Social Security: GO-NGO%20ASEAN%20GO-NGO%20Forum%20report%20Dec07

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ASEAN GO-NGO Forum puts key issues on the agenda The second ASEAN GO-NGO Forum held in Ha Noi in December 2007 has put the key issues of human trafficking, social protection and people with disabilities firmly on the agenda of both national NGOs and key ASEAN GOs for the next 12 months. Meeting in Ha Noi, Vietnam in early December in the lead up to the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD), the GO-NGO Forum examined two major consultation papers commissioned b
  ASEAN GO-NGO Forum puts key issues on the agenda The second ASEAN GO-NGO Forum held in Ha Noi in December 2007 has put thekey issues of  human   trafficking, social protection and people with disabilities firmly on the agenda of both national NGOs and key ASEAN GOs for the next 12months.Meeting in Ha Noi, Vietnam in early December in the lead up to the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD), the GO-NGOForum examined two major consultation papers commissioned by the InternationalCouncil on Social Welfare (ICSW) for the Forum entitled: ã “Trafficking and related labour exploitation in the ASEAN region”; and ã “Social Protection in ASEAN: issues and challenges for ASEAN and its member countries”.In addition, the meeting heard reports, particularly from a number of VietnameseNGOs working in the field of People with Disabilities (PWD), on the key national andregional challenges for policy development and implementation to provide better services and opportunities, within a rights based framework, for PWD. Unanimous recommendations In conclusion, the GO-NGO Forum endorsed the value of continuing the Forum on anannual basis but also the need to undertake a lot of national level GO-NGO dialogueon the three major issues identified in the lead up to next year’s Forum in Manila. Theunanimously endorsed recommendations committed both the ICSW National Councilmember and the relevant Social Welfare and Development Department in eachASEAN country to meet at least twice over the next eight months to prepare for theadoption of recommendations at the next Forum. Each of the consultation paperscontains a chapter or section on the situation in each ASEAN country with a series of both national level and ASEAN regional level recommends to be considered. Thesechapters and recommendations are to be discussed and checked at the nationallevel for modification before, and consideration at, the 2008 Manila GO-NGO Forum. Minister welcomes NGOs and there work In welcoming delegates to Vietnam and the Forum, Minister Dam Huu Dacacknowledged the importance of the GO-NGO partnership in economic and socialpolicy:“Non-governmental organisations play an important role in developing andimplementing social security and development programmes of a country,especially the ASEAN member countries. Without the assistance from non-governmental organisations in terms of both technical issues and resourcemobilisation in several policies and social development programmes, manycountries will meet with difficulties in providing social services for vulnerablegroups.”In the context of Vietnam, where there is still not a clear appreciation of theindependence of, or understanding of the role of, NGOs these were particularlywelcome comments. ASEAN engagement with NGOs not robust –but progress ICSW President for South East Asia and Pacific, Michael Raper noted that the GO-NGO Forum had already been recognised in its first 12 months as a very important  development as, over its 40 year history, ASEAN engagement with NGOs had notbeen regarded by civil society organisations as having been robust or free-flowing or structured on the basis of mutual respect. Mr Raper also observed that althoughthere had been many fine resolutions at the first GO-NGO Forum, there had not beensufficient follow-up and, on behalf of ICSW and the NGOs present, he invited all toconsider improving on this over the next 12 months. With the commitment to regular structured dialogue on human trafficking, PWD and social protection over the next 12months that arose form the Ha Noi Forum, this issue has certainly been addressed.
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