenomenon in Palawan, the Philippines, in late March would conclude with adoption of a statement on climate change. The statement, described as both “practical” and “policy-relevant,” addresses broad issues such as policies and mechanisms for building adaptation and resilience, as well as specific concerns such as water-related issues and marine/coastal resource management, land use and demographic settlement, and renewable energy, investment and economic opportunities. (See CALD Statement on Climate Change)
Mayor Edward Hagedorn of Puerto Princesa, Palawan
The two-day conference in Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan province in west-central Philippines, had brought together representatives from CALD member-parties and civil society organizations to craft a regional climate-change agenda that reflect the positions and aspirations of Asian liberals and democrats on the issue. With the theme “Toward a Liberal Climate Change Agenda in Asia,” the conference was held from 23 to 28 March. It was opened by the keynote address of Palawan Governor Baham Mitra, who emphasized the need for multilateral, inter-agency, and multisectoral collaboration to address climate change. Remarked Mitra: “For us Asian liberals, Asian leaders, let us be decisive – may ‘one Asia’ direct our future moves and actions, may it inspire our governing strategies, may it guide our vision as leaders in making this planet an even better world and home to live in for mankind.” CALD Secretary General and Philippine Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection Dr. Neric Acosta then facilitated a plenary session that had Philippine Presidential Assistant Bebet Gozun, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) President and CEO Lory Tan, and Sri Lankan MP Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha serving as speakers. In her speech, Secretary Gozun noted the vulnerability of the Philippines to climate change impacts, saying that unless action is taken now, decades of growth will be wiped out, poverty will be exacerbated, and the very survival of humans will be at great risk. Tan, for his part, cited a study on policy interventions that can be done to build a climate-adaptive and climate-resilient society. But then he pointed out that policies are just like the “tip of the iceberg,” and that much more remains hidden, and much more needs to be done in terms of implementation. Dr. Wijesinha, meanwhile, raised interesting points that kept the ears of participants perked, such as: liberalism should not be construed as 35
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I N F O C U S | Climate Change
essentially pro-capitalist, naked power of market forces is destructive, and government intervention in certain areas like social policy and climate change is beneficial. The day was capped by a video message from Sweden’s Environment Minister Lena Ek, who reminded everyone of the importance of the upcoming Rio+ Conference in June 2012. Day Two’s panel discussion on sustainable development was facilitated by Dr. Wijesinha, with Philippine Climate Change Commissioner Yeb Sano, Ng Lip Yong of the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, and El Nido Foundation Executive Director Irma Rose Marcelo serving as speakers. Ng highlighted renewable energy and economic opportunities in a green economy, while Marcelo described the major programs and projects of her foundation, focusing on key issues and challenges in planning and implementation which could be of interest to policy-makers. Commissioner Sano commented, “From a liberal standpoint, sustainable development can be viewed in terms of ‘timeless freedom.’ By building climate-resilient society and economy, countries can ensure that the needs of the present generation are met, without compromising the right of the future generations to meet their own needs.” After the talks, the participants divided themselves into three working groups based on the following policy areas: 1) water-related issues and marine and coastal resource management; 2) land use and demographic settlement; and 3) renewable energy, investment and economic opportunities. A working draft, containing policy statements culled from CALD’s two previous climate change workshops were provided to each group for discussion, which was conducted through three rounds of world cafe. Commissioner Sano facilitated the session on the working group results, which commenced with the presentations of the three table hosts followed by an open forum. The session ended with the unanimous adoption of the Statement on Climate Change, signed on behalf of CALD by the members of the CALD Climate Change Committee namely Dr. Acosta, Dr. Wijesinha, and Mr. Ng.
Other event highlights included the dinners and cultural shows hosted by Governor Mitra (March 24) and Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn (March 25), as well as a tour of Puerto Princesa Underground River, one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” (March 26). The participants also attended the conference “Changing the Climate Toward Good Governance” organized by FNF Philippines on March 27.
Participants and speakers of the CALD Climate Change Conference
Before the Underground River tour
At the dinner and cultural show hosted by Mayor Hagedorn
PARTICIPANTS BURMA Nyo Ohn Myint CAMBODIA Mardi Seng INDONESIA Taufan Tampubolon
MALAYSIA Lim Thuang Seng Ng Lip Yong MONGOLIA Tungalag Davaa Tegshjargal Erdenechimeg
PHILIPPINES Neric Acosta Mylene Garcia-Albano Ron Gutierrez Lex Tupas Von Vargas
SINGAPORE Surayah Akbar SRI LANKA N. Nimal Ranjan Rajiva Wijesinha THAILAND Akanat Promphan
FRIEDRICH NAUMANN FOUNDATION FOR FREEDOM Jules Maaten Asit Prueangwet Minnie Salao
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“Best Practices on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Preparedness”
CALD Climate Change Seminar Bangkok, Thailand | 17 November 2012
Infinite Green Ideas CALD’S Climate Change Seminar in Bangkok on 17 November lasted just half a day, but there was no doubt it had produced a lot of food for thought for the participants. Facilitated by CALD Secretary General and Philippine Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection Dr. Neric Acosta, the seminar tackled successful cases of climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness in Asia. The theme of the short seminar was set by Acosta’s introduction, which focused on the concept of “ecological overshoot.” “Humanity is simply demanding more than the earth can provide,” Acosta said. He then laid down the core dilemma in the economy-environment nexus: “What happens when an infinite-growth economy runs into a finite planet?” Three distinguished resource persons were invited to share their thoughts on this fundamental question. Environmental lawyer Antonio Oposa expounded on the dynamics between environment and development, and emphasized the need to change mindsets to promote the conservation, protection, and restoration (CPR) of the environment. He also pointed out how the law and education could be used to address climate change, highlighting in particular the Philippine-based initiatives Global Legal Action on Climate Change, or GLACC, and School of the SEA (Sea and Earth Advocates). School of the SEA is a learning center for sustainable living that is itself fully dependent on renewable energy. GLACC meanwhile goes through the legal system to persuade authorities to implement environmental laws that have long been ignored. Dr. Jerry Velasquez, Senior Regional Coordinator of UN International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Asia-Pacific Office in Thailand, shared the findings of the Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2012, particularly the lessons on how to reduce vulnerability and exposure to disasters. He argued that there is a need to re-evaluate the basic understanding of
disaster risks, to intensify and broaden vulnerability reduction, to focus on enabling development strategies that reduce exposure, and to promote a direct approach to reduce disaster risks. Finally, UNISDR Champion for Making Cities Resilient, Alfredo Arquillano Jr., vice mayor of San Francisco town in the central Philippine islands group Camotes, shared his municipality’s best practice, which he called the “Sanfran Camotes Approach.” He described this as a practical approach in building climate-change adaptability at the local level, which includes measures from eco-waste management to th creation of a environmental law enforcers group.
Dr. Jerry Velasquez of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction Asia-Pacific office
Seminar participants with Khun Abhisit
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C A L D S TAT E M E N T O N
Climate Change We, the representatives of the Democrat Party (Thailand), Democratic Progressive Party (Taiwan), Liberal Party (Philippines), Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, Singapore Democratic Party, Liberal Party (Sri Lanka), National Council of the Union of Burma, Sam Rainsy Party (Cambodia), Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, and Civil Will Party (Mongolia), full member parties of CALD, on the occasion of CALD Climate Change Conference in Palawan, Philippines, following on our previous workshops in Bangkok, Thailand (28 November-1 December 2011) and Cagayan de Oro/Bukidnon, The Philippines (10-14 February 2012); Aware that the Asian region is one of the most vulnerable areas to climate change, with climate change impacts resulting in immense loss of life, livelihood, property, and sense of security of the region’s inhabitants; Recognizing further that Asia is home to a large number of poor people; and the more we neglect the ecosystem, the more we lessen the capacity for inclusive growth and consequently, deepen further the poor’s poverty; Acknowledging that climate change can result in sea-level rise, increase in temperature and extreme weather, variations in rainfall, floods and also desertification, all of which have repercussions on the lives and livelihood of people as well as the environment; Noting that vulnerability to climate change is partly due to absence or lack of adequate enforcement of environmental laws and regulations, resulting in denuded mountains, clogged waterways, polluted bodies of waters, among other problems; Acknowledging the importance of adequate information, accurate scientific data and research, and effective institutions to address the problems of climate change; Emphasizing that adaptation to climate change will have to focus on integrated water, land, and coastal resource management; Recognizing the importance of educational and information campaigns in enhancing the awareness of all stakeholders, including the general public, on the adverse impacts of climate change and what can be done to address them; Underlining that mainstreaming the issue of climate change is vital to ensure the attention of all political parties; Highlighting the need to formulate roadmaps and action plans with clear targets in order to ensure proper monitoring of progress or lack thereof; Noting that, given also the lack of progress in international climate-change negotiations, national and
local initiatives to address climate change must be promoted and encouraged; Emphasizing that an effective response to climate change requires not merely government regulation, but also deregulation as appropriate and the provision of appropriate incentives for stakeholders; Recognizing that climate change is related to economic development, and that sustainable development and green economy must be the aim of every society; Noting that climate change presents not only threats but also opportunities, particularly opportunities to institute changes in society towards sustainable development; Sharing a vision for an Asian region resilient and adaptive to climate change, and supporting global, regional, national and local efforts to combat climate change with emphasis on the need for those most responsible for climate change, in particular, to take remedial and recompensatory action; Do hereby: On Policies and Mechanisms to Address Climate Change 1. Urge Asian governments not only to have clear and coherent policies regarding landuse, water, forest and coastal conservation, but also to ensure strict enforcement at all levels of government on the basis of equity and transparency; 2. Ensure that policies are based on consultation with stakeholders and focus on community oriented pro-poor perspectives, and encourage community involvement in initiatives to preserve and protect the environment; 3. Affirm the need for regional, inter-agency and multisectoral collaboration in addressing climate change, with particular attention to reducing socio-economic vulnerability; 4. Suggest that a specific percentage of the national budget should be allocated to finance climate change planning, activities, and policy directions; 5. Underline the importance of adhering to the principles of good governance, particularly transparency and accountability, in any measure to combat climate change; 6. Urge governments to adopt general guidelines, including market reforms that would encourage full private sector awareness and
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involvement, to promote green, more carbon neutral economies; On Building Adaptation and Resilience 7. Ensure inclusion of climate change and disaster risk information in national education systems as well as community-based awareness programs, with particular attention to decision-makers and administrators, while encouraging community-based preparation and early-warning systems, as well as mitigation and risk-reduction activities; 8. Recognize the particular vulnerability to disaster of poor communities, reiterate the importance of immediate rehabilitation and resettlement of those who have been affected by erratic weather patterns brought about by climate change, as well as the enactment of measures that aim to return their life to normalcy even while in rehabilitation centers; On Water-Related Issues and Marine and Coastal Resource Management 9. Recognize the crucial importance of water resources in addressing problems arising from climate change and environmental degradation, promote expanded rainwater harvesting; water storage and conservation techniques; water re-use; desalination; efficiency in water-use; protection of mountain (snow and ice) and other water sources; and efficiency in irrigation; 10. Recommend that water harvesting and conservation should be accompanied by the development of green spaces as well as inland fisheries on a sustainable basis; 11. Encourage governments to develop effective policies for reversing coastal degradation whilst ensuring the full involvement of local communities in preparation and implementation of plans, that will also encourage local business opportunities that promote sustainable development; 12. Aware that problems with regard to water can lead to regional tensions, encourage active inter-regional cooperation that addresses specific issues in a spirit of understanding and promotion of mutual benefits; On Land Use and Demographic Settlement 13. Support rainforest and forest protection and expansion, with particular attention to rehabilitation of degraded watersheds; 14. Register the increasing problem of land degradation, caused often by indiscriminate exploitation of mineral resources, and also the problem of desertification, assert the importance of developing counter-measures and concerted action to reverse this process
and ensure continuing land use for pastoral and agricultural communities; 15. Recognize that unequal development leads to potentially destructive demographic change, advocate programs to increase opportunities and facilities in rural areas and areas currently being denuded of populations; 16. Acknowledge that populations will move to areas with natural resources, advocate regulatory control of such resources through community-based mechanisms; 17. Recommend limitations on hill-slope settlements and developments that cause landslides, and strict enforcement of relevant regulations; On Renewable Energy, Investment and Economic OpportunitiesÂ 18. Highlight the importance of transition to renewable energy in promoting more sustainable and efficient economy, with emphasis on research and development that encourages public-private partnerships; 19. Develop alternative energy sources with encouragement of investment in particular in bio-energy plants, and others such as solar and wind energy; 20. Forge partnerships and cooperatives for diversification of agriculture with support for bio-energy sources in tandem with food crops; 21. Recognize that market reforms and a competitive environment could assist in improving energy efficiency and reducing pollution; 22. Emphasize the need to invest in climateresilient or climate-proof infrastructure, with active private-sector participation and innovation, to produce new economic opportunities for sustainable growth; and On What CALD Can Do 23. Require CALD to produce a handbook about common challenges with reports on best practices which can be replicated. Adopted in Palawan, Philippines this 25th of March 2012. For the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats: Neric Acosta
Ng Lip Yong Members of CALD Climate Change Committee
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OPENING KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY SRI LANKAN MINISTER OF JUSTICE
Hon. Rauff Hakeem CALD General Assembly March 2012 | Colombo, Sri Lanka Bismillah al rahman al rahim. Professor Rajiva Wijesinha, my parliamentary colleague and your chairman; Sir Jules Maaten and Mister Neric Acosta at the head table; dear distinguished invitees; members of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats; ladies and gentlemen. May I at the onset extend to you the traditional Sri Lankan welcome: Ayubowan, as-salamu alaykum and wanakum. I’m indeed honored and privileged to be invited to deliver this keynote address with the subject of the populist challenge to liberal democracy. We are living in an era when we see ample testimony in different trouble spots in the world where populist movements are bringing in sweeping changes. And therefore it is very apt that we deal with the subject of challenges that are posed to the concept of liberal democracy by such populist movements. I trust I would be pardoned if I felt at the onset that the liberals and democrats in Asia had only limited leverage when it came to governance. But I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I heard Rajiva mention the predicament of both his predecessors. That indeed impressed me about the difficult political journey that many among you have undertaken in subscribing to liberal democratic principles in your own home environments. The trauma and persecution some of you undergo is something that we Sri Lankans share with you. We will always stand by you in your struggles to promote the valued principles
of liberal democracy in your own environments. Ladies and gentlemen, the term “populism” when examined in relation to democracy presents both positive and negative possibilities. The term “populist and populism” are used to describe the positive policies and movements that are concerned for welfare of the majority as opposed to favoring a small elite that often dominates political power. The term is also used to describe a negative tendency of democratic governance. There are two such negative tendencies that can be also populist. One is the tendency to whip up and implement policies that are popular but shortsighted, leading to long-term harm to the society and country such as for instance the undertaking of unsustainable debt finance subsidies and welfare payments at the expense of future generations -- as had happened in Greece, causing today a financial problem for all of Europe. The second tendency is to whip up popular support that becomes tyrannical and against the interest of minorities or small groups of people disregarding liberal values of equality, liberty, human rights, and dignity. For instance, the poor treatment meted out to Aboriginal communities in Australia in the past could have popular majority support, but it would not be considered acceptable within the wider framework of democratic principles. Therefore, populist policies can be liberal, new liberal, or neoliberal. It can be conservative,
neoconservative, or perhaps liberal conservative. Simply put, it can be left right, center, center-right, or center-left. Whatever the point you decide on, a populist movement is then required to follow a straight path from then on. The problem is that they often do not follow a straight line. These politicians often realize that the straight line in geometry is different from the straight line in politics. It is a line drawn on sand. It can be tolerant or intolerant. It can promote political participation, demagoguery, conspiracy, or simple chaos or anarchy. Populism that is intended to challenge to existing status quo can promote change. The change can mean either positive of negative outcome. The mass evolutions in eighteenth century Europe, the 1917 October Revolution, and the recent revolts against existing governments in Arab countries are populist movements. So is the Tea Party movement in the United States. So it is with the ultra-right, Front National in France. We know what populism is when we see it. We see people whose views we think we know advocate causes and issues that are diametrically opposed to what we professed earlier. In an electoral democracy, populism can either be constitutional remedy or malady. It has its unseen dangers when we do not understand what we are talking about or when we do not have an accurate understanding of what we are talking about. We do not know that trajectory of populism. We have seen politicians turned populist in some meaningful sense and also in a destructive sense.
