The Role of Government and NGO in Managing Non-Traditional Security Issues In East Asia
¡¡¡¡East Asian countries have obtained excellent achievement in economic growth and social progress. However, many of them are facing emerging challenges of non-traditional security issues.
¡¡¡¡Political challenge issue is a major concern, which originates from the imbalance between economic development and political development, includes the governments¡¯ and enterprises¡¯ violation of civil human rights for the sake of economic development, political riots from corruption and despotism, racial and religious conflict in the course of nation states¡¯ foundation and economic development, rampant rise of separatism and terrorism. For example, after the East Asian Economic Crisis, in some countries in Southeast Asia, there have experienced racial riots similar to those that continue to challenge political and social stability, as well as economic recovery. The East Asian Economic Crisis sparked off not only the collapse of the Indonesian economy but also turned its people against one another, beginning with the ethnic Chinese and then between Christians and Muslims. How to mange a stable political change and transition is essential to the future.
¡¡¡¡Economic and social challenges are still very serious, that originate from underdevelopment and the imbalance between economic development and political development, unemployment, insecure jobs, income inequalities, poverty, homelessness, discrimination, exploitation, crimes, infections and parasitic diseases, new viruses, respiratory infections, and so on. These issues became quite prominent during the period of crisis. The poverty is believed to form a sufficient condition for conflict. The poverty, when combined with high income and asset inequality particularly along ethnic or communal lines, lead to violent conflict.
¡¡¡¡Great concern lies in the challenge of environmental deterioration. For most of East Asian developing countries, economic development brought about the abuse of natural resources and damage of environment, leading to the degradation of air, water, soil, and forests. After World War II, in East Asia, on the one hand, there is emphasis on renewed growth through the market; on the other hand, there is the concern with problems of environmental degradation as a result of this growth. Moreover, the industrial development of the developing countries of Asia is currently based on forms of technology that are environmentally destructive. Demands on the resource base entailed by such growth are enormous, and they have been reflected in rapid environmental degradation .
¡¡¡¡Furthermore, there emerges a new challenge of transnational security issue that needs to be handled not just by the individual state, but also trans-national cooperation. In the process of economic globalization and regionalization, transnational crimes such as illegal migration, drug and weapon smuggling, internet crimes flourished gradually, which also happens to terrorism, infectious diseases including AIDS.
¡¡¡¡In managing those new challenges as non-traditional security issues, the roles both of government and civil society are important and should be encouraged. The emerging NGOs¡¯ role in East Asia is of great significance.
¡¡¡¡I. Government and Non-Traditional Security Challenges
¡¡¡¡1. Government¡¯s Positive Role
¡¡¡¡Undoubtedly, government should play the principle, leading and critical role in the prevention and settlement of the issue of Non-Traditional Security.
¡¡¡¡First, the rapid economic growth is mainly attributed to the government¡¯s dominance. Adversely, rapid economic growth effectively strengthens government¡¯s and citizens¡¯ capability to deal with the issue of Non-Traditional Security. The large-sized decrease of poor population, increase of labor payment, improvement of educational and medical level, extent of life span are the direct outcomes of continual rapid growth.
¡¡¡¡Second, governments are the main providers of national security, which is closely connected with social security. The security of the individuals depends amongst other things on the security of the state. If the state fails to maintain a minimum security, the security of all individuals within its boundaries is also threatened.
¡¡¡¡Third, the government protects the life, liberty and property of individuals and groups through the creation of political and socio-economic order. Many authoritarian governments pay attention to formulate comparatively fair and just competition rules, which lay an effective base for the social, economic and political order. Government also commits itself to improve education, create opportunities for citizens to protect themselves against diversified threats.
¡¡¡¡Fourth, in East Asia, governments are the initiated creator of civil security network. In a long period after World War II, governments always neglected social welfare and social security. After the economic crises, they began to pay more attention to coordinate the economy and social development. Many countries gradually established and improved social security system, effectively upgraded the society¡¯s capability to cope with the issue of Non-Traditional Security.
