Monday, September 12, 2005

Criticism on MDGs

UPDATE: The secretariat received a press statement from the Prof. Jose Maria Sison about his criticism towards the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). Hereby we extract some of the main points of his criticism towards the MDGs.

As the chairperson of the International League of People's Struggle (ILPS), he denounced the MDGs, "far from promoting global economic and social justice, the MDGs is a shrewd scheme of the imperialist powers to distract attention from structural issues that are the root cause of the chronic and worsening poverty which afflicts billions of people around the world today. "

"Worse, the MDGs is being used to promote the same policy prescriptions of imperialist globalization that have hastened and aggravated the massive destruction of livelihood and economic opportunities in poor countries where more than 1 billion people are forced to survive on less than US$1 a day," he added in his statement.

The criticisms:
1. MDGs conveniently distorted the issue of poverty, and ignored its causes and conditions.

2. Limited resources of poor countries are being deflected to debt servicing.

3. MDGs systematically makes semi-colonial and colonial countries more beholden to their imperialist patrons rather than promoting self-reliance through genuine national industrialization.

The alternatives:
1. The only way to fight poverty is the assertion of the poor people's inalienable human right not simply to live but to live decently and this entails the struggle to bring to an end all structures of exploitation and poverty.

2. Recognize that these reforms will not be given to the poor on a silver platter by imperialist institutions including and even the UN. Like all the hard-earned victories of the people in the past, it can only be borne out by the militant and uncompromising struggle for national liberation, social justice and peace of the anti-imperialist movement.

What do you think about this? As we are closing to the UN General Assembly, what are the issues that we need to concern about? What are the decision that affected the people and the youth? May be we can start thinking towards these questions.

Friday, September 09, 2005

LFS gear up for bigger protests

UPDATE: Arroyo is already trapped. Her game plan obviously backfired. She can no longer escape the people's wrath. It's only a matter of time before she finally meets her doom. But unlike in computer games, there's no reset button. The only option for her is to gracefully exit before the people pull her administration's plug out.

In the statement with the title "Game over, Mrs. President", the Youth Demanding Arroyo's Removal (Youth DARE) which League of Filipino Students (LFS) is part of the coalition, called the President to step down.

Speaking in a press conference in Quezon City together with leaders of different youth and student groups, Palatino, the spokeperson of the Youth DARE said Mrs. Arroyo has already run out of tricks and is already a lame duck awaiting execution.

Palatino also rejected Arroyo's renewed call for reconciliation, saying reconciliation talks can only begin if Arroyo is already removed from power and is facing her day in court.

She has already rigged our democratic processes twice. Nobody trusts her anymore. An unrepentant person has no right to call for reconciliation. She deserves to be in jail," he stressed.

He said youth and student organizations under YOUTH DARE are already gearing up for bigger protests and expressed their support for the transport strike set on September 12.

YOUTH DARE is the national alliance/umbrella organization of different student groups, youth organizations, alliances, individuals and young professionals calling for Arroyo's immediate removal. It has recently joined the Gloria Step down Movement (GSM) and is one of the groups behind the Bukluran para sa Katotohanan

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Solidarity Message of the ASA on the 60th Year of Japan's Bombings

Dear friends in AASJA and the people of Japan:

Greetings of peace and solidarity from the Asian Students Association!

August 6 is a historical day we all remember. It was the day theworld's first atomic bomb was dropped in Japan 60 years ago killingmany innocent lives – our loved ones, friends and comrades. It wasthat day we have witnessed the atrocity, barbarism and terrorism ofimperialism, of U.S. imperialism.

The Asian Students Association, of which the AASJA is a strong andactive member of, was formed in 1969, in the heat of manyimperialist-sponsored wars, from Vietnam to Palestine and even duringthe Cold War.

Until now, the ASA has remained at the forefront of the youth andpeople's struggle against unjust wars, terrorism and the continuousatrocities wrenched by leading imperialist countries like the United States. We have strongly organized our ranks and strengthenedsolidarity among our ranks and with the peoples of the world in ourglobal fight for just peace, democracy, sovereignty, self-determination and liberation.

We strongly support the initiatives of the AASJA in organizing themass rally in Hiroshima Peace Park, where the Atomic bomb blasted. Thecourage and passion from the A-bomb survivors and the youngergeneration that followed them is an encouragement for the people allover the world to combat imperialism.