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Politicians exist on their capacity to mobilize people. They all have narratives that are tailored to appeal to the maximum number in the widest electoral spectrum. They all know the common man, the helpless widow, the poor peasantry, and the small trader. Populism exists on perceived advantage, profit, or threat. It has no values, except that which matters to the target audience. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, we must bear in mind that when you talk of populism we need to understand that there are positive aspects of populism and negative aspects as well. The positive aspect of populism is with regard to its functional importance. First by hearing to popular views on matters, elected representative are compelled to respect the will of the people. Such a prioritization suppresses inclination toward authoritarianism and prevents oppression of the people. Now, for instance, in Sri Lanka, we try out those radical policies in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. It was not so much that our then-leaders were not liberal. They were more concerned with social justice than individual property rights. We were a post-colonial emerging nation-state. Recently, we saw Mahajana Eksath Peramuna commemorating the 60th anniversary of the 1956 electoral victory of the NEP, or rather the defeat of the United National Party. The UNP was formed by well-meaning property gentry who represented classical liberal values of private property and the liberty of the individual. That liberty, of course, in the minds of a large section of our society was a liberty affordable only to the affluent and privileged individuals.
populism when it comes to its functional importance. By giving voice to protests, a government ensures that the matter is resolved within the system and this content does not feed into violence or sectarianism. Hence, providing a platform for popular views forms an important part of functional democracy. A good example of this phenomenon is the recent demonstrations we had here in Sri Lanka where the public protested the rise in oil prices. An optimistic view of populism would suggest that the government is obliged to tolerate said demonstrations. Then, the negative aspect of populism is with regard to its substantive, practical tendency for short-sightedness as well as for tyranny of the majority. When it comes to shortsightedness, the present generation is engaged in production and consumption activities that can make the planet significantly warmer and causing terrible chaos in the future, with melting ice caps and increase in sea levels. Moves for more judicious policies, however, may not be popular because they can affect immediate well-being of the population. Populism in the United States is one reason it has been so difficult to get global agreement on Kyoto Protocol or any comparable pact for preventing future ecological calamity. Then we come to the other strand of the negative impact of populism; that is, the issue of the tyranny of
majority. Liberal democracy is based on the idea that certain rights and freedoms are protected even from popular will. For instance, a person’s right to profess any particular religious faith is something about which popular electoral will should have a say. Furthermore, liberal democracies are also predicated on the expectation of fellow feeling or fraternity. That is, the idea that there is general empathy and concern amongst all in society with regard to the needs and problems of others. When such fellow feeling is absent, popular voting can result in supporting policies that are harmful and tyrannical toward some. When societies divided strongly around identity lines -- be they religious, class, or ethnic identities -- then the negative aspect of populism has to be protected against. At present, there is a controversy in the U.S. state of New York about a police practice of deploying a high level of surveillance against people in societies simply on the basis of them being Muslim. Many democratic and civic-minded Americans, as well as sections of the American media, have come out in protest against this practice. However, it could be a practice that has popular support even though it is prejudicial practice implemented unequally against an identifiable minority in the population. In Sri Lanka, postindependence populist movements under protection of Sinhala Buddhist
The political movement unleashed in 1956 was described as a populist movement. The leaders of the NEP did not reject Locke, Rousseau, and John Stuart Mill. They were, however, skeptical of the market that was yet in the firm grip of the departing colonials. The Raj relinquished political power but held the strings of economic power. That was the background in which the populist movement brought a sweeping change in our electoral politics in the post-independent Sri Lanka. So therefore ladies and gentlemen, I now come to the second aspect of
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cultural heritage have reaped many unfortunate legacies that recent governments had to grapple with. Therefore ladies and gentlemen, as a real political system existing in the world today, democracy represents a synthesis of two norms: the sovereignty of the people and the constitutional basis of state. These two norms must be worked into a complementary relationship without allowing either to contradict the other. On the one hand, democratic principle postulates a form in government in which power is always exercised in the name of the people. This is the essence of popular sovereignty, which is entrenched in Article III and IV of our own constitution. On the other hand, the constitutional state is an essential response to the problem that democratic means can be used to take forward policies that are against the long-term interest of the population and also against minorities within the population.
“...liberalism is about freedom and our constant struggle to be free of any form of servility. It is economic freedom. It is freedom of communication in this age of digital communication. It is freedom for nations such as Sri Lanka when powerful members of the global community pursue smart power. “
Constitutionalism hence ensures that the rulers chosen by the people are controlled by the way they exercise power. It defines an area of protected rights and obligations that cannot be impinged upon even by a democratic majority, however large this majority may be. It is important to note that constitutionalism can only be institutionally guaranteed by various checks and balances on the exercise of power. For instance, this principle finds its most visible expression in legal parlance in the process of judicial review -- a safeguard that is not yet fully available in Sri Lanka. We do have pre-enactment review. But post-enactment review is not part of our constitution. If committed through liberal democratic principles, Sri Lankan politics clearly require a significant shift away from some aspects of negative populism toward a more principled constitutionalism. The scope for this shift is still not very apparent to us. However, the future fulfillment and safeguarding of the rights and interests of minority communities in Sri Lanka is contingent on such a shift. In this context, Sri Lanka political actors have democratic responsibility to balance the interest of popular partisan movements with longertermed, principled constitutional goals. It is only through such a transformation that Sri Lanka be truly
characterized as a liberal democracy in the future. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, to sum up, if I may say this, can we reach consensus on the obvious lessons of modern history: Political liberalism as we understand it today is not as old as the American constitution, because the founding fathers owned slaves. Their ‘liberalism’ has to be seen in the context of an age in which enslavement of a people was a Christian act. American liberal thought would later be championed by a descendant of the slaves and a Christian missionary of exceptional genius, Dr. Martin Luther King. Our present liberal value propositions are different from those of the days of empires and colonial conquest. Liberal values are not as old as the Kandyan Convention that made Ceylon a crowned colony. That experience gave us the knowledge of the Magna Carta. Should I forget that my community received shelter and protection in the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka from King Senarat -- when the Portuguese invaders persecuted our forefathers for professing Islam, King Senarat had no inkling where Runnymede was. But the Sinhala monarch knew persecution of a people when he saw it. Ignorance of history is just as bad as opposition in history in shaping our new liberal values. Now I arrive at my destination: liberalism is about freedom and our constant struggle to be free of any form of servility. It is economic freedom. It is freedom of communication in this age of digital communication. It is freedom for nations such as Sri Lanka when powerful members of the global community pursue smart power. Professor Joseph Nye of Harvard University recommends that the United States pursue smart power. The new doctrine of smart power (a combination of the carrot-andstick, soft power, and hard power), the liberal thought, in this part of the globe has to recognize the need to evolve our own smart power that can shield us from invasive designs of others. Therefore, there’s nothing wrong with liberalism. What is wrong lies with the definition we give it. Thank you.
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CLOSING KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY ELDR PRESIDENT
Sir Graham Watson, MEP ALDE-CALD Meeting June 2012 | European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium Chinese and Indian Dominance in Asia? FOR at least a thousand years, coinciding roughly with the epoch of the second millennium in the Christian calendar and therefore mainly before the age of European colonization, China and what is now modern-day India were the two leading civilizations in Asia. They tended to have their own fairly distinct spheres of influence and they tended to have little interaction with each other. China could hardly be described as a Liberal country, but it was an important center of study and learning and debate. Kong Fu, the man we know as Confucius, was a conservative thinker. But Mong Ke, or Mencius - Confucius’ main interpreter -- was more Liberal. Debate was kept internal; those beyond the Middle Kingdom were viewed as barbarians. It was only as imperial China crumbled that Liberal ideas -expressed by people like Cun Zhong Shan or Sun Yat Sen -- were enriched by thought from other civilizations. India, by contrast, though more heterogeneous, was a testing ground for Liberal ideas. The great Mughal emperor Iqbal was codifying a bill of rights in India’s constitution at the time at which in Europe a man called Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for being a heretic. Indian thought fertilized Asian civilization beyond India’s borders perhaps more than Chinese philosophy. And this was important, because prior to around 1820 China accounted
for around 33% of the world’s manufactured goods and India for around 25%. Most of this trade was in their respective parts of Asia. The second half of the 20th century, in which ideological warfare became dominant, witnessed heightened tensions between the elephant and the dragon over disputed borders. Tibet no longer served as a buffer state. There was geopolitical competition for power, influence, resources, and markets. Fast-forward to today: China has had an annual growth rate close to 10% in the last two decades and has become an engine for growth for Asia and the world. Deng Xiaoping’s open-door policy from 1979 has been a great success in economic terms. In the second quarter of 2010 China became the second largest world economy and may become the first by 2030. China’s per capita GDP remains far behind those of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and many Western economies, but it is catching up. China’s share of total world GDP was less than 5% in 1950 but is estimated today to be around 15%. In political terms, however, the country is little freer than before, other than superficially. India’s trade opening came much later, after 1990. It enjoyed growth rates of around 6% in the first decade of the this century and incomes per capita more than doubled in the 25 years between 1990 and 2005. But politically the country has atrophied; freedom and justice exist in principle, yet are often far from realized in practice.
Both India and China seek an international status that is commensurate with their size, strength, and potential. Their cultures require them to regain the power and status their leaders consider appropriate. The rise of China has prompted many fears in India that the world’s most populous country is seeking to be Asia’s sole “Middle Kingdom.” After all, as one Chinese saying goes, “One mountain cannot accommodate two tigers.” There are also concerns among other Asian countries, which are generally keen on a multipolar Asia; they fear that “China likes multipolarity on the global level, but is less keen on it in the region.” This fuels an arms race involving two powers that are so obsessed by the threats they face that they often appear unaware of the threats they pose. Both claim not to be expansionist powers: in the case of China, the recent developments in the Spratly Islands give cause for doubt. India has a lot of catching up to do -- economically and militarily. Many Indians see China as predatory in trade and are concerned about being left behind as India has a lower growth rate and less foreign investment. There are overlapping spheres of influence, resource scarcity, and rival alliance relationships -- competition rather than cooperation -- particularly in Asia but also in Africa and Latin America.
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“Our role as Liberals, recognizing that China and India will remain important powers in Asia and that Liberalism is the guiding ideology in neither, must be to seek to influence domestic debate in each and to prepare strategies to deal with the consequences of illiberal policies that either must pursue. “ Both sides are developing free trade agreements with other countries as there is no sign of any meaningful conclusion of the Doha Round. India is currently negotiating about a dozen FTAs, many with Asian countries. The economic and financial crises in the EU (and also in the United States) have pushed both countries to seek to expand their trade with Asia as the proportion of their trade with Europe has declined. Look at South Asia, for example. China has been the fastest growing economy in the region for the last decade and has surpassed India in terms of growth, world-trade share, price competitiveness in product manufacturing, and winning oil deals. It has been improving its trade and investment relations with South Asian countries through treaties and bilateral cooperation, notably the 2006 FTA with Pakistan. Beijing has supported states (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka) that can act as counterweights to India. Nearly 90% of Chinese arms sales go to countries in the Indian Ocean region (based on 2009 figures). Traditionally, India has been the major trading partner with its South Asian neighbors. But China’s trade has surpassed India’s in nearly every year since 2000. What about in Southeast Asia and East Asia? India’s “Look East” policy involves an expanded role for India in Southeast Asia and East Asia in order to tap into South East Asia’s dynamic economic growth and secure its energy supplies. But it is also so that “at the least to avoid Southeast Asia from becoming China’s exclusive influential area; at the best to make Southeast Asia from becoming a force containing China, just like China makes Pakistan a force containing India.”
There was an eightfold increase in India’s trade with ASEAN countries from 2000 to 2010. ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan also said India would be a future engine of growth in Southeast Asia. In 2010, India-ASEAN trade was $55.3 billion.
In theory, the partnership of China’s manufactures and India’s technology and service sector could make “Chindia” the “factory and back office” of the world. But China wants to beat India in the services sector as well.
But this is still dwarfed by China’s trade with ASEAN, which was $292.78 billion in 2010 -- boosted by the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, which came into effect on 1 January 2010 and which is the world’s largest free trade area in terms of population. It is also the third largest in terms of nominal GDP. Interestingly, the ASEAN- India FTA came into effect at the same time.
The trade objectives of China and India (source of markets, energy supplies, etc.) are translated into a more assertive policy and often a military build-up.
In the meantime, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization strengthened China’s economic and strategic cooperation with Central Asia with a 1,000-km long oil pipeline from the Karazhanbas field to Xinjiang. Deng Xiaoping once said, “Only when China and India develop well can one claim that the century of Asia has come. If China and India strengthen cooperation, Asian unity, stability, and prosperity will be very hopeful, the world will be in peace and make more progress.” Both countries see the current world order as outdated and designed to perpetuate the domination of Western powers. This is actually one of the guiding principles of the BRICS grouping. Both China and India recognize the common threats of terrorism, separatism, and religious extremisms. But they can either cooperate or compete over oil and gas, since both need energy resources for development. And while China-India bilateral trade has risen from $350 million in 1993 to $73.9 billion, India’s trade deficit with China is $27 billion.
Many Asian countries see India or China as a counterweight to the other Asian giant -- e.g. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are keen to have strong links (including trade links) with China as a balance to India. Nepal tends to try to “play one off against the other.” But other countries, particularly those in Southeast Asia, do not want to be overdependent on China. Our role as Liberals, recognizing that China and India will remain important powers in Asia and that Liberalism is the guiding ideology in neither, must be to seek to influence domestic debate in each and to prepare strategies to deal with the consequences of illiberal policies that either must pursue. We know that freedom is equally important to people in all countries and all cultures. We must promote the idea that democracy consists of more than regular elections; it involves freedom of conscience, of belief, of expression, of propagation of ideas; freedom of speech and assembly; a free press; good governance, including government being honest with its citizens; and responsible stewardship of the planet we inhabit. I have been sustained and upheld in recent years by the admirable swaying fretwork of the Liberal intelligence so evident in the work CALD has done. Keep up your best efforts!
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KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY FORMER THAI PRIME MINISTER
Hon. Abhisit Vejjajiva CALD Conference on Democratic Transitions November 2012 | Bangkok, Thailand MR. Chairman, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. First of all allow me to extend a very warm welcome to all the participants of this seminar and also the subsequent meeting and conference that will take place here. In true liberal democratic fashion I am slightly confused about the topic that I am going to speak on because I was originally approached to speak on Burma -- only to discover that the seminar today is on Climate Change. But both topics are really about uncertainty. And uncertainty, whether we like or not, is just part of our lives and increasingly so, whether it is a natural phenomenon (of course with human contributions such as the climate change and its effects ), as well as political uncertainties -- democratic transitions being the focus here, which surprisingly in a world of rapid changes is likely to arise not just in countries that are moving toward democracies, but even in established democracies that find themselves, their institutions, and their political cultures also in need to adopt to the changes happening in the world. So after getting clarification that I am not expected to speak on both topics, I will begin with Climate Change. The points that I would like to emphasize follow very much on from the experience that we have had in this region. Asia and Asia Pacific have been exposed to a number of natural disasters that have taken place in recent years.
