The 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM11) took place on 15-16 July 2016 in Ulaan Baatar, hosted by Mongolia. Heads of State and Government from across Asia and Europe met to discuss their future priorities and plans.
Prior to ASEM11, the Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF) held its 11th biennial People’s Forum on 4-6 July 2016 under the title “Building New Solidarities: Working for Inclusive, Just & Equal Alternatives in Asia & Europe”. AEPF11 tackled strategies on major themes or People’s Visions, representing the hopes of citizens of the two regions. These are:
- Resource Justice, Land Rights, Equal Access to Water, and Participation – Going Beyond Extractivism
- Food Sovereignty/Food Security – Beyond zero hunger
- Climate Justice – Towards Sustainable Energy Production and Use, and Zero Waste
- Socially Just Trade, Production and Investment
- Social Justice – Social Protection for All, Decent Work and Sustainable Livelihoods,Tax Justice and other egalitarian Alternatives to Debt and Austerity
- Peace Building and Human Security – Responses to Migration, and Fundamentalism and Terrorism
- Participatory Democracy, Gender Equality and Minority Rights
Progress towards realising these People’s Visions is key to solving the multiple crises facing people, states, and institutions. The security, ecological, debt, financial, energy, and food crises are caused and compounded by policies and practices of many governments in both rich and poor countries, particularly in their approaches to regulating business. These interlocking crises have caused increasing social polarisation between peoples and states. In Asia, they are exacerbating poverty and inequality, already widespread before the present crises. In Europe, they are creating indebtedness, joblessness, and insecurity. We are increasingly experiencing corporate capture”, whereby multinational and national corporations structure and determine our lives and livelihoods. We are facing violent responses and break down of inter-community relations and a decline in the public culture of debate and discussion. Citizens’ responses are often confined at local and national levels; to complement these, AEPF seeks to encourage and strengthen cooperation and solidarity of people’s networks regionally, inter-regionally, and globally.