The Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF) grieves and condoles with the families and friends of the people, many of them very young, who lost their lives in the horrific and senseless massacre in Norway last July 22. The anguish and sadness this atrocity has caused the people of Norway, Europe, and the world is difficult to put in words. Nevertheless, we need to analyse and look within ourselves and our societies if we do not want such barbarism repeated.

Re: Arrest and detention of PSM and other activists participating in Bersih-related activities

Dear Prime Minister Najib,

We, of the Asia-Europe Peoples' Forum (AEPF), are alarmed by the recent arrest of leaders and members of Bersih -- the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections.

As a network of people's organisations, coalitions, NGOs, academics, trade unions, and parliamentarians who uphold the principles of democracy, rule of law, justice, and human rights, we at the AEPF denounce this blatant disregard by the Malaysian government of the civil and political rights of its citizens. We particularly condemn the crackdown against Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) and the continued detention without any charges or open trial of 30 PSM members including a Member of Parliament for simply campaigning for clean and fair elections.

Source: Inquirer.net

BRUSSELS, Belgium—Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme has expressed his support for civil society’s call that the countries of the Asia Europe Meeting (Asem) commit to core labor standards, the creation of decent jobs, social dialogue, and social protection.

In his interaction with participants of the Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF), which submitted to him their recommendations to the Asem leaders, Leterme said: “The key factor is getting enough space and empowering trade unions and associations of workers throughout the countries.”

 

Asia Europe People's Forum, Belgian Platform for Action on Health and Solidarity, Corporate Europe Observatory, India FDI Watch, Programme on Women's Economic Social and Cultural Rights, WIDE network

Brussels, Tuesday 5 October 2010 - Civil society groups today urged the European Commission and Indian Government to halt free trade negotiations, scheduled to continue in Delhi tomorrow. In an open letter, signed by more than 100 groups, they warned that the talks would damage the livelihoods of millions of people in both India and Europe, exacerbating poverty and undermining economic and social development [1].

Talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and India are said to be making extremely good progress with plans to push the agenda in the run up to an EU-India Summit in Brussels in December.

BRUSSELS, Belgium—International working group on indigenous peoples, extractives and climate change hit the EU policy on accessing raw materials in a meeting of civil society organizations during the 8th Asia-Europe People’s Forum being hosted here.

They claimed that the policy, the Raw Materials Initiative which is embedded in the Global Europe Strategy, was impacting on the lives and livelihoods of indigenous peoples in developing countries, such as the Philippines and Indonesia, and effectively making them poorer.

The EU Raw Materials Initiative is an aggressive policy paper of the EU Commission on Trade. It defends European corporate interests to get access to international resources at cheap prices, to ensure European growth and jobs. The policy clearly called for “undistorted access of European companies to raw materials.” The groups claim that this policy fails to address important issues like climate justice, rights of indigenous peoples, and sustainable development.

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