This is probably one region that bore the brunt of such a phenomenon. Regrettably, there has been so many losses of lives and property. We have also had disruptions to our lives and to our economies and societies during these events. We have to face up to the fact that a lot of our countries, societies, and economies are not yet well prepared to deal with these natural disasters, which are becoming more common, more frequent, and often more severe in their impact. I am talking here about flood, storms, droughts, and earthquakes that have hit many countries in the region. Thailand as you know has been no exception. If you think back about this time last year, a sizeable part of the capital was under -- and indeed almost half the country was -- under water for a long period of time. One of the most important lesson that we found and learned from the event last year was that the losses could have been avoided. We may not be able to control the amount of rainfall, we may not be able to control the weather. But with better management, with better preparations, and with a number of changes or even reforms to some of our systems, many of the losses could have been avoided. One of the most important things that I think needs a lot of attention but is often not discussed is this issue of communications. I know that there will be a lot of focus on the need of built infrastructure to deal with some of these phenomena. I know that there has to be emphasis,
too, on the financial and economic side in term of preparedness, insurance, and instruments that will help countries and economies get through these disasters. But what we learned was that the people and the society as a whole could cope with these phenomena far better if there is good and strong communication -- from early warnings to dealing with the actual disasters as they happen. Evacuation plans, relief efforts, coordination -- these we have seen over the last year in Thailand could all be improved. But to improve depends, of course, on the way national government officials and local officials deal with informing the people. Raising the awareness of people about the risk of natural disasters, though, is a major challenge. What we learned especially last year was that in several areas where there has never been flooding, people were simply not simply of the risks. Worse, even when they received warnings, they didnâ€™t believe the warnings. They would argue that they had lived there for decades and no flooding had ever occurred. So the challenge countrywide in Thailand -- and I am sure this is same in other countries -- is in raising the awareness of people about the very real changes in climate patterns and the risks they will face because of these. Unless you can convince people that these are real risks, it would be extremely difficult to organize and manage the way people act once these events occur. I am not taking away from any 45
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discussion that will follow today on the issues of infrastructure and the need for better financial instruments. But I would just like to draw your attention particularly to this issue of public communications and the ability to coordinate in terms of issuing warnings and also to relief efforts and evacuation plans. If there is marked improvement in the management of these operations, we are confident that the losses that we have seen in the past could very much be avoided. The only other issue that I will touch upon in terms of climate change is the need to focus on regional efforts. I say that because often we are looking at problems in either national terms or from a global perspective. One thing that is clear is that the global effort to deal with the problems of climate change has been a long drawn-out process that is making very, very slow progress. This is not surprising. We see similar problems when we talk about security and the role of United Nations. We see similar problems in trade when we look at the WTO negotiations. To expect some kind of global initiative, to expect any global mechanism that will help all of countries to deal with the problems of climate change would not be realistic. At the same time, despite a number of good national initiatives or progress that are made in number of countries, we have also to concede that when a major disaster strikes, the capacity of each nation would be limited. This is why we also need to look for regional solutions and initiatives. I would urge that whether it is the ASEAN or ASEAN-plus framework, this grouping or this cooperation must really expand upon initiatives to deal with problems of disaster reliefs and preparedness for climate change. ASEAN has already made some initiatives. For instance, on the food security problem, there is the emergency rice reserve agreement with the Plus-Three countries. During my time as chair, we very much urged the defense ministers to coordinate and cooperate as far as disaster-relief efforts were concerned. But more needs to be done, particularly concerning the need for some kind of regional fund, as well as for regional plans in terms
of what facilities could be offered within the regions as far as relief operations are concerned. These are just my thoughts that I will add to what are bound to be very substantive discussion on dealing with climate change. Now for democratic transition, another form of uncertainty or risk. As I said earlier, we should not be afraid of the uncertainties we face when it comes to political transitions. I also said that even for the established democracies, there would still be need for institutional changes and cultural changes to deal with the changing world. But for countries still making that transition to democracy, the challenge is even more difficult. We have all been pleasantly surprised by the speed by which reforms have taken place in Burma, but we should also recognize that there is a long, hard road ahead. I am very much impressed by the concept paper for this conference and the sessions that will be run. I think you have already identified the four important steps for a successful democratic transition. So just let me add a few more thoughts on these. First, I think we all recognize that the democratic transition in Burma cannot happen without some kind of political pact. Clearly, the interests of the military and the interests of the political parties need somehow to be aligned. For so long they have been involved in conflict, itâ€™s never going to be easy to reconcile those differences and take things forward. The remarkable progress that has been made in the last year or so can be credited to the leaders: the President on one hand and Aung San Suu Kyi on the other. The reforms or changes that have already taken place clearly could not happen if the President did not have that political will and courage to carry them out. At the same time, the reforms that have taken place so far would have never been orderly had Aung San Suu Kyi not been so graceful and so restrained in her pursuit of the ideology she has believed in all her life. But the political pact needs to go beyond leaders. And as the transition moves ahead, it is extremely important that the two sides
understand what this pact is. We cannot expect everybody to just follow their leaders as we go through this transition. But somehow this pact, which I think is somehow implicit, has to become more transparent so that each side is comfortable with the moving ahead of this transition to democracy. This is something that clearly Burma needs to get to grips with itself. I would be extremely hesitant and reluctant to suggest that any outsider make recommendations about what kind of pact should be reached between the parties. While we all want to contribute to the progress and transition in Burma, we have to be careful that any outside contribution will not upset the balance of this political pact that will sustain this transition to democracy. Secondly -- and I think this is a point that is well understood by all of us here as liberals and democrats -- one cannot over emphasize the importance of institution building, as well as political and cultural developments to sustain democracy. You may have leaders who have the right intentions and right ideas, you may have basically a framework or some kind of a roadmap to democracy. But in the end, to achieve democracy -- particularly liberal democracy -- you need the institutions, the cultures, and political behaviour to sustain that. We are talking here about rule of law, transparency, and all the facets of good governance, concepts of accountability, concepts of participation, and so on. The challenge in Burma is how to build up these institutions as quickly as possible. As we all know, the speed of this success of such institution building process will also depend upon the public, to understand and to be well aware of what is required in a democratic society. Here I think many of us can contribute in terms of our experiences, in terms of looking at best practices and past episodes in a number of countries. For example, countries like Indonesia, which has gone through a very successful transition over a decade now, could provide some insights. The third element that is in the concept paper and will be discussed later is the issue of dealing
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with ethnic groups and minorities in Burma -- because democratic transition will also depend upon the need to achieve peace and end the conflicts with such groups. Again, I would be very wary of any outside contributions regarding what kind of solutions should be reached. Clearly, there has to be more decentralization, a certain degree of autonomy, but exactly how much and what exactly is acceptable in the society is very much for the stakeholders to decide for themselves. Maybe the Philippines could talk about the progress they are making in Mindanao, with of course the contributions from Malaysia, among others. The situation that we face in Southern Thailand makes us all aware of the sensitivities and difficulty of finding for a political solution to the problem. But it has to be an essential part of this transition. The final point: again this is in the concept paper, which talks about the need to encourage democratically friendly and environmentally friendly investments. I would maybe expand the focus to include the need to create a market system in Burma. It is my belief that liberal democracy and the market system feed on each other and that political freedom and economic freedom go hand in hand. I have yet to find a successful and sustained instance of having one without the other. If we go by past experiences, a transition from a controlled economy to a market economy is not easy. That process of liberalization, of deregulation itself, has a number of technical difficulties. Politically, the process would also run up against vested interests that will provide strong resistance to that change. The transition to the market economy is not just about laws and regulations on the economy; it is also about the fostering of a vibrant private sector that would have to take over from the controlled economy. Now, when you talk about democracy-friendly investments, I believe we are thinking about the possibility of foreign investment that would be pouring to Burma given the opportunities that she offers. My point that I would like to emphasize most is whether the economic structure that will emerge
from this transition will help the democratic transition or not will very much depend on the competitive environment that emerges. There will be real risk if the opening up of the Burmese economy leads to basically a transfer of military or government monopolies to new private monopolies. Whether they are local or foreign, these new monopolies will not help democratic progress, as we have seen from the experience of a number of Eastern European countries. A transition to market economy that is tainted with corruption and that in the end basically just transfers economic power from one small group to another can have very damaging effects on political developments, not to mention democracy, and could lead to fresh conflicts. These are the key elements that I think Burma would have to face up to. The discussion that you will have tomorrow on these issues would be very important, and I hope they will provide insights for Burma and also other countries that are still under going democratic transitions. I began by saying that the two issues are about uncertainty and this is a fact of life, so we should face up to this uncertainties, face up to these challenges, without fear. The key to all this is adaptability. Adaptability is best served when we encourage people to exercise their freedoms and rights and we provide the environment for those freedoms and rights to be exercised fully. That’s basically the belief of all of us here, liberals and democrats. Let’s move ahead together, lets provide whatever knowledge, experience that we haven’t shared with each other and make sure the whole region can deal with natural disasters and also challenges like democratic transitions successfully. I wish the conference and seminar every success. Thank you very much.
“We have to face up to the fact that a lot of our countries, societies, and economies are not yet well prepared to deal with these natural disasters, which are becoming more common, more frequent, and often more severe in their impact. “ 47
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RESOLUTIO NS Resolution No. 1 S. 2012 Issued 12 January. Recognizes the significance of Taiwan’s 2012 joint presidential and legislative elections in safeguarding and consolidating the country’s democratic gains in the past three decades; hopes that the elections would be free, fair, peaceful, and truly reflective of the will of the Taiwanese people; urges the international community to take interest in the conduct of the polls and to support the duly elected government; and reaffirms its support to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) enduring commitment to safeguard Taiwan’s democracy and establish an accountable, transparent and efficient government.
Resolution No. 2 S. 2012 Issued 8 March. Commends Dr. Tsai Ing Wen’s inspiring, constructive, and dignified stint as chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan; recognizes her outstanding efforts in strengthening the party in the past four years, with her vision and dedication to it laying a valuable foundation for the DPP’s future; and acknowledging her contribution in promoting liberal values and democracy within and outside Taiwan.
Resolution No. 3 S. 2012 Issued 23 July. Welcomes the issuance of ASEAN Statement on the Six-Point Principles on the South China Sea that reaffirms the regional grouping’s appeal for continued exercise of self-restraint and non-use of force by all parties, and for peaceful resolution of conflicts in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law; acknowledges that the statement’s release was prompted by the intransigence of current ASEAN Chair Cambodia to issue a joint communiqué reflective of regional security concerns; and urges ASEAN to enhance its centrality in the region by maintaining its unity amid challenges to regional cohesion and autonomy.
Resolution No. 4 S. 2012 Issued 28 November. Expresses concern on China’s inclusion of disputed or national territories in the map imprinted on its new electronic passport; recognizes that the act may be construed as provocative by other Asian countries; calls on ASEAN, China, and other claimant parties to hasten the adoption of the Code of Conduct to the South China Sea, and to be fully committed to its implementation once adopted; and urges all concerned countries to respect each other’s territory and maritime jurisdiction, as defined by international law, in the spirit of peaceful, constructive, and amicable settlement of disputes.
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STATEMENT & LETTERS A significant event prompted CALD’s one other statement for 2012, aside from the one on climate change: the planned merger of Cambodia’s two main opposition parties. Issued on 18 July, soon after the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party announced in Manila their intent to bring their forces together, the statement also welcomed the formation of the Cambodia Democratic Movement for National Rescue as SRP and HRP finalized their merger and moved toward the creation of a new political party. The “impending merger and the formation of the movement…respond to the clamor of the people to have a unified voice that calls for good governance, protection of human rights, and respect for the rule of law,” CALD said in the statement. “CALD strongly believes that with a genuine stand to pursue democratic changes and with a clear purpose to stand by the will of the Cambodian people, SRP and HRP…as one unified democratic force can lead (Cambodia) toward a more democratic, peaceful, and prosperous future.” Earlier in the year, CALD had fired off a letter to the Liberal network, appealing for members and friends to express solidarity with exiled Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who has been “perennial target of political harassment and persecution by the ruling Hun Sen government.” The 20 February letter also urged Liberals to put pressure on Cambodian authorities to allow the duly elected MP to return home and continue his work there safely. It reasoned, “The stability of democracy hinges on the presence of strong opposition parties which can realistically challenge the governing party - or coalition of parties - controlling the mantle of government – without which democracy deteriorates into a rule of the worst, most abominable form.” Most of CALD’s letters during 2012, though, were prompted by more positive events. An 8 March missive to Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung Suu Kyi, for instance, extended CALD’s good wishes and support to the democracy icon and her party, the National League for Democracy, as they prepared to participate in their country’s by-elections. Wrote CALD: “You can be assured that as you enter this critical juncture in your history, we at CALD will be a constant source of strength and hope, knowing fully well that the path to democracy could be arduous and difficult.” In a 15 June letter, meanwhile, CALD congratulated Su Tseng Chang for his election and inauguration as chairperson of the Democratic Progressive
Party and expressed its confidence in his ability to “sustain and build on the gains” of his immediate predecessor, Dr. Tsai Ing Wen, toward a “stronger DPP that is ready to take the helm of power and implement a program of government that truly caters to the interests of the Taiwanese people.” CALD also took the opportunity to laud the appointment of Liu Shi Chung as DPP International Affairs Department head, writing that it looked forward to working with him “in strengthening further our relations, toward our common goal of a more democratic and peaceful Asian region.” CALD found time as well to write letters of appreciation to various members of the CALD family. On 30 May, for example, CALD wrote a thank-you letter to Dr. Oyun Sanjaasuren, co-chair of the Civil Will Green Party, for CWGP’s hosting of the CALD Mongolia Seminar and Study Visit on 23-28 May. It also wished the CWGP all the best in Mongolia’s 28 June parliamentary elections. MEP Niccolo Rinaldi, vice president of CALD partner organization ALDE, was another recipient of a CALD letter, which expressed the group’s gratitude for his and the rest of the ALDE team’s efforts to make the 5th ALDE-CALD biennial summit in early June substantive and memorable. In the letter dated 15 June, CALD noted the “high quality of the discussions and debates, as well as the level of organization” of the summit, and thanked Rinaldi for his “warm hospitality and pleasant company.” By 18 November, another CALD letter was on its way to Daw Aung Suu Kyi, this time to thank her party for nominating Burmese MPs Dr. Myo Aung and U Naing Ngan Lin of the NLD to attend and participate in the CALD Conference on Democratic Transitions and Seminar on Climate Change in Bangkok on 16-19 November. Wrote CALD: “The presentations and interventions of Dr. Myo and Mr. Naing have proved to be most helpful in understanding the current situation in Burma as it undergoes a political transition.” But there was one letter that CALD wished it never had any reason for writing: dated 21 August letter, it extended CALD’s deepest sympathies to the Liberal Party of the Philippines for the untimely demise of Philippine Interior and Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo, who was also the LP executive vice president. In the letter addressed to LP President Mar Roxas, CALD called Robredo, a muchloved public servant, a “liberal stalwart who turned good governance into a reality and who inspired fellow Filipinos to strive for excellence in public service through transparency and accountability.” 49
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BULLETIN Two times lucky
“CALD is Solidarity in Action” – Sam Rainsy HE’S done it before, and for the next two years he will be doing it again. In early March, Cambodian opposition leader and exiled MP Sam Rainsy became CALD chairman once more, having served in the same capacity in 2000 to 2002. His election was ratified by the CALD General Assembly that convened in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 8-11 March. A day before the General Assembly, the CALD Executive Committee endorsed the assumption of Sam Rainsy Party as the new CALD Chair-Party. In his acceptance speech, Sam Rainsy laid out his strategic vision for CALD: “CALD is solidarity in action. In the next two years as CALD Chair-Party, the Sam Rainsy Party will strive to further strengthen and deepen the bonds amongst CALD members, and even extend our reach to other like-minded political parties, toward our goal of forging a more liberal and democratic Asian region.”
