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Upcoming ASEM attracts protesters

Posted October. 04, 2000 13:16,   


In anticipation of the upcoming Asia-Europe Meeting on Oct. 20 in Seoul, various non-governmental organizations, both domestic and international, have begun actively making preparations, as well.

During the ASEM, 200 or so members from NGO`s from 20 nations will visit Seoul.

It is the opinion of the NGOs that globalization, proffered by the developed nations is two-faced. In connection to the vast resources of the developed nations, an open world market is sought, while for the underdeveloped nations, strict economic principles are prescribed.

For the ASEM 2000 People`s Forum, which was established last year by 130 private organizations in order to spread the message of what they call the non-democratic character of globalization, workshops will be held from Oct. 17 to 21 at Kunkook University to discuss human rights, environment, poverty and religion. The theme for the planned workshop for both domestic and international NGO`s, will be, "Solidarity and Action for People Challenging Globalization."

On the opening day of the ASEM on Oct. 20, a joint demonstration dubbed "ASEM 2000 Seoul Action for the Opposition of the New Free-Will" will include about 20,000 people.

However, the demonstration organizers have pledged that it will not be violent like the demonstrations in Seattle during the World Trade Organization meeting or the International Monetary Fund-World Bank meeting in Prague.

"ASEM is quite different from the WTO and IMF," an administrator for the private forum Yang Young-Me, a member of the international Committee, said. "We do not wish to a scuffle with the ASEM."

Suh Young-A sya@donga.com