In an open statement to ASEAN leaders as they gather in Bangkok for the 34th ASEAN Summit, 110 community and civil society organisations and networks have urged ASEAN to respect people’s rights and livelihoods. 

Noting that ASEAN economic integration has prioritised the interests of investors with little regard to the negative impacts on people’s territories, livelihoods and economic conditions, “The ASEAN We Want” outlines the signatories’ hopes and demands for a just, prosperous and genuinely sustainable ASEAN.  

The theme for the 34th ASEAN Summit is “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability.” However, ‘sustainability’ continues to be used to justify – and mask the widespread impacts of – large-scale projects, which are threatening the lives and well-being of communities and damaging the region’s biodiversity and ecosystems.  

“Overall, we ask for a common and collective understanding that “A people-centred ASEAN” cannot be achieved unless the roles, rights and livelihoods of people are sincerely respected and upheld by ASEAN governments and other relevant actors, specially businesses and corporations,” the statement concludes. 

The full statement with list of signatories is available at: contacts: 

Media Contacts

Premrudee Daoroung, Project Sevana South-East Asia, +66 814342334

Sor. Rattanamanee Polkla, Community Resources Center Foundation, +66817725843

Wora Sukraroek, ETO Watch Coalition Thailand, +66616855808 

Featured image: Community member fishing on the Mekong River | Photo by International Rivers