The 63-year-old former Cambodian finance minister also identified the main issues and challenges confronting CALD member parties in their respective countries, and said that CALD could be of assistance by either expressing support and encouragement or by being a voice of dissent and condemnation, depending on the situation. In Cambodia, there is no doubt on what role CALD should play, Sam Rainsy said. He described Cambodia as “arguably the most democratically backward country in the Southeast Asian region” where the opposition is routinely persecuted in order to preserve the totalitarian hold of Hun Sen, now the world’s longest ruling dictator. Sam Rainsy then noted that he himself has been on selfimposed exile in Paris for a year now because of the threat he and his party posed to the dominance of Hun Sen’s ruling party. The position of CALD chair rotates among the network’s full members every two years. Sam Rainsy will be CALD chairperson until 2014.
Recording and reliving highlights
Think Freedom: CALD reflects on 2011 MARKING firsts in Burma. Being graced by heads of government. Hosting liberals worldwide during their first Congress in Asia. Holding the last major event on an epic island to discuss pluralism. These
were some of the highlights for CALD in 2011, which can be relived through its annual report. With the theme “Think Freedom,” the 2011 edition was launched during the CALD General Assembly
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For national interest
Cambodian Democrats & Patriots Unite THERE is strength in numbers – as well as in having a common vision and conviction. On 17 July in Manila, the leaders of Cambodia’s top opposition parties, the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) and the Human Rights Party (HRP), issued a joint statement announcing their decision to unite “in accordance with the Khmer people’s will in order to save Cambodia by bringing about political change to put an end to a dictatorship serving destructive foreign interests.” The merger between SRP and HRP, which came after two days of careful deliberations, aims to directly oppose the dictatorial government that lies at the root of Cambodia’s problems. Indeed, the ruling Cambodia People’s Party (CPP) has been recklessly exercising its power in violation of human rights and without consideration of national interests. It is this government that has led Sam Rainsy into multiple self-imposed exiles to avoid imprisonment for politically motivated charges.
in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 8-11 March. This marked the eighth year that CALD has published an annual report. Apart from accounts on CALD projects, the publication also included messages from CALD leaders, memorable speeches from CALD conferences, and news and information on CALD member parties.
During his exiles, the Cambodian MP has turned to the CALD Secretariat on multiple occasions to host critical meetings and planning sessions. On 16 to 17 July 2012, the Secretariat once again proudly acted as host to SRP and HRP for discussions that eventually led to their historic decision to unite. The union of these two parties aims to establish a genuinely democratic regime in Cambodia that caters to the national interest. Among the union’s many goals are two important objectives: First, it intends to change the composition of the National Election Committee and overhaul election procedures to ensure free and fair elections. Second, it aims to promote free and full participation of the political opposition by halting the use of the judiciary for political intimidation and harassment. The joint statement announcing the union of SRP and HRP follows:
inspiration for the following year to come. As CALD Secretary General Dr. Neric Acosta put it in his message in the 2011 edition, “To fight and hope are two sides to a liberal coin. Just as it was in 2011, so shall 2012 continue to bear this out for all of us who call CALD our bastion of noble struggle and blazing hope.”
The CALD annual report serves not only as a memento from the year that was but also as an
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JOINT STATEMENT BY THE SAM RAINSY PARTY (SRP) AND THE HUMAN RIGHTS PARTY (HRP)
In meetings between the SRP, led by its president Sam Rainsy, and the HRP, led by its president Kem Sokha, in Manila on July 16 and 17, 2012, the two parties made the following decisions:
• The SRP and the HRP will unite in accordance with the Khmer people’s will in order to save Cambodia by bringing about political change to put an end to a dictatorship serving destructive foreign interests.
• The two parties will merge to form a new party that will unite all patriots and democrats so as to establish a democratic regime that will properly defend our national interests.
• The two parties will push for the holding of free, fair and genuine elections that will peacefully lead to the desired democratic change. In this respect, the two parties absolutely insist on a change in the composition of the National Election Committee and an overhaul of the current complicated election procedures that make voting unnecessarily difficult.
• The two parties absolutely insist on the free and full participation of the leader of the opposition in the election process, so as to make any election legitimate and acceptable. In this respect, they demand that the authorities stop using the judiciary to harass political opponents and human rights defenders.
• The two parties will ensure close cooperation between recently elected leaders and members of commune councils who are party members in order to improve the efficiency of local governments and to promote democracy at the grassroots level. While the new party is being formed, the SRP and the HRP have decided to set up the Cambodia Democratic Movement for National Rescue, to unite all patriotic and democratic forces so as to begin immediately to fulfill our national mission. Manila, July 17, 2012
SAM RAINSY SRP President
KEM SOKHA HRP President
Return of a native
Yale Intern Returns To Asian Roots TWO decades after immigration to the United States from Vietnam, Chinh Pham returned to Asia – not for a vacation, but for an activity-packed internship program at the CALD Secretariat in Manila. A psychology senior at Yale University, Chinh contributed in the research and writing of the CALD Political Party Management Handbook, conducted weekly research on political developments in Asia for the CALD newsletter, and helped in developing the program for the 7th CALD Communications Workshop during his two-month internship at CALD. He also assisted in preparing the documentation of the CALD Mongolia Seminar and Study Visit and ALDE-CALD Summit, and in organizing CALD’s program archive. Chinh, whose CALD internship ran from 8 June to 6 August, also had the opportunity to observe the Sam Rainsy Party’s meeting with the Human Rights Party, attend the Liberal Party of the Philippines’ Basic Orientation on Liberal Democracy (BOLD) seminar, and visit the Laguna Lake Development Authority, which is managed by CALD Secretary General Dr. Neric Acosta. To balance things off, Chinh took a historical tour of the walled city of Intramuros and a trip to Cebu City, as well as participated in a Filipino cooking lesson. “I returned home to Asia to see a region that has undergone major transformations to become what is now a major economic player in the global arena,” said Chinh. “With such dramatic developmental changes comes the need for vast political developments in the form of democracy. In the region, CALD has served as a vital proponent of this cause, and I am extremely fortunate to have been part of the CALD team this summer.” Chinh’s internship was made possible by the International Summer Award (ISA) of Yale’s Center for International and Professional Experience (CIPE). Prior to coming to Asia, he served as campus strategist for the Yale Entrepreneurial Society, and Head Program Coordinator for the Association of Yale Alumni. “My CALD experience was one that cannot be replicated in any classroom setting, where one can learn about the harms of corruption, the need for free and fair elections, and the importance of gender equality, but may never truly understand the need for such liberal values in a democracy,” said the young Yalie. “I return to Yale with an enlightened perspective on Asian politics, and my internship at CALD will undoubtedly prove to be a valuable experience and an important part of my own personal growth.”
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Beyond-borders group for Cambodian democratic polls
Manila Witnesses Birth of International Parliamentary Committee on Cambodia THE call for free and fair elections in Cambodia got stronger with the 10 September official launch of the International Parliamentary Committee for Democratic Elections in Cambodia (IPCDEC) at the historic Club Filipino in San Juan City, Metro Manila. A group of like-minded parliamentarians across the globe who are in solidarity to promote full and inclusive democracy in Cambodia, the IPCDEC calls for the upcoming parliamentary elections on 28 July 2013 be free, fair, and in accordance with international standards. As attested by reports and statements from the European Parliament, InterParliamentary Union, and Liberal International, past elections in Cambodia have been plagued with violence and electoral fraud. “We want to persuade the Cambodian government to promote an environment of peace and openness for opposition parties with their leaders given free and equal chance in the political process,” said IPCDEC Chairman and Philippine Senator Franklin Drilon. “We at IPCDEC will not only work together to ensure elections are fair, we shall use our organization in restoring democracy in Cambodia to the best of our abilities. We thereby empower the Cambodian people to make a free and informed choice. Everyone in a democratic system deserves nothing less.” More specifically, though, the IPCDEC supports the support legitimate demands of the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party. These demands, which are in line with UN recommendations, are: the reform of Cambodia’s National Election Committee (NEC); and the return of Opposition Leader Sam Rainsy to Cambodia to take part in the forthcoming elections.
disenfranchised. Land grabbing is also causing political violence and unrest. Without democratic elections, there will be no channel to ease political violence.” “Cambodia is at a turning point,” he added. “The balance of power has already begun to shift. The change will be even greater if elections are democratic next year.” In a position paper, IPCDEC also pointed out: “The free world must seize the opportunity presented by these elections. Forcing the Cambodian government to play by democratic rules would not only empower the Cambodian people to determine their own future. It would also give an impetus to democracy and human rights in countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Burma, China, and North Korea. Drawing from the recent experience of Arab countries, a democratic spring in Cambodia could lead to the democratization of the rest of the Asian region.” Also at the launch were Philippine Presidential Adviser Neric Acosta, Philippine Congressman Jerry Trenas, FNF Philippines Country Director Jules Maaten, and Cambodian MPs Saumura Tioulong and Yim Sovann. Meanwhile Sam Rainsy, responded to observations that compared him to the late Philippine Senator Ninoy Aquino, who was shot in 1983 at the Manila international airport tarmac upon his return from exile. Said the Cambodian legislator: “I will return, definitely, for this election.”
Thanking Senator Drilon, Cambodian MP and opposition leader Sam Rainsy noted that the IPCDEC could contribute to the long-awaited democratic change in Cambodia. “Since 1993, elections in Cambodia have been manipulated, distorting the will of the people,” he said. “There is growing popular discontent. Forty percent of the electoral public has been
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A warm welcome for an exiled parliamentarian
Sam Rainsy Receives Warm Welcome in the Philippine Senate
HE may have trouble setting even one foot inside parliament in his home country, but when exiled Cambodian opposition leader and MP Sam Rainsy, together with his wife and fellow parliamentarian Saumura Tioulong, visited the Philippine Senate on 12 September, a warm reception awaited them. In fact, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile even went out of his way to greet the distinguished guests, who were given designated seats at the VIP area of the plenary hall. The Cambodian politicians were also officially recognized by Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III. MPs Sam Rainsy and Saumura Tioulong were in the Philippines to gather support from Philippine legislators for the International Parliamentary Committee for Democratic Elections in Cambodia, which is chaired by Philippine Senator Franklin Drilon. During their Philippine Senate visit, the couple also paid a courtesy call to Drilon and Senator Francis Pangilinan, both of the Liberal Party of the Philippines, as well as to the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairperson, Senator Loren Legarda. Like the LP senators, Legarda promised that she would help in any way she can to draw attention to the dismal state of elections in Cambodia. During the meeting with Senator Drilon, IPDEC’s upcoming activities were discussed, particularly the committee’s participation in the 58th Liberal International (LI) Congress in Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire, as well as in the 127th International Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Quebec City, Canada. “We will make use of these gatherings to raise awareness on the state of democracy and human rights in Cambodia,” said Drilon. The IPU Assembly was also brought up in the discussion with Senator Pangilinan, who pointed out that the IPU has taken cognizance on MP Sam Rainsy’s case in a number of resolutions in the past. Drilon is a Member of IPU’s Executive Committee, while Pangilinan sits in the body’s Human Rights Committee.
Earlier that day, the Cambodian guests also met another LP stalwart, Philippine House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Erin Tanada. Sam Rainsy explained why he and his Cambodian colleagues keep coming back to the Philippines: “We look up to the Philippines as a model of democracy, and we are very pleased that we are gathering overwhelming support to our cause from our Filipino parliamentary colleagues and friends. The support gives me great strength and confidence to continue our struggle for a better and more democratic Cambodia.”
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A Philippine call for Cambodian free and fair elections
Philippine Senate Unanimously Adopts Resolutions on Cambodia
FOR a change, members of the Philippine Senate were not at loggerheads with each other. Instead, on 17 September, they unanimously adopted resolutions supporting the United Nations recommendations for the organization of the national elections in Cambodia and hailing the creation of International Parliamentary Committee for Democratic Elections in Cambodia. Senate Resolution 873, sponsored by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Loren Legarda, stated that “...the Philippine Senate is in full support of efforts that will help promote the conduct of legitimate political activities by all political parties in a free and fair manner.” It added, “(The) report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights has also put forward specific recommendations to support preparations for the Cambodian national polls to be held in July 2013 and that consideration of these is crucial.” Senate Resolution 874 introduced by Senator Francis Pangilinan meanwhile expressed the Philippine Senate’s support for the formation of IPCDEC and in the promotion of “democracy and rule of law (in Cambodia), more particularly in the conduct of its upcoming elections.” The UN recommendations regarding Cambodia’s polls are contained in a Report by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia published in August. The report called for an overhaul of the NEC’s leadership and the composition so as to include balanced representation from all political parties represented in the National Assembly, with consensus required for any important decisions. The UN also calls for a political resolution of Cambodian
opposition leader Sam Rainsy’s case in order to open the way for his return and for his free and full participation in the election process. “I am grateful to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III for discussing the situation in Cambodia with me, and to other Filipino leaders from different political parties for their support for democracy in Cambodia, as evidenced by the Philippine Senate Resolution,” said Sam Rainsy. “I am also grateful to Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa for receiving me last week in Jakarta and for the fruitful discussion we had.”
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Exiled but far from bored
CALD Chair Keynotes LI Congress THERE’S no time for thumb-twiddling for this exile. At one point in 2012, CALD Chairman Sam Rainsy, who has been in self-imposed exile from his homeland, Cambodia, to avoid political persecution, even covered five continents in just five weeks – all for the cause of democracy and human rights.
Prior to his attendance in the LI Congress, the Cambodian opposition leader who is now temporarily based in France, had already visited a number of countries across continents to rally international support for the conduct of free, fair, and inclusive elections in Cambodia.
The highlight in those weeks, of course, was his delivery of one of the keynote speeches at the 58th Congress of Liberal International in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). Held on 17-21 October with the theme “Politics of Economic Development: Promoting Private Investment, Enhancing Social Responsibility,” the LI Congress was opened by SEM Alassane Dramane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, and H.E. Macky Sall, President of Senegal.
September had him meeting with government officials and members of parliament in France, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands, where he was received by Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal. He then visited the Philippines and Indonesia, where he was warmly welcomed by Filipino and Indonesian legislators. He even managed to meet with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natelegawa during his Southeast Asian trip.
In his keynote speech, Sam Rainsy drew attention to the contrast between the rise of liberalism in Asia and suppression of democracy in Cambodia. He then proceeded to discuss how the corruption of democratic institutions and processes affects economic development negatively. On the sidelines of the Congress, the CALD chairman received the Freedom Prize from an international women’s group affiliated with LI and based in Spain, Dones Per La Libertat I La Democracia (Women for Freedom and Democracy). The prize was in recognition of Sam Rainsy’s contribution to the protection and promotion of human rights, particularly the rights of women, children, and ethnic minorities.
By October, Sam Rainsy was in Australia and then New Zealand to meet government officials and overseas party supporters, before proceeding to the LI Congress. This was followed by a trip to Quebec, Canada for the 127th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, where he testified before the IPU Committee on the human rights of parliamentarians. Far from being done with North America after that, Sam Rainsy also visited other cities in Canada, as well as in the United States. There is no doubt, though, where he would be happiest: in Cambodia.
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And now, some words from the European Parliament
CALD Runs For Freedom MEMBERS of the CALD Secretariat are usually buried underneath stacks of paper, but on 21 October they came out full force to join more than 3,000 people participating in the “Freedom Run by the Lake” at Club Manila East, Taytay, Rizal, Philippines. The event, jointly organized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Philippine Office and Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), even saw the participation of national government agencies and local government units supportive of Philippine President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III’s good governance agenda. “We are celebrating our freedom to run in a clean environment,” said LLDA General Manager and CALD Secretary General Neric Acosta. “Aside from showing support for anti-corruption initiatives, this year’s Freedom Run also touches on the issue of the environment. A portion of each participant’s registration fee goes to the continuing relief efforts to communities still submerged in flood waters since the strong monsoon rains in August.” After finishing their 3K or 10K runs, the runners were treated to a short program and concert with social activist Mae Paner (a.k.a. Juana Change), singersongwriter Noel Cabango,, and concert artist Cathy Go. Cabangon and Go performed “Ako’y Malaya (I Am Free),” the theme song of FNF Philippine Office’s It’s All About Freedom campaign-project.
