The Phnom Penh Resolution

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A regional conference in Phnom Penh has appealed to countries involved in territorial disputes in East Asia to resolve conflicting issues through dialogue and peaceful means.

Participants at the conference - Photograph: http://www.d.dccam.org
Participants at the conference – Photograph: http://www.d.dccam.org

Adopted by all the participants from 19 countries and territories at the East Asian Conference of NGOs on History and Peace on 18-20 October 2012 at Phnom Penh, Cambodia

We, representative of NGOs participating in the East Asian Conference,

Recalling that the International NGO Conferences on History and Peace since 2007 have played a role of catalyst to promote the necessity of historical reconciliation and peace building in East Asia to enhance solidarity networks among NGOs working in the related fields;

Reiterating that hegemonic acts of militarism, chauvinistic nationalism, colonial expansionism, and a failure to address past issues and grievances, including irresponsible denial of past war crimes, are obstructing the road to historical reconciliation and a regional peaceful community in East Asia; and

Recognising that the survival of humanity relies on ecologically sound development and an equitable share of and access to natural resource for common people, and that the governments, civil society organisations, corporations and NGOs in East Asia need to warn against the mounting tensions ignited by anachronistic maritime territorial claims and diplomatic overtures and military operations by the concerned countries;

Hereby

  1. Reaffirm that historical reconciliation shall be an essential prerequisite to transform a culture of conflict and confrontation to a culture of peace and cooperation in East Asia, and that Japan needs to take necessary measures to resolve the pressing issues like distorted textbook versions of history and military sexual slavery known as sexually abused comfort women during the war time;
  2. Acknowledge that the latent and manifest maritime territorial and transboundary regional resource disputes in East Asia are deeply rooted in the legacy of the past colonial history in the region and are posing serious threats to people’s aspiration for peace and equitable prosperity in East Asia and around the globe;
  3. Appeal that the disputing parties in the region should stop their military deployment and operations immediately and resolve the conflicting issues through dialogue and peaceful means in conformity with the spirit and letter of the Charter of the United Nations;
  4. Support the statement of over 1,000 citizens and NGO leaders of Japan publicised on 28 September 2012 to appeal to the conflicting governments to stop the vicious cycle of territorial disputes;
  5. Urge that the governments, civil society organisations and NGOs in North and South East Asia take necessary actions to establish a regional mechanism for conflict prevention, and peace settlement by seeking ways of building a regional community of common security, peace and cooperation.

Adopted and declared by

  • Samuel Lee, President of the International NGO History Forum, The Republic of Korea
  • Lau Kin Chi, Co-Chair of Interim Executive Committee for ARENA (Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives), China
  • Hasjim Djalal, Director of Center for South East Asian Studies, Indonesia
  • Naoko Jin, Representative of Bridge for Peace, Japan
  • Francis KW Loh, President of Aliran, Malaysia
  • Chantana Banpasirichote Wungaeo, Board Member of Chulalongkorn University Peace and Conflict Studies Center, Thailand
  • Jeudy Oeung, Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, Cambodia
  • Kijoon Hong, Professor at the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies, Kyung Hee Univ. Korea
  • and 70 representatives from 19 countries at the 2012 East Asian Conference of NGOs on History and Peace
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