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Asia-Pacific Civil Society demands a just and transformative development agenda : Page 2 of 3

Posted on 1 September 2013
the major groups structure and global governance. Key issues in the OWG were flagged by speaker, Ranja Sengupta of Third World Network, including the strong G77+China statements on the need address structural issues preventing development and the need for economic and democratic governance reforms while developed countries were backtracking from existing agreements and emphasizing the role of the private foundations in their place.  As the hlpf has opened a new space for civil society participation through the major groups, there has been renewed debate on the major groups governance structure. Warning against gate keeping and conflicts of interest, Neth Dano of the ETC-Group called for greater transparency and accountability in the major groups governance structure including disclosure of organizations linked to corporations.
 
During the second panel, participants debated what elements are necessary to create a framework for a new transformative development agenda which would bring in all economic, social, environmental and cultural elements. Lim Mah Hui of the South Centre, questioned calls for inclusive growth which, he said, implies insertion in the current market system without equal rights in agenda setting.
 
Sandeep Chachra of ActionAid India considered the social context of the current development agenda and questioned the silence on the need for a paradigm change while challenging the prevailing trend of accumulation by dispossession. Without environmental concerns mainstreamed, social, economic and cultural changes are meaningless in the face of catastrophic climate change according to Ahmad Syamsul Hadi of Walhi/ Friends of the Earth Indonesia. Finally, Bernice See of the Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact centred on the importance of culture in development given its inter-generational and inter-dimensional relevance.
 
Paul Quintos, IBON International and co-chair of the consultation, said “There is a deep sense of injustice pervading the world today after over three decades of neoliberal globalization. From Tahrir square and Taksim Park, to the streets of Sao Paulo and Blagoevgrad, to the country sides of Andhra Pradesh and Mindanao, the people are rising up against the many faces of injustice.”  The emerging consensus from Asia-Pacific Civil society was for the need for a new model of development justice which should be framed around five foundational shifts: redistributive justice, economic justice, social justice, environmental justice; accountability to the peoples.
 
These elements are interlinking and indivisible and their achievement can be greatly facilitated through the prioritization of six urgent elements: land equity, decent work including living wages, tax reform, commitment to universal and comprehensive social protection, gender equality, safeguarding environmental justice, and establishing governance institutions and processes which ensure direct accountability to the people. 
 
Emele Duituturaga, Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO) said “This is a good start for building a framework for transformative development justice that we can bring to our sub-regions, and national contexts.”
 
As well as agreeing on key messages from the Asia-Pacific Civil Society, there were agreements to establish a regional major group formation to engage with the global major group structure in the hlpf and to create thematic clusters.
 
Eni Lestari, International Migrants Alliance (IMA), closed the Asia Pacific CSO Consultation
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