The European Parliament Calls for Democratic Elections in Cambodia FIGHTERS for democracy in Cambodia received yet another boost when the European Parliament on 26 October adopted a “resolution on the situation in Cambodia” that denounced serious human rights violations and called for democratic elections in 2013. Fittingly enough, the resolution came soon after the European Union was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012. The resolution noted that “according to the main findings of the (United Nations Special Rapporteur), major flaws exist in the administration of elections in Cambodia and urgent reforms are needed to give Cambodians confidence in the electoral process as the country approaches its general elections in July 2013.” It also said that the European Parliament “condemns all politically motivated sentences and convictions against political critics, parliamentary opposition politicians, notably Sam Rainsy, human rights defenders and land activists” and therefore was urging the Cambodian government and the country’s electoral bodies to implement the UN recommendations regarding reforming the poll system. In addition, the resolution expressed the European Parliament’s wish for the Cambodian government and the opposition parties to work toward reconciliation.
It’s All About Freedom aims to reintroduce and promote the concept of freedom as the key proposition in addressing the political, social and economic problems in the Philippines. Freedom Run 2012, with its calls for freedom from corruption and for freedom to have a clean and healthy environment, was certainly a step toward the realization of this goal. “All our runners got medals that say ‘Freedom is a culture and a character,’” said FNF Philippine Office Country Director Jules Maaten. “This is becoming true for the Philippines. More and more Filipinos are building a new culture where they are free from corruption and poverty.”
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A little book that could
CALD Releases New Publication on Party Management
CALD Secretary General Dr. Neric Acosta described it as a “little book,” but one that is “historic” nevertheless and which CALD members can revisit again and again as a “point of reference” or even as a “source of memories.” In truth, Freedom to Organize -- a collection of best practices in party management drawn from the experiences of CALD member-parties – is all these and more. Launched on 17 November in Bangkok (on the sidelines of CALD Climate Change Seminar and CALD Conference on Democratic Transitions), the book is actually the first offering in CALD’s Political Party Management Series, which is envisioned to include volumes on political communication and women and youth organizing. The series underscores, among others, the importance of democratic, inclusive, and transparent political parties in the success of democracy. As CALD Chairperson Sam Rainsy pointed out in the foreword to Freedom to Organize: “We cannot be effective agents of reform if we cannot run efficient, transparent, and accountable political parties. Indeed, with the freedom to organize comes the responsibility to do things right.” For sure, the book shows the many ways CALD political parties had managed to “do things right.” Or, as Acosta put it during his opening remarks at the launch, the book shows “how to better handle the difficulties that we face, not just within our political parties but also within our political systems. And with technology, the Internet, and social media, it becomes even more a horizon of possibilities out there for each of our political parties.” Jules Maaten, country director of the FNF’s Philippine Office, even said that while CALD member-parties may think that they already know everything about their fellow members, the book reveals valuable pieces of information that they can use in their own organization. Dr. Mary Dusadeeisariyakul, FNF Thailand program manager, echoed this, citing as an example the Democrat Party of Thailand, which
she said could learn from the way the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan conducts its primary elections. Meanwhile, she said, the Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia could get some ideas on how the Singapore Democratic Party uses new media to operate in a restrictive political milieu. She also said that Freedom to Organize was a welcome addition to the scant literature on political party organization in Asia. Maaten, for his part, commended the book’s practical orientation, which, he said, caters to the needs and disposition of CALD’s target audience: the officials and members of CALD member-parties. FNF supported the publication of the book.
He came, they saw, they left.
CALD chairman stands his ground in Rome
CALD Chair and Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) President Sam Rainsy and his European hosts were unfazed when the official Cambodian delegation led by parliamentarian Chheang Vun protested his attendance at the 7th Session of the Consultative Assembly of Parliamentarians
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CALD Youth beyond Asia
CALD Youth officially becomes a Regional Member of International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY) CALD’s youth wing is now a regional member of the London-based International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY)! IFLRY describes itself as a international political umbrella organization that “promotes promoting cooperation among youth and student organizations to spread liberal values.” To date, it has about 90 groups from around the world as members. CALD Youth’s application was unanimously recommended by the IFLRY Standing Committee on Membership, and unanimously voted in favor of at the IFLRY General Assembly in Chisinau, Moldova on 29 November-2 December. As IFLRY’s regional member for Asia, CALD Youth will also have a seat at the IFLRY Bureau. CALD Youth and IFLRY are now working together to see how IFLRY can be more involved in Asia.
for the International Criminal Court and the Rule of Law (CAP-ICC) in Rome, Italy on 10-11 December. According to Chheang Vun and company, Sam Rainsy was not part of their group. When it became clear that the protest would remain unheeded, the Cambodian delegation walked out and boycotted the entire Assembly. The Speaker of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and the other hosts did not stop the delegation from leaving. For this reason, the exiled Cambodian opposition leader and his wife and fellow MP Saumura Tioulong became the only Cambodian legislators present in the 7th CAP-ICC session. Sam Rainsy was registered to attend the event as CALD chairman. CAP-ICC is the only global gathering of legislators focused solely on the International Criminal Court and on the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes of international
“It is a very significant step because Asia is the first region after Europe where we now have a strong regional member organization,” said IFLRY President Thomas Leys. “It shows that the young liberals of Asia are at the forefront of connecting with international liberalism. It will really strengthen not only the cooperation between Asian liberals and the rest of the world, but will also strengthen the young liberals themselves in Asia.” CALD Youth aims to promote liberal and democratic values among Asian youth; create regional solidarity among liberal youth on issues relating to the violation of liberty, democracy and equality; and increase the participation of youth in mainstream politics. Since its formation in 2010, the organization has held international workshops on strategic planning, leadership training, and strategic political communications. Its representatives have also participated in programs organized by IFLRY, FNF, ALDE, and the European Liberal Youth or LYMEC.
concern. CAP-ICC is a project of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), a network of more than 1,300 parliamentarians from 135 countries around the world who commit to use their legislative and political prerogatives for the solution of global problems. “As observers we heard various opinions expressed by parliamentarians from all over the world regarding international justice,” said the CALD chairman. “An interesting view relates to economic crimes represented by systemic corruption, deforestation and pillaging that cause heavy human costs comparable to those of crimes against humanity and that could one day be exposed before the ICC.”
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SPEAKERS & SESSION CHAIRS TAIWAN ELECTION MISSION Chen Chung-Lin Director, Survey Center Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan
Mr. Ng Lip Yong Chairman, Central Unit of International Relations and Affairs Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia
Ms. Huaihui Hsieh Deputy Director, Dept. of International Affairs Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan
Hon. Naderev “Yeb” Sano Commissioner, Climate Change Commission & Chief Climate Change Negotiator, UNFCC Durban 2011 The Philippines
Lin Ke-Qyong Director, Internet Department Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan
Hon. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP Presidential Adviser on Reconciliation Office of the President, Sri Lanka
CALD CLIMATE CHANGE WORKSHOP II
CALD GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2012
Sec. J.R. Nereus “Neric” Acosta, Ph.D Secretary General, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection Office of the President, Philippines
Sec. J.R. Nereus “Neric” Acosta, Ph.D Secretary General, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection Office of the President, Philippines
Engr. Salvador Gerona Vice President, Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers Iligan Bay Chapter
Dr. Sarath Amunugama Senior Minister for International Monetary Cooperation Sri Lanka
Hon. Elisea “Bebet” Gozun Presidential Assistant for Climate Change Former Secretary (Minister) Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines Mr. Jules Maaten Country Director, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for FreedomPhilippine Office
Ms. Jayanthi Devi Balaguru Vice Chair, CALD Women’s Caucus Secretary General of the Women’s Wing, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Atty. Jaime Fortunato Caringal Deputy Director General Liberal Party of the Philippines Mr. Vincent Cheng Vice Chairman Singapore Democratic Party
Hon. Rauff Hakeem Minister of Justice, Sri Lanka Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Ms. Huai-hui Hsieh Acting Director, Department of International Affairs Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan Hon. Gaku Kato, MP Member of the House of Representatives Vice Director-General of the International Department Democratic Party of Japan Mr. Jules Maaten Country Director Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Philippine Office Ms. Mardi Mapa-Suplido Executive Director Youth Aid Philippines Mr. Choidorj Markhaaj Foreign Relations Advisor to the Party Leader & Member of National Committee Civil Will Party, Mongolia Mr. Ng Lip Yong Chairman, Central Unit of International Relations and Affairs Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Mr. Kamal Nissanka Deputy Leader and Secretary General Liberal Party of Sri Lanka Ms. Selyna Peiris Chair, CALD Youth President, Association of Young Liberals of Sri Lanka
Dato’ Seri Chia Kwang Chye Secretary General Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia 60
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Prof. Francisco Luis Perez Graduate Institute of the Americas Tamkang University, Taiwan Hon. Kasit Piromya, MP Shadow Deputy Prime Minister Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (2008-2011) Democrat Party of Thailand Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP Leader of the Cambodian Opposition Sam Rainsy Party Mr. Feisal Samath Sunday Times Sri Lanka Hon. Son Chhay, MP Member,Sam Rainsy Party, Cambodia Hon. Saumura Tioulong, MP Member of Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia; Former Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia Hon. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP Liberal Party of Sri Lanka Presidential Adviser on Reconciliation, Office of the President, Sri Lanka Dr. Vincent Wijeysingha Candidate for Parliament, 2011 General Elections Treasurer, Singapore Democratic Party
CALD CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE Sec. J.R. Nereus “Neric” Acosta, Ph.D Secretary General, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection Office of the President, Philippines
Hon. Elisea Gozun Presidential Assistant for Climate Change & Former Secretary (Minister), Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines Hon. Edward Hagedorn Mayor of Puerto Princesa City Palawan, Philippines Mr. Jules Maaten Country Director Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Philippine Office Ms. Irma Rose Marcelo Executive Director, El Nido Foundation Philippines Hon. Abraham Khalil Mitra Governor of the Province of Palawan Liberal Party of the Philippines Mr. Ng Lip Yong Member of the CALD Climate Change Committee Chairman, Central Unit of International Relations and Affairs Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Ms. Minnie Salao Project Manager Friedrich Naumann Foundation Philippine Office Hon. Naderev “Yeb” Sano Commissioner, Climate Change Commission & Chief Climate Change Negotiator, UNFCC Durban 2011 Philippines Mr. Jose Ma. Lorenzo “Lory” Tan President and Chief Executive Officer World Wild Fund for Nature Philippines
Hon. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP Member, CALD Climate Change Committee Leader, Liberal Party of Sri Lanka Presidential Adviser on Reconciliation, Office of the President, Sri Lanka
CALD MONGOLIA SEMINAR Dr. Rainer Adam Regional Director Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Southeast and East Asia Office, Thailand Mr. Lito Arlegue Executive Director, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Philippines Hon. Robert Woodthorpe Browne Member of the Bureau and Treasurer, Liberal International Chair, International Relations Committee, Liberal Democrats United Kingdom Ms. Erka Erdenechimeg Secretary of Foreign Relations Civil Will Green Party, Mongolia Ms. Jaslyn Go Member, Singapore Democratic Party Ms. Putri Astrid Kartika Head, Department of Human Rights, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle Hon. Ong-art Klampaiboon, MP Founding Secretary General, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Democrat Party, Thailand
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SPEAKERS & SESSION CHAIRS
Mr. Choidorj Markhaaj Foreign Relations Advisor to the Party Leader & Member of National Committee Civil Will Green Party, Mongolia
Hon Sall Amadou Ciré Senegalise National Assembly
Ms. Rosanna Ocampo Program Officer Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Philippines
Mr. Philipp Hansen ELDR Head of Political Unit Brussels Belgium
Hon. Demberel Sambuu Co-Chair, Civil Will Green Party, Mongolia Chairman, Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hon. Oyun Sanjaasuren, MP Co-Chair, Civil Will Green Party, Mongolia Mr. Mardi Seng Deputy Treasurer Sam Rainsy Party, Cambodia Hon. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP Leader, Liberal Party (Sri Lanka) Presidential Adviser on Reconciliation, Office of the President, Sri Lanka Mr. Gan-OchirZunduisuren Member of Political Council Civil Will Green Party, Mongolia
ALDE-CALD SUMMIT 2012: TRADE: FROM PATRONAGE TO PARTNERSHIP Hon. Hans van Baalen MEP President of LI Hon. Nutt Bantadtan MP Member of Democrat Party of Thailand Mr. Peter Berz Deputy Head of Unit for Relations with South and SouthEast Asia Mr. Moritz Kleine-Brockhoff Head of Asia Desk, FNS Potsdam; Former FNS Project Director on Malaysia, Burma and Cambodia
Hon. Eynar de los Cobos Carmona MP Nueva Alianza, Mexico
Hon. Win Htein MP Senior Adviser to the Office of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy of Burma Hon. Metin Kazak MEP ALDE Coordinator for International Trade and Rapporteur for the EU-Japan Trade Relations Mr. Pascal Kerneis Senior Adviser on Trade Policy Business Europe Mr. Emil Kirjas Liberal International (LI) Secretary General Hon. Silvana Koch-Mehrin MEP ALDE Shadow Rapporteur for the EU Korea FTA Mr. Bryan Lim Member of Central Executive Committee Singapore Democratic Party Mr. Jules Maaten Country Director Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Philippines Hon. Cecilia Malmström European Commissioner for Home Affairs on “EU Asia Visa Policy” Mr. Ng Lip Yong Chairman of Central Unit on International Relations and Affairs, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Former Malaysian Deputy Minister of Trade
Hon. Niccolò Rinaldi MEP EP Rapporteur for the EU Malaysia FTA and for the FTA EU-India FTA (Safeguard Clause) Hon Buchard Enrique Rodriguez MP National Assembly of Honduras for the Liberal Party Hon. Sam Rainsy MP Chair of Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Hon. Marietje Schaake MEP ALDE Coordinator for Urgencies Mr. Hans Stein FNS Regional Director European Institutions & North America Mr. Peter Thompson Director for Sustainable Development, EPAs, Agrifood and Fisheries DG Trade, European Commission Hon. Saumura Tioulong MP Member Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia; Former Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia Hon. Jerry P. Trenas MP Chairperson of the Committee on Good Government and Accountability and Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Trade and Industry, Philippine House of Representatives; Member of Liberal Party of the Philippines Hon. Guy Verhofstadt MEP President of ALDE Sir Graham Watson MEP Member of ALDE, President of the ELDR Party Hon. Rajiva Wijesinha MP Sri Lankan Presidential Adviser on Reconciliation
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7 TH CALD COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM
Hon. Nutt Bantadtan, MP Member of Democrat Party of Thailand
Sec. J.R. Nereus Acosta, Ph.D. Secretary General, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection Office of the President, Philippines
Dr. Pimrapaat Dusadeeisariyakul Programme Manager, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Thailand Office
Mr. Pam Evenhuis Communications Consultant Hon. Mu Sochua, MP Secretary General, Women’s Wing Sam Rainsy Party, Cambodia Ms. Selyna Peiris Chair, CALD Youth President, Association of Young Liberals of Sri Lanka Ms. Neang Sovathana Program Assistant Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Cambodia
CALD CONFERENCE ON DEMOCRATIC TRANSITIONS AND CLIMATE CHANGE SEMINAR Sec. J.R. Nereus “Neric” Acosta, Ph.D Secretary General, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection, Office of the President, The Philippines Hon. Alfredo Arquillano UN International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Champion for Making Cities Resilient Vice Mayor, San Francisco, Cebu Province, Philippines Dr. Myo Aung, MP Dagon Seikkan Constituency National League for Democracy, Burma
Hon. Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon Member, Technical Working Group on Power Sharing GRP-MILF Peace Negotiations Undersecretary for Political Affairs, Office of the Political Advisor Office of the President, The Philippines Dr. James Gomez Head, Policy Unit Singapore Democratic Party Professor Kuang-Jung Hsu Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University Member of the Executive Committee, Taiwan Environmental Protection Union Hon. Lau Chin Hoon State Assemblyman of Johore Central Committee Member, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Hon. U Naing Ngan Lin, MP Dakkhina Thiri Constituency National League for Democracy, Burma Mr. Shih-Chung Liu Director, Department of International Affairs Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan Mr. Jules Maaten Country Director, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Philippine Office Mr. Nyo Ohn Myint Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Committee National Council of the Union of Burma
Atty. Antonio Oposa, Jr. 2009 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Professor of Environmental Law, College of Law, University of the Philippines Ms. Selyna Peiris Chair, CALD Youth President, Liberal Youth Sri Lanka Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP Chairperson, Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats President, Cambodia National Rescue Party Leader of the Opposition, Cambodia Hon. Sin Chung-kai, SBS, JP CALD Individual Member Deputy Chairperson, Democratic Party, Hong Kong Hon. Kiat Sitheeamorn, MP Chair of the Foreign Affairs Department Democrat Party, Thailand Hon. Nataphol Teepsuwan, MP Director General Democrat Party, Thailand H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva, MP Former Prime Minister of Thailand Leader of the Opposition, House of Representatives Leader, Democrat Party, Thailand Dr. Jerry Velasquez Senior Regional Coordinator UN International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Asia-Pacific, Thailand Hon. Rajiva Wijesinha, MP Leader, Liberal Party, Sri Lanka Presidential Adviser on Reconciliation, Office of the President, Sri Lanka Mr. Muhammad Rakyan Ihsan Yunus Secretary, Department of International Affairs Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan 63
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MEMBERS & PA R T N E R S FULL MEMBER PARTY
Civil Will Green Party Civil Will Green Party was established in March 9th of 2000 as Civil Will Party of Mongolia and has held seat in Mongolian Parliament regularly. In our long journey with efforts of our leaders and members, Civil Will party has became true brand of fair and transparent party for better future of Mongolia. As a true voice of ordinary people of Mongolia, we have being vocal advocates for liberty, democracy, justice, good governance and transparency of government, for free market economy, for protection of private properties and human rights. We trust in our citizens’ wisdom for better Mongolia through transparency, unity, equality of the political system that would not divide or discriminate against any individual or group. As a first party in Mongolia to encourage non-membership participation of supporters in policy making of the party, our party platform is truly by the people for the people. The CWP consists of the following organizations: the National Convention which is gathered once in every year; the National Committee which consists of 200 members gathered bi-annually; the Political Council with 35 members gathered on monthly basis. The main executive organization of the party is the Secretariat under the direct management of the Secretary General. The municipal branches of the party operate at the grassroots level. There are 6 policy committees within the party that operate in the field of Budget and Finance, Education, Science and Culture, Legal activities, Foreign Relations and National Security. Aftermath of 2012 election, we have obtained two seats in parliament and now are one of the partners in “Government For Reform”. Our long time standing leader and party chairwoman Dr.Oyun Sanjaasuren is currently serving as Minister for Green Development and Environment. Mr.Tumenjargal, Head of our youth organization is Deputy Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism. In addition we have obtained our first ever seat in Capital City Representative’s Council.