¡¡¡¡Fifth, government plays an irreplaceable role in settlement of racial and religious conflicts, prevention and strike of religious extremism and separatism. Some East Asian governments face special arduous mission on this side. ¡°The Multiethnic states in Southeast Asia can be arranged along a spectrum based on the degree of tension in inter-ethnic relations --from relatively stable with less tension to extremely tense. The good governance can contribute to stable relations among different ethnic groups. The relative degree of tension in inter-ethnic relations arising from government policies introduced to manage such relations is inversely related to the strength of the state. For instance, tension among ethnic groups in Singapore is relatively low, and it has been regarded as a strong state in terms of its success in the shaping of a nation state with wide social support and legitimacy. Inter-ethnic tension in Indonesia, on the other hand, is extremely high, and inter-ethnic violence, as well as separatism, is now challenging the foundations of the state. Indonesia, unlike Singapore, has been regarded as a weak state.
¡¡¡¡Finally, government protects the rights of citizens from the harmful actions of other states and non-state entities. Through bilateral and multilateral cooperation, East Asian governments made great progress in the fight against parasitic diseases, drug and weapon smuggling, illegal migration and international terrorism.
¡¡¡¡3. Government¡¯s Limitation and Deficiency
¡¡¡¡The indigenous limitation and deficiency of East Asian governments in dealing with the issues of non-traditional security come from financial limitation, bureaucratic deadlock, weak governance and political crisis.
¡¡¡¡The first deficiency is from government itself. Without sufficient democratic system and effective outside supervision regime, some governments do not like to enlarge the citizens¡¯ political involvement, to resolve the development imbalance and income distribution inequality. Governments are unable to restrain corruption, even unable to prevent violation of human rights and trample of law, these finally attribute to the tension between governments and citizens, social riot and political shock.
¡¡¡¡The second deficiency is the contradiction between government¡¯s targets and Non-Traditional Security. Many governments put the economic development at knockdown status, contrasting the economic development with social development, which unavoidably caused the lagging of the construction of social welfare and social security behind the economic development, and the over-exploitation of resources, degradation of environment.
¡¡¡¡In order to obtain rapid growth or shake off economic crises, some East Asian governments intended to suppress citizens¡¯ legal requirements, even sacrifice citizens¡¯ legal interests, which eventually caused social and political turmoil. In order to attract foreign direct investment, governments deliberately keep workers¡¯ payment at low level and severely suppress workers¡¯ organizational activities. In the financial crises broke at the end of 1990s, some policies adopted by governments directly harm the citizens¡¯ non-traditional security. Rather than adopting pro-poor policies to rescue the weak, the states in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines had to bow to the IMF¡¯s policy recommendations to cut down government budgets, remove subsidies and rationalize public and private enterprises. To those who were the victims of the adjustment policies, the governments served as an oppressor and therefore produced insecurity to them.In Indonesia, the poor who were the victims of government¡¯s financial cutback and job slash (recommended by the IMF) condemned the government. Their protest was well reflected in many street demonstrations and violence. Indeed, during 1997-2001, the incidents of social violence in Indonesia had increased from 15 in 1997 to 124 in 1998; 300 in 1999; 408 in 2000; and to 233 in 2001. Meanwhile, the number of death toll of social violence at the same period had also increased from 131 in 1997 to 1,343 in 1998; 1,813 in 1999; 1,617 in 2000; and to 1,065 in 2001.
¡¡¡¡The third deficiency is the rare resources the government has. Government does not have necessary resources and capacity to resolve the issue of non-traditional security. In the past few years, facing the pressure of poverty, population, social security, disaster relief, environmental protection, governments could not mobilize enough manpower and financial support, while flexible and proper measures and channels are also needed.
¡¡¡¡II. Emergence of NGOs and the Role of NGOs
¡¡¡¡1. Emergence of NGOs
¡¡¡¡Principally, the more the government dominates and controls economic, social and political activity, the weaker the citizens¡¯ self-governance and autonomous development are. One plural and democratic society is not only beneficial to the improvement of citizens¡¯ enthusiasm and creativity, but also favorable to the society¡¯s stability and security. In the 1980s, the prolific development of NGOs in East Asia and their interaction with government is an important part of society¡¯s democratic and plural transformation. NGOs play an important role in non-traditional security by restraining government¡¯s extreme policy, establishing new channels outside government, filling the function vacancy of government. In quite a long period after World War II, East Asian governments were at dominant status to manage every aspect of society, and citizens just played the role of unprofitable organization. This situation has changed correspondingly in the past few years thanks to the prolific emergence of NGOs.
