The 9th Asia-Europe People’s Forum, which concluded last week in Vientiane, Laos, brought together over 1,000 participants from people’s organisations, civil society and activist movements from across Asia and Europe to reflect on four major themes:
- universal social protection and access to essential services;
- food sovereignty and sustainable land and natural resources management;
- sustainable energy production and use; and
- just work and sustainable livelihoods.
ChildFund Laos played a central role in supporting the success of AEPF 9, including a lengthy and participatory consultation process that involved youth across the country.
ChildFund Australia International Program Director, Mark McPeak, highlighted the importance of the Declaration’s embrace of the active participation of children and young people in decision-making that affects them. He said: “For ChildFund, it is crucial that the voices of children, young people, and the most vulnerable be heard to ensure that more just, people-centered services and development takes place.”
The Declaration will now be shared with governments across Asia and Europe, with the aim that it will be shared with heads of state and other government representatives at the upcoming Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), to be held in Vientiane in November.