Background

ASEAN CIVIL SOCIETY CONFERENCE (ACSC) / ASEAN PEOPLE'S FORUM (APF)
  • ACSC/APF is an annual / regular forum of CSOs in ASEAN Member States, which is held as a parallel meeting to the ASEAN Summit of Heads of State. The meeting is hosted by civil society in the country which it is being hosted.
  • Participants of this forum come from civil society organizations, NGOs, people’s organizations, and people’s movements.
  • The ACSC/APF also features a forum through which participants can better understand the host country from the perspective of civil society.

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  • In this meeting, CSOs bring up broad issues from different sectors and concerns, such as human rights, development, trade, environment, youth, and culture, affecting many countries in the region.
  • Initially, this forum was named as ACSC (the 1st ACSC in Malaysia – 2005), and adopted in the Philippines (2006) and Singapore (2007). The additional name APF was added during the IV ACSC (2009) in order to accommodate the different interpretation towards the term CSO and people’s organizations from Thailand’s CSOs. Since then, different titles have been used for the ACSC/APF forum in the subsequent meetings.

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  • The output from this meeting is a joint statement and recommendation for the ASEAN Leaders regarding the ASEAN Summit. A feature of the ACSC/APF is to open spaces for dialogue with ASEAN Leaders. Whether CSO representatives are able to meet with ASEAN Heads of State in the form of an Interface during the ACSC/APF depends upon the attitude of the government hosting the Summit and ACSC/APF. Nevertheless, the joint statements and recommendations are submitted to the ASEAN Secretariat and the government representatives.