LEADERS Co-Chairs Hon. Oyun Sanjaasuren Minister for Environment and Green Development of Mongolia, MP Hon. Demberel Sambuu Member of Parliament, Chairman of Mongolian Chamber of Commerce Mr. Enkhbat Dangaasuren E: email@example.com T: +976 11 323645 Party Secretary General Jargal Sandui Secretary General of CWGP E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +976 11 319006 International Officer Gan-Ochir Zunduisuren, Secretary for Foreign Relations of CWGP E: email@example.com T: +976 99 110973 Head of Secretariat Budbayar Ishgen E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: +976 11 319006 +976 91 914467 CONTACT CIVIL WILL GREEN PARTY OF MONGOLIA Freedom Square, Orange Plaza - 606 Chingeltei District 15141, P.O.Box- 90 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia T/F:+976 11 319006 E: email@example.com W: www.civilgreen.mn
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FULL MEMBER PARTY
Democrat Party of Thailand The Democrat Party was established in April 1946. It is one of the political parties with the longest-standing history in Southeast Asia. Currently, the Democrat Party has almost three millions members and 177 branches (as of December 31, 2011) throughout every region of Thailand. Since its inception, the party has had all together seven leaders, and four of them have become Prime Minister, namely Major Khuang Aphaiwong, M.R. Seni Pramoj, Mr. Chuan Leekpai, and Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva. For many decades, the Democrat Party has gone through several strategic political events, but it has been able to overcome them by firmly adhering to the democratic system. The history of the Party can be divided into five periods, including: •
Period 1 (1946-1967) – Party Building, Pro-Democracy and Anti-Dictatorship
Period 2 (1968-1979) – Party Rehabilitation and Democracy Promotion
Period 3 (1979-1990) – Policy Improvement and Participation in National Administration
Period 4 (1991-2001) – Leading Party of Coalition Government and Opposition.
Period 5 (2001-2011) – Contending parliamentary dictatorship and resisting the abuse of power for personal interests.
Throughout its history, the Democrat Party has always stood firm on the principles of democracy, freedom, transparency, accountability, and public participation. These principles, stipulated in the Party Guidelines, have guided the Party in the last six decades, and will continue to guide it for many years and generations to come. Under the leadership and guidance of Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva and the Executive Committee, the Democrat Party aims to provide the Thai public with a viable, responsible political alternative to the populist political environment that has been permeating the Thai atmosphere since 2001. Through various schemes and measures implemented since 2008, especially the People’s Agenda, the Party has been able to steer national development toward a new direction. It uses the idea of “policy for the people by the people,” which highlights the point that “People must come first.” The Party has assured the inclusiveness of its socio-economic policy and measures. Programs such as 15 years of free education, income-guarantee initiative for farming population, debt relief and access to micro-credits, and social and health security scheme have been launched.
LEADERS H.E. Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva Leader of the opposition in the House of Representatives Leader of the Democrat Party Hon. Mr.Chalermchai Sri-on Member of Parliament Secretary Generals of the Democrat Party Hon. Mr. Kiat Sittheeamor Member of Parliament Chairperson, Foreign Affairs Committee of the Democrat Party Mr. Chavanond Intarakomalyasut Spokesperson of the Democrat Party CONTACT 67 Setsiri Road, Samsannai Phayathai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand T: +66 (0) 2270 0036 F: +66 (0) 2279 6086 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.democrat.or.th
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M E M B E R S & PA R T N E R S
FULL MEMBER PARTY
Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan The DPP was founded on 28 September 1986 as the first Taiwaneseborn political party in Taiwan and as the first opposition party created during the Martial Law period. At the time of the DPP’s founding, Taiwan existed under the authoritarian control of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang - KMT), who colonized Taiwan after loosing the civil war against the Chinese Communist Party of China in 1949. Founded mainly by family members and defense lawyers of political prisoners held by the KMT, the DPP consisted of political activists who risked their freedom and lives to transform Taiwan’s political landscape. With the arrival of the DPP, a new era of rapid democratic change began in Taiwan, transforming a nation previously forced to endure decades of one-party authoritarian rule. The DPP has since evolved into a party dedicated to ensure social and political justice within Taiwan. The DPP has championed social welfare policies involving the rights of women, senior citizens, children, labors, indigenous peoples, farmers, and other disadvantaged sectors of society. On the political front, the DPP has won many battles for free speech, free press, the freedom of association and respect for human rights. In 2000, Taiwan entered a new period of democracy when the DPP became the first ruling party in Taiwan other than the KMT.
CONTACT Department of International Affairs 10F, No 30, Pei-ping East Road, Taipei, Taiwan T: +886 2 23929989 F: +886 2 23930342 E: email@example.com W: www.dpp.org.tw
Under two administrations with eight years in government, the DPP earned valuable experience as a young party. Currently, as Taiwan’s major opposition party, the DPP continues striving to preserve democracy and to ensure a balanced and fair system of government that represents the will of the Taiwanese people. For 2011, the DPP aligned itself with the current trend changes in Taiwan, listening to the voices of the public and issuing the 10Year Policy Platform, a policy package that includes major policy recommendations for Taiwan in the aspects of international and cross strait affairs, gender equality, social fairness, and economic development. In 2012, the DPP entered the presidential election race under the leadership of Dr. Tsai Ing-wen as the party chair and the first female presidential candidate in Taiwan. Although defeated by the incumbent KMT president, the DPP was able to garner a support rate of 45.6%, an increase of 4.08% from the 2008 presidential election. Additionally, the DPP also won 40 legislative seats, an increase of 13 seats from the last legislative election. In May 2012, the former Premier Mr. Su Tseng-chang inaugurated as the fourteenth DPP chair. Under the leadership of Chair Su, the DPP proposed the economic plan to strengthen industry, empower local governments, improve household finance and create jobs for young people. The Department of China Affairs was reestablished in August. Internationally, the DPP continues to adhere by the principles of democracy, human rights, and good governance through close alliances with democratic countries around the world. The DPP is a member of Liberal International and a founding member of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats. 66
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FULL MEMBER PARTY
PDI Perjuangan (Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) The ideology of PDI Perjuangan (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) is based on 1st June 1945 Pancasila (Five Principle), which in turn is derived from the old indigenous Indonesian philosophy and way of life. Pancasila reflects Indonesian nationalism, humanity and internationalism, democracy, social justice, and belief in one God. PDI Perjuangan faces a constant challenge to become the uniting power of Indonesia and is always in the forefront of supporting social diversity in Indonesia. Equality among citizens is the basic foundation of our diversity in the unity. In the current Indonesian democracy, PDI Perjuangan plays its role to fulfil people and state sovereignty by strengthening democratic institutions, mechanisms, and political practices. It also aims for a self-sufficient economy in the globalization era to bring prosperity and social welfare to the people. A nationalist party, PDI Perjuangan maintains a political stand for pluralism, social welfare, and the sovereignty of the people. In April 2010, PDI-P held its third party congress in Bali, in which Hon. Megawati Soekarnoputri was re-elected as party chairwoman. The congress also solidified the party’s decision to become a major opposition to the government. In addition, the party restructured the organization in 33 provinces, over 500 districts, and more than 6,000 sub districts, down to the village level. PDI Perjuangan marked another glorious step towards 2014 general election, when our candidate beat down the incumbent on the Jakarta governatorial election in the last quarter of 2012. We achieved our victory on the second round through a tight competition and exhausted campaign with full of negative battlecry. Thanks to the magic of openhearted, sincere door to door campaign, backed by the party’s structures solidity and perseverance, as well as the support of social-media activists. Currently, PDI Perjuangan have more than 42 % of local/regional Major/ Regent/Governor in Indonesia. It will be a good footing for our party towards 2014 election.
LEADERS Hon. Megawati Soekarnoputri General Chairperson Tjahjo Kumolo Secretary General CONTACT Andreas Pareira Chairperson for Defence, Security and International Affairs Hanjaya Setiawan Department Head for International Affairs Jl. Raya Lenteng Agung No. 99, Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia T: +62 21 7806028 T: +62 21 7806032 F: +62 21 7814472 W: www.pdiperjuangan.or.id
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FULL MEMBER PARTY
Liberal Party of the Philippines The Liberal Party (LP) was founded on 19 January 1946 by Manuel Roxas, the first President of the Third Philippine Republic. It was formed by President Roxas from what was once the â€œLiberal Wingâ€? of the old Nacionalista Party. Two more Presidents of the Philippines elected into office came from the LP: Elpidio Quirino and Diosdado Macapagal. Two other Presidents came from the ranks of the LP, being former members of the Party that choose to follow a different path and joined the Nacionalistas: Ramon Magsaysay and Ferdinand Marcos. During the days leading to Martial Rule, Marcos would find his old Party as a potent roadblock to his quest for one-man rule. Led by Ninoy Aquino, Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga, the LP would time and again hound the would-be dictator on issues like human rights and the curtailment of freedom. Not even the declaration of Martial Law silenced the LP, and it continued to fight the dictatorship despite the costs. Many of its leaders and members were prosecuted and even killed during this time. In recent times, the LP was instrumental in ending more than halfa-century of US Military presence in the Philippines with its campaign in the Senate of 1991 to reject a new RP-US Bases Treaty. This ironically cost the Party dearly, losing for it the Elections of 1992. In 2000, it showed its mettle by standing against the corruption of the Estrada Administration, actively supporting the Resign-Impeach-Oust initiatives that led to People Power II. In 2004, it again stood its ground as the Party withdrew its support from Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo following controversies of her election into office. In 2009, the Party mounted a historic campaign for the 2010 elections with Senators Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas as frontrunners following the death of former President Corazon Aquino and widespread calls for genuine change in the country. The LP has successfully reclaimed the national ruling party status with the momentous victory of President Noynoy Aquino in the last May 2010 national elections, together with majority of its allies in the House of Representatives and local government units.
FOR REFERENCE Elected LP as of February 13, 2013 President, 1; Senators, 4; ARMM Regional Assemblymen, 20; Representatives, 92; Governors, 41; Vice Governors, 28; Board Members, 399; City Mayors, 64; City Vice Mayors, 41; City Councilors, 572; Municipal Mayors, 524; Municipal Vice Mayors, 496; Municipal Councilors, 3,915; TOTAL, 6,197
LEADERS Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III Chair Sen. Franklin Drilon Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Vice Chairs Sec. Mar Roxas President (on leave) Sec. Joseph Emilio A. Abaya Executive Vice President (Acting President) Rep. Henedina Abad Vice President for Policy, Programs, and Advocacy Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento Secretary General Gov. Alfonso Umali, Jr. Treasurer
CONTACT Ma. Gladys Cruz- Sta. Rita Director General Liberal Party of the Philippines BALAY Expo Centro Building EDSA cor. MacArthur Avenue Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City T: +63 2 709 3826 T: +63 2 709 3817 M: +63 917 533 8452 M: +63 999 888 9482 F: +63 2 709 3829 W: www.liberalparty.org.ph
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FULL MEMBER PARTY
Liberal Party of Sri Lanka The Liberal Party began as a think tank called the ‘Council for Liberal Democracy,’ the first institution to criticize the all-embracing statism of the colonial and immediate post-colonial periods. In espousing free economic policies together with wide-ranging political freedoms, the Council, and then the Liberal Party, opposed both the authoritarian crony capitalism of the United National Party and the socialism of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Both major parties are now in theory in favor of wide freedoms, but to ensure that these are understood and entrenched there is still need of coherent liberal activism. 2010 was a year of major elections for Sri Lanka. At the Presidential elections held in January, all parties rallied around either of the two main contenders. The Liberal Party continued to support the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapakse. After the victory at the parliamentary elections that followed in April, the party garnered a slot in the national list of the winning United Peoples Freedom Alliance Coalition and Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha was nominated as an MP from the national list after the election. Since March 2010 the party has chaired the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats, and the party has led delegations to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, as well as to meetings of Liberal International, the Italian Alliance of Democrats and the Liberal Democrat Conference in Britain.In Sri Lanka the Council for Liberal Democrats continued discussions with all parties on reconciliation, and in 2011 Prof Wijesinha was appointed Advisor on Reconciliation to the President, who also put him on the government team to negotiate with the Tamil National Alliance. Liberal volunteers contribute to the Reconciliation website: peaceinsrilanka.org; and the Youth Forum blog: reconciliationyouthforum. com. The United Kingdom membership tweets as UKLPSL and has a remarkable number of followers including the Australian Prime Minister. It helps to maintain Prof Wijesinha’s personal log, rajivawijesinha.wordpress.com. The party contested a few local elections on its own in 2011, and was able to return two members to the Ridigama Pradeshiya Sabha in Kurunagala District. Liberal Party of Sri Lanka held its annual congress on the 16th of December 2012 at Colombo and following members were elected as office bearers in the national committee.
