The 11th biennial Asia-Europe People's Forum (AEPF 11), titled "Building New Solidarities: Working for Inclusive, Just and Equal Alternatives in Asia and Europe" was held between 4-6 July 2016 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
500 participants representing various MGOs from across the two continents attended the three-day forum to discuss the primary problems of neoliberal system and to develop strategies for working towards a more just, equal and sustainable world. Gulsah Doruk, the BWI Project Coordinator in Turkey, represented BWI in the Forum.
AEPF 11 aimed to make social development, solidarity and justice central to the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of Heads of State on 15 - 16 July. Seven issues were discussed in different sessions as major clusters of the AEPF 11.
These issues are:
• 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
Gulsah Doruk paid particular attention to BWI priority areas, including social justice, climate justice and migration . S peakers presented the need for a social transformation, inspired by a global struggle and campaigns for global social protection and decent work policies. Discussion from the social justice cluster indicated that a comprehensive, state-driven and just social system should be built by changing power relations and, in turn, the political system itself, with the pressure from below. Additionally, it was stated that all workers, regardless of their employment status, should be organised and integrated to overcome the fragmented union movement and thus, to built better cooperation. Participants emphasised the need for a new social paradigm to be created, with the participation of all people, for decent living and working conditions.
AEPF is the only permanent network and forum linking Asian and European movements and organisations. The next AEPF is planned to be held in Bulgaria in 2018.