As we can see our brothers and sisters in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestineand elsewhere that remain under foreign occupation, have to experiencebomb attacks, siege and raids by foreign troops led by imperialistUnited States , Europe and Japan.

Many innocent lives in these countries and all over the world are inimminent danger as weapons of mass destruction are manufactured by the war materiel to more than 170 nations and earned 13.1 billion U.S.dollars in that year alone.

We realized that the world will never be at peace if US imperialismcontinues to extend its territory to other parts of the world. InAsia, its most important ally is Japan. With the US-Japan securityguidelines as the ultimate weapin against those opposed to UShegemony, the neo-conservative ruling elite in Japan struggle theirbest to change the Article 9 in the Japanese National Constitution. At the same time, Japan becomes the second biggest military spender inthe world. With the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), Japanese Imperialism tries their best to send their troops to assist US imperialism.

We express our concern about the development of the Japanese rightwing government in approval of the historical textbook that"white-washing" the history of the invasion history in the WWII. The application of the Japan to become the UN permanent member in the Security Council caused a lot of wariness to the people. Should this remain unstopped, they will continue to plunder not onlyJapan's sovereignty but its people as well. And the crimes ofHiroshima and Nagasaki shall continue.

The assaults and attacks from these imperialist terrorists areheightened as people's movements all over the world continue to growin number and in strength as they intensify their struggle against imperialism.

Withdraw all the Japanese troops now!

Uphold the rights of A-bomb survivors now!

No to exclusion of Korean survivors!

Stop killings!

End Occupation in Iraq!

Eliminate all the nuclear weapons!

Down with US-Japan imperialism!

Long live international solidarity!

In solidarity,

Asian Students Association

Friday, September 02, 2005

What do you need to know about "Reform the UN"?

UPDATE: The ASA secretariat had a meeting to discuss the regular works and coordination. There was an issue about the Reform the UN particularly concern about the upcoming UN General Assembly in October 2005. We found that there are some concerns and alerts that we need to take.

An official reform program was initiated by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan shortly after starting his first term January 1, 1997. On March 21, 2005, Annan presented a major report on UN Reform, In Larger Freedom.

1. Security Council Reform
A very frequently discussed change to the UN structure is to change the permanent membership of the security council.

- admit more members: candidates always mentioned are India, Japan, Germany and Brazil (the G4 nation)

- abolish the United Kingdom and France's seats and give seat to the European Union, but EU is not a state.

- remove the veto power enjoyed by the permanent members of the security council.

2. Enhancing its democratic nature
The UN is not a world government, rather than a forum for the world's sovereign states to debate issues and determine collective courses of actions. A direct democracy would request the election of the UN Secretary-General by direct vote of the citizens of the democratic countries.

For the UN to become more democratic in a direct sense, four things presumably have to happen.

- Representation would need to be based more on population vote and UN democratic and free elections to the Secretary and Assembly, rather than the present strict one-state-one-vote principle.

- The veto power of the Security Council would have to be removed.

- The UN would have to be given some power of governance over its members, just as a national government has power of governance over its citizens.

- the UN might also exclude from its membership those nations which it determined to be grossly violating the human rights of its people, including the right to periodic democratic, universal, secret-ballot elections.

What do you think about this? You can read more about the background of the reform the UN HERE!

No More Tragedy from WTO! No More Victims of WTO!

ANNOUNCEMENT: The Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO (HKPA) which the ASA also one of the members in the alliance will organize a vigil night on the September 10 evening to commemorate the victims of the WTO particular the Korean farmer who sacrificed his life in the 2003 WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun.

At the same time, the vigil light will call the people in the world to stand up for their rights. This is one of the build up event prior to the WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong end of this year. The awareness of the Hong Kong local people towards the impacts of WTO always the aim of the activities organized by the HKPA.

Following are the details of the candle light vigil:

Date: 10 September 2005 (Sat)
Time: 7 - 8:30 pm
Location: Tsim Sha Tsim Star Ferry (near the five flag poles)
Themes: Exhibition, Candle light Vigil, Poem, Songs, Memorial Service
Contact: 852-3173 8412 Mabel AU

For the ASA secretariat, we invite our member organizations from different countries to take part in this day. You can hold the vigil night in front of the WTO office in your respective countries or even government offices to call their concern about the WTO negotiation.

Please inform the ASA secretariat if you decided to hold any particular activities in this day. Hope to hear from you soon.