LEADERS Prof Rajiva Wijesinha Leader Kamal Nissanka Secretary General Ananda Stephen Deputy Secretary General Swarna Amaratunga President Dr Newton Peiris National Organizer and Senior Vice President J.Cassim Vice President Shalini Senanayake Treasurer Selyna Peiris Head, Youth Wing / Chair, CALD Youth
CONTACT Party Head Quarters No. 88/1, Rosmead Place, Colombo 7 T/F:+94 0112 691589 M: +94 0777733347 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.liberalparty-srilanka.org
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FULL MEMBER PARTY
National Council of the Union of Burma The National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB) works on democratic principles to achieve a democratic federal system in Burma. It believes equality for all can be achieved only through transparent and inclusive participation. NCUB was formed on 22 September 1992 in Marnerplaw. Originally aimed to perform both the responsibilities of the united front as well as Burmaâ€™s Parliament in exile, NCUB was initially made up of four major organizations: NDF, DAB, NLD(LA), and NCGUB. Today MPU is working on behalf of the NCGUB. NCUB is at the forefront of the resistance movement against the military junta even as it endeavors to gather Burmaâ€™s peoples together to build mutual trust and understanding. NCUB marches toward the elimination of military dictatorship in Burma and the establishment of peace, democracy, and a genuine Federal Union.
CONTACT Maung Maung Secretary General National Council of the Union of Burma E: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Nyo Myint Director of the Foreign Affairs Committee National Council of the Union of Burma E: email@example.com P.O Box (40), Mae Sot, Tak, 63110, Thailand T: +66 55 542 089 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.ncub.org
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FULL MEMBER PARTY
Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia Since its founding in 1968, the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (PGRM) has seen growth and strength despite external constraintsand internal problems. Through sincere leadership, pragmaticstrategies, and non-communal approaches, PGRM obtained mass support to strive for an egalitarian united Malaysia characterized by racial harmony, social justice, economic equality, political democracy, and cultural liberalism. PGRM’s receptivity to people’s criticisms and advices and its sensitivity to their needs and aspirations are two major factors that contribute in making it a dynamicand resilient political force in Malaysia. As Gerakan expands its organizational base, it will continue to strive to harness greater influence at both the grassroots and governmental levels. The Party will continue to seek the partnership with the people based on the principle that MALAYSIAN NATIONALISM is the most effective weapon to combat the root causes of communalism, extremism, religious fanaticism, and cultural chauvinism. The International Relations and Affairs Bureau under the leadership of Mr. Ng Lip Yong reflects the party’s commitment to playing a greater and more meaningful role in the international and regional political arena. Besides council meetings, members of the Bureau and leaders of Gerakan regularly participate in CALD conferences, workshops, and other programs.
LEADERS Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon National President Dato Chang Ko Youn Deputy President Teng Chang Yeow Secretary General
CONTACT Ng Lip Yong Chairman for International Relations and Affairs Katherine Ooi Deputy Chief Administrator Level 5, Menara PGRM, No. 8 Jalan Pudu, Cheras, 56100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia T: +60 3 9287 6868 F: +60 3 9287 8866 E: email@example.com W: www.gerakan.org.my
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FULL MEMBER PARTY
Sam Rainsy Party Cambodia’s main opposition party is a political organization with a vision and commitment dedicated toward genuine reform: quality of life and justice for all. The Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) is fully committed to building roads for a peaceful transition toward a liberalized democracy in the Kingdom of Cambodia through its motto of “Integrity, Truth, Justice.” In January 2010, Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP, Leader of the Cambodian opposition, was sentenced in absentia to two years in prison. This was in addition to a 10-year sentence handed down in 2009, after Sam Rainsy was convicted for racial incitement and the destruction of public property. Hon. Sam has since been in self-imposed exile in Europe but continues his work with the party through online conferences and international meetings. The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Cambodia on 21 October 2010 that strongly denounces “all politically motivated sentences against representatives of the opposition and NGOs,” particularly those against Hon. Sam Rainsy. It calls upon Cambodian authorities to engage in political and institutional reforms to build a democratic state and “guarantee free and fair political expression without intimidation and harassment.” On 20 April 2011, in Panama City, the Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) was submitted a Resolution by the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, which stated that it is becoming even more urgent to review Mr. Sam Rainsy’s case and to rehabilitate him, and calls on the authorities, including Parliament, to take action to this end without delay so as to enable Mr. Sam Rainsy to resume his rightful place as a member of the National Assembly and to stand as a candidate in the next parliamentary elections. On 19 October 2011, IPU Governing Council adopted unanimously a resolution which states that the Inter-Parliamentary Union reaffirms Mr. Sam Rainsy’s gesture of pulling out temporary border markers was a political gesture, and that, consequently, the courts should never have been seized to resolve a political matter, which rather should have given rise to a debate within parliament. The IPU deeply regrets that the Prime Minister’s clear statement on the question of border post # 185, has not as yet led to any initiatives with a view to settling this case, which indisputably may impair the democratic process in Cambodia. The IPU Calls once again on the authorities, including Parliament, to take action with a view to Mr.
Sam Rainsy’s rehabilitation so as to enable him to resume his rightful place as a member of the National Assembly and to stand as a candidate in the next parliamentary elections.” In November 2011, the parliamentary immunity of Hon. Chan Cheng, MP, chief of Kandal Provincial SRP, was lifted. He has been charged with helping a SRP commune councilor escape from the prision. His case has also been denounced by civil societies and internationally as a politically-motivated. The Sam Rainsy Party continues to struggle to strengthen democratic institutions and instill democratic reforms in the country. In his New Year message for 2011, Hon. Sam Rainsy stated that “Cambodia needs true progress, modernity, sustainable and equitable economic development, social justice, decent employment for the large number of young people entering the job market, increased well-being for the entire population, and an intelligent and strong defense of the vital interests of the nation.” The Fifth Convention of the Sam Rainsy Party held in Phnom Penh on September 11, 2011 with the participation of some 4,000 delegates representing all the provinces of Cambodia and also Cambodian communities abroad, resolved to: I- Call on all patriotic forces to unite in order to save Cambodia from disaster. Stop the policy of the current government that is cutting Cambodia into pieces and selling our country bit by bit to foreign companies under the form of “concessions”. Oppose this attempt to kill our farmers little by little by depriving them of land, forest and fish. Counter this insidious plan to make Cambodia vanish slowly but surely through losses of national territories, land grabbing, deforestation, destruction of fishing stocks, plunder of natural resources, systemic corruption, increasing poverty , unemployment, derelict state of public services such as the health system , despair, emigration of an increasing portion of the Khmer population compelled to seek work abroad, massive Vietnamese immigration with far-reaching demographic and political implications that are turning Cambodia into another Kampuchea Krom. II- Approve and publicize the watchword of the SRP: “Give back to the Khmer people any assets stolen from them “. The future government led by the SRP will cancel all land, forest and mining concessions granted by the present government that were associated with land grabbing and eviction
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of the legitimate owners of the land. Our nation’s assets will be given back to our nation.
on the markets by reducing taxes and suppressing commercial monopolies.
Rice fields and other farmland, forests and mountains, rivers and lakes, fishing zones, seashores and islands will be returned to their legitimate owners, meaning the Khmer people, or will be used as to serve the public interest and the needs of the entire population, especially the poorest segment of the population. Any individual or private company that forcibly seizes land or living areas belonging of the local population and deprives them of their livelihoods is considered as “enemy of the Khmer people” and will be punished accordingly. The people are the only owners and masters of the land.
VII- Approve the political platform and the action plan of the SRP intended to improve the living conditions of the population in three essential domains: agriculture, employment and healthcare. The concrete measures contained in the SRP platform will definitely improve the farmers’ income and living conditions, create jobs for the whole population especially the young, and ensure access to modern medical care for everybody especially the poorest segment of the population.
III- Support the SRP’s appeal to foreign investors to come invest in Cambodia, especially to build and operate processing facilities. The type of investors we call on will buy natural products and raw materials from our farmers but not our farmers’ land. Legitimate investors are not involved in land speculation or money laundering. They focus on production units that process raw materials. By doing so, they provide commercial outlets for our farmers’ agricultural products and jobs for our population as a whole.
1) A minimum wage applicable to all occupations all over the country, to be periodically readjusted to reflect the evolution of consumer prices. As of today, a decent national minimum wage should not be less than 400,000 Riels (about US$100) per month.
IV- Reject the type of “development” conceived by the current government, which is a fake and fallacious development carried out against the people and serving exclusively the interest of a small group of exploiters. The future government led by the SRP will carry out a genuine development for the people that will protect the people’s assets, serve the people’s interest and effectively improve the people’s living conditions. V- Denounce the demagogic practices of the ruling party which, on the one hand, gives us small donations occasionally as an attempt to buy votes but, on the other hand, continuously strangles us by stealing our lands, depressing agricultural products prices and farmers’ income, compressing workers and civil servants’ salaries, levying increasing taxes, and making the price of staple goods on the market go up higher and higher. They steal us in millions through predatory corruption and give us back in pennies with their petty and deceitful donations. VI- Require an immediate and significant increase in the salaries of workers and civil servants so as to ensure them decent living conditions, and also effective measures to lower prices of staple goods
VIII- Support the draft laws prepared by SRP Members of Parliament regarding:
2) The definition and the protection of the rights of tenants allowing those who don’t own the place where they live to secure a stable home on reasonable and acceptable terms and ensuring them a fair compensation in case of eviction by their landlords or the public authorities. 3) The implementation of a real political decentralization providing effective powers and an adequate budget to commune councils allowing them to democratically make decisions intended to improve the living conditions of the local population living in the concerned communes. These decisions could be related, for instance, to local infrastructures, social services and protection of the environment. 4) A term limit for any future Prime Minister who would not be allowed to stay in office for more than five years (one parliamentary term only). IX- Approve the three-tier political strategy of the SRP aimed at liberating Cambodia from foreign domination, bringing down dictatorship, eliminating corruption and ensuring social justice: 1) Participation in the 2012 and 2013 polls while fighting election irregularities and unfairness according to our means; 2) Popular uprising inspired by the Arab Spring and other forms of People Power if the forthcoming elections remain fundamentally biased and continue to seriously distort the will of the people;
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3) Filing of criminal lawsuits against those current leaders responsible for crimes against humanity (K5 Plan in the 1980s), war crimes (1997 coup d’état) and other heinous crimes (1997 grenade attack, 1998 repression ) before international courts and independent courts in democratic countries. X- Render justice to SRP President Sam Rainsy who only defended rice fields belonging to Cambodian farmers living along the border with Vietnam. Those rice fields belonging to Cambodian citizens are part of Cambodia’s territory that Vietnam is infringing on. Therefore Sam Rainsy’s case is not an individual’s case but represents a political issue of national interest requiring a political solution. From this viewpoint, all the parties involved should take into account recommendations from the UN Rapporteur for Cambodia, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the European Parliament and governments of many friendly countries that wish to see Sam Rainsy returning to Cambodia in time to take part in the 2012 and 2013 elections. Without the presence of the leader of the country’s largest opposition party those elections would be worthless and their results would not be recognized by the international community, which would neither recognize any government stemming from such worthless elections . XI- Appeal to every Cambodian citizen to check their names on the voter lists and to register as voters before October 15, 2011 so as to have the right to cast their ballots at the 2011 and 2012 elections that will determine the future of our country and the fate of each one of us and that of our children. XII- Ask all the signatory countries of the 1991 Paris Agreements on Cambodia to really and fully implement these Agreements on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of their signing on October 23, 2011. These Agreements guarantee for the Cambodian people fundamental rights and liberties as well as a political system based on liberal and pluralistic democracy. However such rights and liberties and democratic system have not materialized yet or have been totally perverted. The Paris Agreements also guarantee Cambodia’s territorial integrity, which is being violated by Thailand on the west and Vietnam on the east, as evidenced by recent border incidents causing sufferings for the Cambodian population. We call on the international community to help defend Cambodia’s territorial integrity, which is their obligation as stipulated in the Paris Agreements.
LEADER Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP President, Sam Rainsy Party
CONTACT Hon. Yim Sovann, MP Spokesperson Sam Rainsy Party No. 576, National Road No.2, Sangkat Chak Angre Leu, Khan Meanchey, Phnom Penh, Cambodia T: T: F: E: W:
+855 23 696 0414 +855 23 425 248 +855 23 425 249 firstname.lastname@example.org www.samrainsyparty.org
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FULL MEMBER PARTY
Singapore Democratic Party The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) was constituted in 1980. It believes in, and is working toward restoring human, civil, and political rights in Singapore; fostering a vibrant and dynamic society based on pluralism and diversity; cultivating a transparent and accountable political system; establishing an economic system based on free competition and equal opportunity for all; removing all policies and practices that discriminate against the less fortunate, women, and minorities; and cooperating with democratic parties and organizations in Asia to achieve peace and sustainable development in the region. It is the first opposition party in Singapore to have a youth wing (Young Democrats) and to deploy Internet as alternative media. It uses blogging, political videos, and online forums to reach out to the people. The Central Executive Committee (CEC) governs the party with Mr. Jufrie Mahmood as its chairman and Dr. Chee Soon Juan its secretary-general. SDP commemorated its 30th founding anniversary in February 2010 in the midst of facing continuing persecution by an authoritarian government for its belief in democracy and human rights. Party leaders and members have had to endure a series of government-orchestrated court cases, and even imprisonment, for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and assembly. During the 2011 general elections, the Party garnered 36.8% of the valid votes in the constituencies it contested. The SDP was touted to be the most â€œimprovedâ€? opposition party, making the largest gain in share.
LEADER Jufrie Mahmood Chairman
CONTACT John Tan Assistant Secretary General Jaslyn Go PR Director 12A Jalan Gelenggang, Singapore 578192. T: +65 6456 4532 F: +65 6453 4532 E: email@example.com W: www.yoursdp.org
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ASSOCIATE MEMBER PARTY
Liberal Forum Pakistan LFP (Liberal Forum Pakistan) is promoting liberal values in Pakistanâ€™s polity by creating awareness about the positive features of democracy, freedom, and secularism. It works toward these objectives by publishing and disseminating literature about liberalism throughout the country; and by holding consultations on the related issues. It also takes out a bi-monthly magazine in Urdu that is the only regular publication covering liberal issues in South Asia. LFP regularly organizes functions in all major urban centers and in places where it has active chapters. The membership of the organization is open to all, subject to approval by LFPâ€™s Membership Committee; a chapter can be formed once it has 20 members. The overall supervision of the organization is in the hands of a Board of Directors that is headed by a Chairperson who is also the Chief Executive of the organization. The four provinces are headed by provincial presidents. LFP also has a youth wing by the name of FYG (Future Youth Group), which holds activities similar to LFP amongst the younger segments of the population. LFP has a website that gives up to date information about liberal developments. In 2010, LFP continued its movement to promote liberalism in Pakistan and expanded its membership to approximately 2,000 members who pay an annual fee and receive a bi-monthly magazine, Liberal Pakistan. Thirty-six chapters are currently functional throughout the country. During the year, LFP held seminars on topics ranging from opposing corruption to promoting liberal values, including good governance, secularism, and the right to information. These activities garnered publicity in the local media. LFP also spread its advocacy through publications on corruption and individual liberty.
