STATEMENT: ASEAN YOUTH FORUM 2011 | JAKARTA, INDONESIA
ASEAN YOUTH FORUM 2011 | JAKARTA, INDONESIA
YOUTH DEMAND FOR A SUSTAINABLE
PEOPLE-CENTERED ASEAN COMMUNITY
In the spirit of values, principles and roles set and strengthened during the past ASEAN Youth forums, we, 70 youth representatives from Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and a youth participant from China (ASEAN +3) have gathered on May 1-2, 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia for the 4th ASEAN Youth Forum. During this forum, we advanced our advocacies and planned effective ways for meaningful youth engagement in the local, national and regional levels.
We call for the ASEAN to be committed to its people-centered principle by playing a crucial role in realizing improvements and progress in the lives of ASEAN people, especially to fully recognize young people’s rights and issues.
We bear in mind that ASEAN civil society is an important figure in helping ASEAN in accomplishing its mandate, commitment and responsibilities to its people especially the ASEAN youth.
Based on our findings and discussion, we put forward four relevant issues which greatly affect ASEAN youth and need to be addressed by the ASEAN governments: Low quality of education, high unemployment rates, unsustainable environment caused by destructive development project, low quality of public health services. In this light, we are advancing our recommendations for the ASEAN in addressing these issues.
Establishment of a Regional ASEAN Youth Body
We strongly demand the ASEAN to immediately set up an ASEAN independent regional body MEANINGFULLY participated by the youth (by 2012). It must actively engage the youth in policy planning, implementing, monitoring and reform. It shall be involved in strategic transparency and accountability measures on education, employment, public health and sustainable environment in local and national levels.
The Improvement of Education
There are three main challenges of the current quality of education in the region which areinsufficient qualified teaching staffs, poor education facilities and unequal education opportunities for marginalized groups.
We strongly demand the ASEAN to establish a regional education treaty which will set national and local spending to at least 12% of their GDP for basic and tertiary educations to facilitate universal access to education, to provide acceptable salaries of all school staff based on their living standards, improve accessibility in terms of cost and facilities, and to allocate budget for curriculum reform.
We strongly urge The ASEAN must strengthen the regional policy which must ensure the quality of teachers, especially in rural and remote areas, by enhancing their instructional and classroom management skills through capacity building programs and increasing the research time and further studies.
We call for the ASEAN must focus its policies to ensure optimum reach of education to all segments of the population, especially the disadvantaged groups and minorities.
We urge the ASEAN to advance policies which will foster and strengthen full access to and quality of community-based education.
Towards Full Employment
Based on our observations and experiences, local unemployment rates among the youth in the region are increasing sharply in the last few decades. The leading causes include low wages and salaries, unregulated flow of capital, and withering of local industries, opportunities and technologies.
We call for the ASEAN to set regional standards and mechanisms which will protect and promote labor rights including decent wage and salaries, social safety nets and better working environment.
We urge the ASEAN to establish and implement policies which will effectively promote and protect local industries, technologies and wisdom.
We call the ASEAN to establish and sustain a regional fund to promote young entrepreneurs.
Advance Sustainable Environment
We continue to raise environmental challenges and controversies that ASEAN countries are facing and coping with including climate change and destructive energy development projects including the construction of dams, coal mines and nuclear plants.
We strongly call for ASEAN to set up regional standards and mechanisms for the protection of the environment and the establishment of a country working group with meaningful participation from the youth which will plan and implement a legal policy framework, Monitoring mechanisms, consultation processes with all stakeholders and compensation guidelines for affected communities.
We demand the ASEAN to implement regional safeguard policies based on the framework of human rights and Corporate Social Responsibility which will be applied before the planning of development projects, a concrete example is the practice of a comprehensive EIA, SIA and HIA in the community level. The ASEAN government must consult and must meaningfully include the youth in the implementation of this policy.
We strongly demand ASEAN to advance a policy which will enforce the use of renewable energy, as much as possible, such as solar power and wind power, instead of largest hydropower coal power and nuclear power. Implementation of this policy will be monitored by the youth.
We call for technical and financial support from the ASEAN governments, NGOs, businesses, social enterprises for youth education, initiatives and projects for the environmental sustainability.
Promote Health Care for all
We identify the low quality of public health services as the main reason perniciously affecting public health in the ASEAN region. There are five main challenges concerning this issue includinginsufficient financial and human resources, privatization and co modification health services, stigma and discrimination, ineffective monitoring mechanism and limited availability for the youth and vulnerable groups to access public health services.
We strongly demand ASEAN to provide sustainable and effective mechanism to ensure free and accessible universal health services and facilities especially for the youth, the poor and vulnerable groups including people living with HIV, young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) communities, young sex workers and youth who use drugs.
We strongly demand ASEAN to initiate a regional curriculum on comprehensive sexuality education (include Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights) in formal and informal education.
We urge ASEAN to enforce Human Rights and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights as policy framework in regulation and implementation of public health services.
WE FIRMLY DEMAND THE ASEAN TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO FULFILL OUR RECOMMENDATIONS.
The ASEAN youth, through meaningful participation in socio-cultural, political security, economic and environmental processes, will remain committed, vigilant and active in monitoring the implementation of national policies and regional treaties that will advance democratic values, peace, development, equity, justice and sustainability in the ASEAN.
Our Sustainable Community!
MAY 1-2, 2011, Jakarta, Indonesia