Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gwangju International Peace Forum (GIPF) 2007

Gwangju International Peace Forum (GIPF) 2007

Draft Agreement / Decisions
17 May 2007

Inspired by the spirit of Gwangju which symbolizes people’s struggles and resistance against state violence and self-governance as demonstrated in May 1980,

Alarmed by the worsening human rights situations and sliding back of democracy in many countries in Asia,

Compelled by the urgent need to respond to the challenges of ‘threat to democracy’ and dominant culture of impunity,

1. We, participants of the GIPF 2007, resolve to initiate a foundational process of establishing a regional network (forum, platform, corridor, etc.) for action among democracy advocates, human rights defenders and social movement activists, mainly participants of the GIPF since 2003 based on the collective experiences of struggle for democracy and human rights and sense of solidarity created among participants of 1st East HRD Forum 2007.

2. A network to be created can be called temporarily “International Movement for Democratization in Asia” (IMDA).

3. Its main purpose is to promote regional cooperation among democracy advocates, human rights defenders and social movement activists for democratization from below based on people’s rights and empowerment vis-à-vis repeated violence and atrocities inflicted by states , as we experienced in different societies in Asia.

4. It should not duplicate the work of the existing organizations, networks or coalitions but complementary and there should be added-value and synergy should be sought.

5. It should be inclusive, action-oriented and victims-responsive.

6. Its foundational agenda for action can be as follows;

- Direct action on gross human right violations or “threat to democracy” and/or on impunity such as extra-judiciary killings in the Philippines.
- Support for victims of democratic struggles or human rights violations
- Capacity-building and training of young democracy advocates or human rights defenders.
- Documenting and preserving the memories of people’s democratic struggle for inter-generational dialogue or transmission of memory to young people and new generations to come.
- International solidarity campaign for the release from continued detention of 2004 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award winner Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners of Burma

7) Facilitating Committee (FC) shall be created with some members of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) of the May 18 Foundation and a few regional NGOs and national focal points that are as follows:

A. National Groups/ Focal Points –
- Burma : Aung Moe Zaw, Asia pacific people’s partnership on Burma (APPPB) or ALTSEAN-Burma
- Indonesia: Wardah Hafidz, UPC, Indonesia, IAC
- Malaysia: Mohammed Ezzam, GERAK (IAC)
- Nepal: Jit Man Basnet, Goli Village Development Committee
- Philippines: Rowel Candelaria, PhilCOS, Philippines, IAC
- Sri Lanka:K.J. Brito Fernando, Right to Life
- Cambodia: Thun Saray

B. Regional Groups
- ANFREL : Ichai Supraid
- ARENA: Francis Lee
- FORUM-ASIA: Anselmo Lee, IAC

8. The mandate of FC to facilitate a process of establishing so called IMDA among participants of the GIPF and other like minded groups.

9) FC shall be in charge of organizing a regional consultation in Asia (Bangkok, Manila or Jakarta) in the second half of the year 2007 with support from the May 18 Foundation.

10) The political killings of democracy advocates in the Philippines can be taken up as a concrete issue for international solidarity action/campaign initiated by FC.

11) FC shall draft a proposal and it will be circulated among all participants of the GIPF 2007.

12) The May 18 Memorial Foundation shall serve as an (interim) secretariat to support communication among FC and participants of the GIPF 2007, and provide necessary financial assistance for the work of the FC and a forthcoming regional consultation in 2007.

13. All participants of the GIPF since 2007 and participants of the program activities organized by the May 18 Foundation shall be invited to join the process.

14. Other participants who wish to join are invited to contact the May 18 Foundation to indicate their intension to participate and they shall be kept informed of any progress.


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