Engaging the ASEAN: Toward a Regional Advocacy on Land Rights | Land Portal

Información del recurso

Date of publication: 
Marzo 2009
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was
established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five
original Member Countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined on
8 January 1984; Vietnam, on 28 July 1995; Lao PDR and
Myanmar, on 23 July 1997; and Cambodia, on 30 April 1999.
In principle, ASEAN supports poverty reduction, food security,
sustainable development, and greater equity in the ASEAN
region. However, a closer look at the pronouncements contained
in its policy documents reveals that an economically-driven
framework of growth still drives the work of ASEAN, even as it
strives to create “caring societies”. While the organization does
have a policy of engaging NGOs, it is not clear how NGOs could
participate meaningfully in providing direction for ASEAN’s
work. This requires clarification on the part of ASEAN.
This issue brief argues that before ASEAN could engage in
meaningful dialogue with NGOs, it will first have to grapple with
a number of issues, namely, (1) food security for farmers that
likewise promotes poverty eradication and rural development; (2)
property rights as a fundamental human right of farmers; (3)
ensuring justice in poverty eradication and rural development
efforts; and (4) economic growth as a precursor for social
The key structures in the ASEAN that need to be engaged are
the following: the ASEAN Summit; the ASEAN Socio-Cultural
Community; the ASEAN Ministers on Poverty Eradication and
Rural Development; Senior Ministers on Poverty Eradication and
Rural Development; Functional Cooperation Bodies (e.g. Poverty
Eradication; Social Development); the ASEAN-Japan Dialogue;
Issue Brief 2
Engaging the ASEAN: Toward a Regional Advocacy
on Land Rights1
the ASEAN–Australia Dialogue; Advisory Groups to ASEAN; and
the ASEAN Development Fund.
At the end of this issue brief, practical steps and talking
points for engaging the abovementioned structures in ASEAN
are presented...

Autores y editores


Land Watch Asia (LWA) is a regional campaign to ensure that access to land, agrarian reform, and sustainable development for the rural poor are addressed in national and regional development agenda. The campaign involves civil society organizations in seven countries – Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Philippines.

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