Directions and Thematic Priorities

The advocacy, campaigns and capacity building efforts of the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) contributed to the growth of the constituency for peace building in Mindanao; to the expansion of civil society space in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)  along the themes of human rights, migration and security; to heightening of civil society organizations (CSO) and grassroots participation in peace building and conflict prevention in Mindanao; to the broadening of CSO coalitions and networks in the region; and, to sustained solidarity for Burma.

Over the years in areas such as East Timor, Burma, Aceh and Mindanao, IID has  also significantly contributed to the development of a culture and sense of solidarity among peoples, particularly civil society in the region. This is a re-affirmation of the relevance of people-to-people, or “south-south” solidarity in advancing people’s causes, particularly self-determination struggles.

The region’s peoples are not only focused on pursuing their respective struggles  for their right to self-determination (RSD), but are also beset by deficits, if not regression and/or the need to consolidate and expand democracy and its processes in their respective contexts.

In advancing RSD and democracy struggles and causes, there is meantime also an immediate need to address ongoing and lingering intra and inter-state conflicts through peace building efforts and mechanisms.

Shifting the focus of IID’s interventions to the themes of Conflict Prevention and Peace building, Right to Self-Determination, and Democratization affirms their inter-relatedness while strengthening the crosscutting themes of human rights and solidarity.

Appreciating the challenges posed by the global context and desiring to be more effective in its response, IID has recast its mission and goals. IID strives to be the leading solidarity advocacy institution in the region promoting people-to-people internationalism and south-south solidarity.  The institution’s goals for the next three years are:

1. To promote effective peoples’ engagement on peace building and conflict prevention and governance mechanisms and processes in Southeast Asia

2. To support IID networks in leading a regional peoples solidarity and peace movement addressing the issues of human rights, human security, democracy and governance in Southeast Asia

3. To strengthen and position IID as a recognized and prominent South-South solidarity and advocacy institution in Southeast Asia

IID’s efforts to achieve its mission and goals are guided by the following institutional approaches:

Partnership building and engagements among civil society, governments and multi/bilaterals. Not   one actor can resolve conflicts single-handedly. There is need for complementation and for partnership among the main actors in resolving and preventing conflicts. Engagement is necessary to assert this notion, to convince specially the governments and even civil society players who continue to take an adversarial or confrontational approach in dealing with governments and multi/bilateral institutions.

Assertion of CSO roles. The primacy role of civil society in advocating this partnership and engagement framework and approach must be reiterated, especially so since civil society has been marginalized in these processes.
Active participation of peoples. Communities and civilians have always been the victims of war and both governments and non-state armed actors invoke them in their violent conflicts. When  these two combatants entertain a peace process, they claim to be mandated by these very same people.  Almost always however civilian perspectives do not find their way to the “table”.  It is thus imperative that their voices are asserted directly or through their champions and partners in civil society.

South-South Solidarity.  The assertion of a local struggle takes on a broader and stronger dimension if supported and resonated with similar struggles of other peoples.  There is strength  in breadth and numbers specially from people or sectors that mirror one’s own struggle. South-South solidarity also provides a platform and opportunities for people-to-people learning and solution-seeking.

Respect for Human Rights. Democratization, the right to self-determination and conflict prevention and peacebuilding are themes that complement and are inter-related. They can be pursued in a manner that strengthens the promotion, protection and fulfillment of human rights.

These approaches will be pursued by IID in the next three years through thematic programs (Conflict Prevention and Peace building, Democratization and Right to Self-Determination) and the core programs Knowledge Management and Communications, Capability Building and Institution Development.

IID also recognizes the gender dimension of its work. It intends to pursue a rights-based approach to gender. IID will promote equality by identifying gender issues in specific contexts, looking in particular at the nexus of gender and culture. Women’s empowerment will be promoted using the principles of  conscientization, participation and control as entry points.