On 12 October 2016, SEA Junction in collaboration with Heinrich Böll Stiftung Southeast Asia organized a panel discussion on “Panel on ASEAN Governance: Is there a Role for Civil Society?”. While ASEAN as an inter-governmental institution is keen to collaborate with the business sector and closely engage with it at all levels, its relationship with civil society remains fraught with tensions. Civil society groups have little space to formally interact with ASEAN with the possible exception of the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF). The panel aimed to challenge a role for civil society in ASEAN governance, which started from the assumption that to realize a people-centered ASEAN as promised in the ASEAN Charter the contribution of civil society groups to regional development cannot be ignored.
Moe Thuzar, Fellow, Lead Researcher (Socio-Cultural Affairs), ASEAN Studies Centre & Coordinator, Myanmar Studies Programme
Romeo Arca Jr., Assistant Director/Head of the ASEAN Secretariat’s Community Relations Division
Charles Hector, Human Rights Defender and Member of the Malaysian Bar Council
Ye Khant and Yanin Wongmai.