Session # 1. Workshop on Sustainable Development Goals & Solidarity Based Community Enterprises
Asian Solidarity Economy Council (ASEC) hosted this workshop at the ASEAN People Forum held on 23 April 2015, from 2.00-4.00 pm at the Conference A (2F, Wisma MCA), Kuala Lumpur
This workshop which was participated by 22 people, highlighted the institutional arrangements, pivotal actor, and benefits of solidarity based community enterprises (SBCEs) and their contributions to the advancement of sustainable development goals.
Civil society organizations (CSOs), private sector leaders, and social entrepreneurs participating in a workshop on 23 April 2015 on the occasion of the ASEAN People’s Forum 2015 in Kuala Lumpur recognized that community based enterprises abound in local communities where organized groups of people work together to advance socio-economic justice and provide concrete solutions to their socio-economic problems.
Having reviewed prototypes of community based enterprises such as community supported agriculture (CSA), fair trade, agricultural value chains integrated and financed by microfinance institutions, and social enterprises of women workers collective, the workshop concluded that community based enterprises do contribute to wealth creation, enhancing the quality of community life, empowering people’s participation in local development, environmental conservation, and responsible use of local resources in a sustainable way.
They observed, however, that the contributions of community based enterprises to a people-centered ASEAN Economic Community are not brought to light and glossed over in the ASEAN Summit’s policy discourse.
Participants of the workshop proposed that ASEAN Heads of State recognize that developing community based enterprises is in line with the eight priorities of Malaysia as Chairman of ASEAN 2015, and will enhance ASEAN people to people cooperation in addressing poverty and local sustainable development.
Further, they proposed that an ASEAN South-South & Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) program be established and implemented as a public-CSO partnership aimed at strengthening the value chains of community based enterprises.
Nature of the activity:
Presentations were made by resource speakers on prototypes of solidarity based community enterprises such as community-supported agriculture (CSA), Fair Trade, Integration of agricultural value chains by microfinance institutions, and social enterprises of women workers collective.
The presentations were followed by an open forum in which participants raised queries, gave comments on the SBCE prototypes, and made suggestions on what the mother organizations of participants could do to advance the development of SBCEs in their respective countries.
A discussion also ensued about the follow up activities that need to be undertaken in order to call the attention of ASEAN Heads of States on the workshop proposals.
Dr. Benjamin Quinones, Jr., Chairman of ASEC
Ms. Irawati Hermantyo, Secretary General of ASEC-Indonesia
Ms. Christine Gent, Executive Director of World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) Asia
Session Moderated by Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (ASEC Malaysia)
Some Agreed outcomes/recommendations derived from the activity
1) Proposal for an ASEAN South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) program for the strengthening of value chains of solidarity based community enterprises;
2) The draft Statement of the Asian Solidarity Economy Council and the Global Movement of Moderates on “Building a People Centered ASEAN through Community Based Enterprises”;
3) Participation of workshop attendees in the GMM-ASEC Roundtable Discussion on “Fostering an ASEAN Community Cooperation” on 25 April 2015 to be held at the GMM conference hall; and
4) Post-ASEAN Peoples’ Forum2015 meetings with the ASEAN Secretariat in June 2015 and with the Lao government and Lao NGO delegation participating in APF2015 prior to the next ASEAN Summit to convey the results of the GMM-ASEC workshop.
Report prepared by: Dr. Benjamin R. Quiñones, Jr., Chairman, Asian Solidarity Economy Council (ASEC).
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April 24, 2015