¡¡¡¡When the economic development reached a certain level, the need for harmonious development of social economy and the rush of non-traditional security catalyzed the emergence and development of NGOs. This situation has allowed agencies outside the government (church-related organizations, NGOs, and so on) to play crucial roles in combating against non-traditional security threats. For example, in Indonesia, the number of local NGOs had grown significantly from 10,000 to around 70,000 between 1996 and 2000. This dramatic increase seems to reflect a growing spirit of voluntarism and solidarity with the poor.
¡¡¡¡NGOs have the following advantages on preventing and resolving the issue of non-traditional security.
¡¡¡¡First, NGOs, which emerge from grass roots, can bridge the government with citizens, and promote mutual understanding and communication.
¡¡¡¡Second, generally, NGOs have the characteristics of self-determination, flexibility and creativity. The society with plural units enjoys more flexibility, strain, energy and stability, and can mobilize and obtain more financial and information resources. The rise of NGOs pushes East Asia to shift to flexible channel and plural system needed for settlement of non-traditional security, because NGOs represent independence and self-determination.
¡¡¡¡Third, NGOs can find new channels for finance, information and other resources outside government¡¯s framework. Through official and diplomatic relation with other countries, East Asian governments actively promote economic cooperation with developed countries, and try to absorb foreign investment and economic assistance. Correspondingly, NGOs can mobilize organization, finance, and information resources and create reaction institutions for economic development and social stability by establishing communication with UN, UN agencies and developed countries¡¯ foundations.
¡¡¡¡In 21st century, NGOs¡¯ connection with UN is getting more and more close. 177 NGOs became the consultation members of UNCTAD; 191 NGOs enjoyed the consultation status of UNICEF; 190 international NGOs established official relations with UN Food and Agriculture Organization; and 180 NGOs regularly connect with WHO. Many of these NGOs are from East Asia.
¡¡¡¡Many NGOs strive for developed countries¡¯ official and semi-official economic and social development assistance outside government channels. Since the 1980s, with consideration of corruption and improper use of assistance, most of the developed countries decreased the direct assistance to the East Asian governments, but increased gradually assistance level to the civil organizations. In 1989, Japanese Foreign Ministry began to implement Institution for NGOs Project Security and Unprofitable Assistance Institution for Grass Roots Organizations. The former is implemented by Japanese NGOs in developing countries. This project disbursed 0.11 billion Yen in 1989, and up to 0.817 billion Yen in 1996. The latter is implemented by Japanese embassies to assist small-scale development projects in developing countries. This assistance increased from 0.3 billion Yen in 1989 to 4.5 billion Yen in 1996. Japanese Post Ministry established International Support Donation Fund in 1991, which used to support NGOs¡¯ activities. This Fund disbursed 1.1 billion Yen in 1991 and 2.81 billion Yen in 1995. Because of decrease of interest rate, this number decreased to 1.6 billion Yen in 1997. All of these disburses were utilized by 209 Japanese NGOs to help 209 NGOs from 50 countries.This shift made the NGOs in East Asia become the most important channel for development assistance outside government framework.
¡¡¡¡NGOs in East Asia get the financial support from developed countries¡¯ consortium, multinational companies, and also get information, experience, financial assistance and support by connecting with developed countries¡¯ NGOs. Natural Environment Protection Fund founded by Japan Economic Association Union assisted 41 projects of 3.5 million dollars, half of which flew to East Asian projects. Toyota consortium also increased assistance to NGOs of East Asia. The assistance to Vietnam NGOs from Western countries, especially the American multinational companies there, increased from 0.377 million dollars in 1993 to 2.713 million dollars in 1995. In the first half of 1996, this number rose to 1.197 million dollars.Holland and the United States are the main assistance sources of Indonesian NGOs.Many developed countries¡¯ NGOs implemented development assistance and environment protection projects in East Asia, and established connection with local NGOs. In 1994, the numbers of Japanese NGOs who implemented assistance projects in the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia were respectively 58, 49, 35, 23, 19, and 8. According to statistic, 81 Japanese NGOs established totally 129 overseas offices in 18 East Asia and Pacific countries.
