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ASEAN CSOs Meeting with SOM Step Forward to Interface Meeting in 35th ASEAN Summit

ASEAN CSOs representative from Thailand: Ms Chalida Tajaroensuk (PEF), The Philippines: Ms Raquel De Guzman Castillo (SPELL), Singapore: Mr Soe Min Than (Think Center) and Vietnam: Mr Dong Huy Cuong (Peace and Development Foundation) joined meeting with ASEAN Som Leaders led by H.E.Busaya Mathelin and other SOM leaders from 8 countries in 17 September 2019 at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand. ASEAN CSOs reported on the outcome of the successful ASEAN Civil Society Conference and ASEAN People Forum (ACSC/APF) which organized on 10-12 September 2019, Thammasat Rangsit University under the theme "Advancing People's Movement for Justice, Peace, Equality, Sustainability and Democracy in Southeast Asia"

ASEAN CSOs emphasized about 1,042 participants from 11 countries including Timor-Leste were represented from various sector of civil society intending to push forward ASEAN to be "People-centred". Furthermore, ASEAN CSOs also informed the fruitful dialogue between representatives from ASEAN Minister of Foreign Affairs and CSOs during ACSC/APF townhall session on 12th September 2019. ASEAN leaders during dialogue, Elisa Maria da Silva, Counselor and Deputy Chief of Mission of Timor-Leste, Deputy Permanent Secretary Artthayud Srisamoot of Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Dicky Komor, Deputy Chief of Mission to Thailand, H.E. Dato'Jojie Samuel, Malaysia Ambassador, Deputy Director General-ASEAN Malaysia National Secretariat. During the session, ASEAN CSOs were also giving concern on the application of Timor-Leste to be as part of ASEAN Member States.

During the meeting, ASEAN CSOs discussed on the main important point as human rights violations, unequal access to health care, the fourth pillars of environment, vulnerable group, review ASEAN Charter to open space for inclusiveness of people participation, review TOR of AICHR, and asking SOM Leaders to review ACSC/APF recommendation from the previous years which those recommendations came up from voice of people in ASEAN.

Significantly, ASEAN CSOs demand ASEAN SOMs for Interface Meeting with ASEAN Leaders for forthcoming 35th ASEAN Summit which will be held in November.

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