CONTACT Anees Jillani Chairman No S1, Second Floor, Rawal Arcade, F-8 Markaz, Islamabad, Pakistan T: +92 51 225 6458 T: +92 51 225 6459 F: +92 51 225 6459 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.lfp.org.pk
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Mr. Chung-Kai Sin, SBS, JP Mr. Chung-Kai Sin is an elected Legislative Councillor of Hong Kong serving a term of 4 years from Oct 2012 to Sep 2016. Mr. Chung-Kai Sin is a member of the Executive Committee of Democratic Party. Mr Sin served as deputy chairman from 2006 to 2012 and a member of the Central Committee of Democratic Party of Hong Kong since the party was founded in 1994. Mr. Chung-Kai Sin served as a Member of Legislative Council from 1995 – 1997 representing New Territories South and 1998 to 2008 representing the Information Technology Sector. Chung-Kai Sin has a long public service record. Chung Kai served as a member of the Housing Authority from 2001 to 2009 and a board of director Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited from 1999 to 2009. He served as an elected representative at all three tiers of the Government – Legislative Council, Regional Council (abolished by the HKSAR Government in 1999) from 1988 to 1994 and the Kwai Tsing District Council from 1985 to 2003. Born and educated in Hong Kong, Chung-Kai Sin obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Hong Kong in 1982 and his Master in Business Administration degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1997. Chung Kai is a life and fellow member of the Hong Kong Computer Society.
CONTACT 4/F, Hanley House, 778 Nathan Road, Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong T: +852 2397 7033 F: +852 2397 8998 E: email@example.com W: www.sinchungkai.org.hk
Mr. Chung-Kai Sin is married with Yvonne Ying Yee Chan. ChungKai and Yvonne has two sons Clement and Ryan who are studying in the US.
Martin Lee Martin C.M. Lee (Lee Chu Ming), a Senior Counsel, is the founding chairman (1994 - 2002) of the Democratic Party, which is one of the largest and most popular political parties in Hong Kong. Prior to the founding of the Democratic Party in October 1994, Lee was the founding chairman of the United Democrats of Hong Kong -- Hong Kong’s first political party that won the first-ever democratic elections to the territory’s Legislative Council in 1991. Since establishment, the Democratic Party has committed efforts to advancing democracy and safeguarding human rights and the rule of law in Hong Kong. In 2008, the Democratic Party merged with another pan-democratic party The Frontier, and further strengthened its political influence in Hong Kong. Lee was also a popular elected Legislative Councillor from 1985 to 2008.
CONTACT 704A, Admiralty Centre, Tower I, 18 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong T: +852 2529 0864 F: +852 2861 2829 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.martinlee.org.hk
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M E M B E R S & PA R T N E R S
Abdurrahman Wahid H.E. Abdurrahman Wahid served as the fourth president of the world’s most populous Muslim nation from 1999-2001. He was an important figure among religious groups and political movements during the restoration of freedom and democratic rights after 32 years of the Suharto dictatorship. More popularly known as “Gus Dur,” he showed fellow Indonesians his lifetime commitment to public service and the promotion of liberal democracy and staunchly defended human rights, ethnic minorities, and Indonesia’s secular tradition. Wahid headed the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization. His position as a moral leader was transformed, however, when he and his supporters formed the National Awakening Party (PKB) following the dramatic fall of President Soeharto. He became the Chairman of its Advisory Council and its official presidential candidate in 1999. Though dominated by NU members, Wahid promoted PKB as a party that is non-sectarian and open to all members of society.
Democratic Party of Japan The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) was created in 1998, when reform-minded politicians from a number of opposition parties came together with the aim of establishing a genuine opposition force capable of taking power from the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Former Prime Ministers Tsutomu Hata and former party presidents Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan, who both later served as Prime Minister, were among those instrumental in establishing the new party. The DPJ has since grown in size at successive elections. It was further strengthened by a merger with the Liberal Party, led by Ichiro Ozawa, in 2003. In 2009, the party won a landslide election victory, bringing about an historic change of government. Now under the leadership of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, the ruling DPJ administration is working to bring about true political reform in Japan by implementing policies that put people’s lives first.
CONTACT DPJ International Department 1-11-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0014 Japan T: +81 3 3595 9988 F: +81 3 3595 7318 W: www.dpj.or.jp
LEADERS Naoto Kan Yoshihiko Noda Katsuya Okada Takahiro Yokomichi Satsuki Eda Supreme Advisers Banri Kaieda President Akihiro Ohata Acting President Hajime Ishii Tomiko Okazaki Toshimi Kitazawa Masayuki Naoshima Teruhiko Mashiko Vice Presidents Goshi Hosono Secretary General Masaharu Nakagawa Acting Secretary General Yuji Fujimoto Director General of International Department
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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is a Nobel Peace Laureate, Burma’s leader of the opposition, and one of Asia’s most revered icons of democracy. She is also founding General Secretary of the National League of Democracy. The Lady has spent most of her life committed to the people of Burma’s struggle for justice, freedom, and democracy. Much of the last two decades has seen her locked up, but she has recently been released from house arrest. a party that is non-sectarian and open to all members of society. E: email@example.com
Nation Awakening Party PKB is short for Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa or the Nation Awakening Party. The party was established in Jakarta on 23 July 1998 by a number of the famous Indonesian Islamic scholars from the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the biggest Muslim organization in Indonesia. One of the founders of the party is Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), the fourth President of the Republic of Indonesia and the father of pluralism and moderate Islam in the country. PKB is a Muslim-based political party that stands for an open, democratic and just society of Indonesians. It promotes the values of moderate Islam that go hand in hand with democratic values to bring about a just and democratic Indonesia. PKB believes in freedom, justice, and brotherhood of the nation, of Islam and of human beings. Although PKB has a strong commitment to Islam, it rejects the idea of an Islamic state and promotes a seculardemocratic state. PKB has participated in the last three general elections in the post-Soeharto era (1999, 2004 and 2009). In the 2009 election, PKB gained around five million national votes. PKB now occupies 28 seats of the national legislature while around 1,000 members belong to the provincial and local legislature. PKB also has a presence in in the cabinet of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono via two ministerial posts.
With a young leader, A. Muhaimin Iskandar, as General Chairman. PKB is working harder to regain its political support with the help of NU and expanding its network of supporters throughout the country.
T: +62 21 314 5328 F: +62 21 314 5329 W: www.dpp-pkb.or.id
M. Hanif Dhakiri Nation Awakening Party Party HQ: DPP PKB Jl. Raden Saleh No. 9 Jakarta Pusat 10430
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M E M B E R S & PA R T N E R S
Liberal International Liberal International is the world federation of liberal political parties. Founded in 1947, it has become the pre-eminent network for promoting liberalism, strengtheningÂ liberal parties, and for theÂ promotion of liberal democracy around the world. There are a number of common principles that unite all liberal parties from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe: human rights, free and fair elections, multiparty democracy, social justice, tolerance, social market economy, free trade, environmental sustainability, and a strong sense of international solidarity. Although there is diversity among liberal parties owing to the application of these principles in different national circumstances, all LI members adhere to the organizationâ€™s manifesto. 1 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2HD T: +44 20 7839 5905 F: +44 20 7925 2685 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.liberal-international.org
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament brings together MEPs from liberal and democratic parties across the European Union. We share the common values and promote an open-minded and forward-looking approach to European Union politics. We stand for individual liberty, a free and dynamic business culture, economic and social solidarity, sustainability in taking actions, protection of the environment and respect, and tolerance for cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.
European Parliament, Rue Wiertz, B- 1047 Brussels, Belgium T: +32 2 284 2111 F: +32 2 230 2485 E: email@example.com W: www.alde.eu
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Friedrich Naumann Foundation The Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit (FNF) is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental foundation committed to promoting the value of freedom in dignity worldwide. FNF seeks to promote this core liberal value by working to strengthen: human rights and the rule of law, liberal participatory democracy, and a free market economy. Funded by the German parliament, the Foundation supports a wide range of activities in 65 different countries. Its partners include parliaments, political parties, universities, think tanks, research institutions, NGOs, the media, business associations, and community organizations. Its key tasks are civic education, policy dialogue, and consultancy to help find liberal solutions for the problems facing our societies.
29 BBC Tower, 25th Floor, Sukhumvit 63 Road, Bangkok 10110 Thailand T: +662 365 0570 T: +662 365 0567 F: +662 714 8384 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: http://www.fnfasia.org
The Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit has worked in partnership with CALD since 1993. They have collaborated to organize conferences, meetings, networking opportunities, and publications designed to further policy dialogue and cooperation among like-minded Asian political parties.
Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Taiwan’s peaceful transition to democracy is not only a historical accomplishment for its 23 million people, but a landmark in the worldwide spread of democracy. Only after years of struggle and effort could this transformation take place. We must never forget this history, for it shapes the cornerstone of our continued commitment to the principles of democracy and human rights. The Foundation was established with an inter-related, twotracked mission in mind. Domestically, the TFD strives to play a positive role in consolidating Taiwan’s democracy and fortifying its commitment to human rights; internationally, the Foundation hopes to become a strong link in the global democratic network, joining forces with related organizations around the world. Through the years, Taiwan has received valuable long-term assistance and stalwart support from the international community, and it is now time to repay that community for all of its efforts. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiated the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy project in 2002. After much research and careful evaluation, the Ministry integrated the required resources from many sectors of society. In January 2003, the Ministry obtained the support of all political parties to pass the budget for the Foundation in the legislature. The TFD formally came into being on 17 June 2003, with its first meeting of the Board of Trustees and Supervisory Board. At that meeting, Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pyng was elected its first chairman. According to its bylaws, the TFD is governed by a total of 15 trustees and five supervisors, representing political parties, the government, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and the business sector.
A: No.4, Alley 17, Lane 147, Section 3, Sinyi Road, Taipei 106, Taiwan T: +886 2 2708 0100 F: +886 2 2708 1148 W: www.tfd.org.tw
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M E M B E R S & PA R T N E R S
National Democratic Institute for International Affairs The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) is a nonprofit organization working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide. Calling on a global network of volunteer experts, NDI provides practical assistance to civic and political leaders advancing democratic values, practices, and institutions. NDI works with democrats in every region of the world to build political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and to promote citizen participation, openness, and accountability in government.
455 Massachusetts Ave., NW, 8th Floor Washington, DC 20001 T: +1 202 728 5500 F: +1 202 728 5520 W: www.ndi.org
Liberal Network for Latin America RELIAL (Red Liberal de América Latina), the Liberal Network of Latin America, is a Latin America-wide network of currently 52 civil society organizations, political parties, think tanks, and research-institutes. RELIAL is forming the institutional frame for leaders and opinion makers, academics, intellectuals, business people, and personalities from the region who share and profess the ideas of individual freedom, limited government, the market economy, the rule of law, and a free democratic system in the continent
Red Liberal de América Latina Cerrada de la Cerca Nº 82 Col. San Angel Inn México DF 01060 T: +5255 5550 1039 F: +5255 5550 6223 E: email@example.com W: www.relial.org
Alliance of Democrats In an interdependent world faced by challenges, global responses are vital. This is the reason why the Alliance of Democrats, an international network of liberal democratic, centrist, and progressive political parties from all five continents, was initiated by various leaders from the European Democratic Party and the U.S. Democratic Party in 2005. From 2005 to 2008 the Alliance of Democrats, which now includes over 60 political parties, organized several meetings and international conferences for strengthening the political dialogue between like-minded democratic political parties with the ambition to build a common “Global Agenda.” 82
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The founding event was the meeting with the theme “Rebuilding Transatlantic Relations: a dialogue between US and EU Democrats” held in Rome on 24-25 February 2005 with the attendance of the Chair of the New Democrat Coalition of the U.S. Democratic Party at the U.S. Congress, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, François Bayrou, Francesco Rutelli, Bronislaw Geremek, and Graham Watson. Romano Prodi, former President of the European Commission and EDP Honorary President, delivered the closing remarks. The conference participants agreed on the need for a stronger and more structured relationship between the EU democratic parties and the U.S. Democratic Party, in order to strengthen the transatlantic political and economic relations. With this, the Chairperson of the New Democrat Coalition, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, and the CoPresidents of the European Democratic Party, Francesco Rutelli and François Bayrou, a Manifesto on EU-US Relations calling for closer links between democratic parties on the two sides of the Atlantic, and agreed to establish the Alliance of Democrats. Following its engagement to continue building closer relationships with other like-minded parties and organizations around the world, and especially to establish sound links with Asian democrats, the Alliance of Democrats promoted a conference with the theme “A New Europe/Asia strategic partnership: the future is now: A dialogue between Asian and European Democrats” on 1-2 December 2005. The Conference took place in Rome, with the participation of many Asian political leaders representing major political parties such as the Indian Congress Party and members and observerparties from CALD. In a closed-door seminar, politicians and experts focused on issues such as economic integration between the two continents, international security, energy, multilateral cooperation, and global democracy. The seminar helped set up a common political agenda and a permanent network between Asia and European Democrats. Promoting sustainable development, increasing international security while fighting terrorism, and promoting human rights and democracy were the core issues of the discussions. Participants committed themselves to strengthening political dialogue, increasing cooperation and integration between Europe and Asia, and acting in favor of a closer partnership and integration between the European and Asian economies.
Via di Sant’Andrea delle Fratte, 16 Rome Italy 00187 T: +39 06 6953 2367 F: +39 06 6953 2206 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.allianceofdemocrats.org
he Board of Directors consists of Francois Bayrou, Francesco Rutelli, and Ellen Tauscher as Co-Chairs. Gianni Vernetti, Italian MP and former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, was appointed Coordinator of the Alliance of Democrats.
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A B OUT C ALD
The Council for Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) was inaugurated in Bangkok in 1993, with the support of then Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai and South Koreaâ€™s Kim Dae-Jung. CALD, which offers a unique platform for dialogue and cooperation, is the only regional alliance of liberal and democratic political parties in Asia. CALD was formed out of the recognition of leaders of like-minded political parties in Asia of the need for a dynamic forum promoting discussion and exchange of ideas regarding trends and challenges affecting democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the region. The chair parties of CALD since its inception to the present have been the Democrat Party of Thailand or DP (1993- 1995; 2002-2004), the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan or DPP (1995-1997, 20042005), the Liberal Party of the Philippines or LP (1997-1999, 20052007), the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka or LPSL (1999-2000, 2010-2012), the Sam Rainsy Party of Cambodia or SRP (2000-2002, 2012-2014), and the Singapore Democratic Party or SDP (2007-2010). The other members of CALD are the Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (PGRM), the National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB), the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), and the Civil Will Party (CWP) of Mongolia. The Liberal Forum Pakistan (LFP) is an associate member while the Hong Kong legislators Martin Lee and Sin Chung-kai are individual members. In 2010, CALD bestowed honorary individual membership to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Through CALD, political parties, groups, and individuals have a continuing discussion on the developments occurring in the various countries of the region. The aim is to assess the possibilities for liberal solutions to problems facing Asian democracies. Accordingly, CALD organizes network meetings including those with its partners (Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Liberal International, Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Alliance of Democrats, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs), international conferences on vital issues affecting the region, and regular workshops on communication, political management, and women in politics. It also sends missions for various advocacies, sponsors internship programs in its secretariat and in the European Parliament, as well as maintains a website, a social network group account and a weekly electronic newsletter. 84
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Hon. Sam Rainsy, MP Chair Dr. Neric Acosta Secretary General CALD Secretariat Unit 410, 4/F La Fuerza Plaza 2 2241 Don Chino Roces Avenue 1231 Makati City, Philippines Telephone +63 2 819 6071 +63 2 496 1388 Facsimile +63 2 8101431 email@example.com www.cald.org facebook.com/asianliberals twitter.com/asianliberals
BREAKTHROUGHS CALD 2012 ANNUAL REPORT
COORDINATORS Celito F. Arlegue Paolo Antonio A. Zamora EDITOR C.C. Balgos PROJECT ASSISTANTS Rosanna P. Ocampo Jorgia E. Salonga Michael Vincent Espina LAY-OUT & ART DIRECTION Michael A. Gadi
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