¡¡¡¡The Philippines¡¯ NGOs developed rapidly, and established broad connection with foreign official organizations, consortiums and civil organizations, such as US Agency of International Aid (USAID), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Canada International Development Agency (CIDA), Denmark International Development Agency and some German banks. Philippine Business and Social Project (PBSP), which commit to enhancement of local autonomous development, de-bureaucracy of local administration and promotion of civil administration participation, used the financial support from USAID to assist 30 local LDAP (Local Development Aid Programs) NGOs and civil organizations. CODE-NGOs, one joint project financed by CIDA, provided the Philippines¡¯ NGOs with aid. Besides, American, European, Japanese, Canadian consortiums also support the Philippines¡¯ NGOs effectively.In 1997-1998, the financial outlay by the Vietnam government in the sector of education and occupation training was 67.19918 million dollars. In 1999, 30.357 million dollars in the above outlay was from international NGOs, which was equal to 45.2% of Vietnam¡¯s national outlay in 1997-1998. In 1997-1998, the financial outlay by the Vietnam government in the sector of medical care was 23.25674 million dollars. In 1999, 20.234 million dollars in the above outlay was from international NGOs, which was equal to 45.2% of Vietnam¡¯s national outlay in 1997-1998.
¡¡¡¡Fourth, NGOs can deal with some issues of non-traditional security that governments strive but fail to resolve. Especially in the fields of development-oriented poverty relief, family planning, disaster relief, environment protection, NGOs¡¯ advantages make up government¡¯s inherent limitation and deficiency.
¡¡¡¡NGOs¡¯ prolific development incessantly pushes the adjustment of East Asian modernization strategy. ¡°The challenge facing Asian societies today is how to bring about development that is responsive, accountable, equitable, and sustainable, which gives people greater control over their own lives.¡±Despite the wide diversity of NGOs and their purposes, a growing number of convergent voices and groups in East Asia have come together seeking an alternative to the growth-centered model of development to address the cries of poverty, environmental degradation, and social disintegration. NGOs advanced the growth-centered model of development toward the people-centered model of development, such as vindication of the rights of women, the poor, the aboriginal and other weak groups, relaxation of social tension, prevention of environment degradation. East Asian NGOs have been at the forefront in defining the goals of people-centered development at international, national, and regional level.
¡¡¡¡Generally, compared with government¡¯s status and function, NGOs¡¯ role in the settlement of the issue of non-traditional security is still subsidiary, secondary and supplementary. Even in the future, it is impossible for NGOs to replace the government to play the main role in many important fields of non-traditional security.
¡¡¡¡2. NGOs¡¯ Positive Role
¡¡¡¡NGOs are connecting government with citizens, playing a positive role in settling government-citizen contradiction and laying useful foundation for safeguard of social political security.
¡¡¡¡At the take-off stage of East Asia, effectively mobilized social resources, the highly development-oriented centralism and despotism model followed by East Asian governments unavoidably lead to abuse of power, corruption, neglect of weak groups¡¯ rights and interests. As the enlargement of the rift between government and citizens, a variety of social contradictions are prone to become acute, even revolve to large-scale social conflict and turmoil. To some extent, NGOs¡¯ canvass and struggle can send warning and deterrence to government and prevent it from abusing power as well as reversing to despotism, also alleviate the antinomy between government and citizens. The improvement of economy, enlargement of political participation and democratization became the pre-condition for economy-social coordinate development and the upgrade of economy. In this process, as the cradle of civil society, the existence of NGOs and their difference with the government in political affairs can cultivate citizens¡¯ democratic consciousness of freedom and equality. The experience of East Asia indicates that there must be high density of NGOs in highly democratized society. Civil society is not the plenitude but essential term for democracy. In East Asia, the progress of democracy, the enhancement of citizens¡¯ consciousness of independence, self-determination, freedom, equality, the increase of social flexibility and creativity are attributed to the rapid development of NGOs. Many NGOs in Asia are now forging a new role for civil society as an active and potentially independent force for development and political change within their countries. While they have fostered new political arrangements and organizational forms that are more participatory and responsive to societal demands, NGOs have attempted to reconfigure state civil society relations. In a dynamically changing political environment, some NGOs are pursuing a wide range of horizontal alliances beyond the voluntary sector, seeking to cooperate and to collaborate wherever possible with students, the press, the middle class, private businesses, and even the military within their societies. In Thailand, NGOs are an essential element in the broad coalition of groups within civil society seeking to advance democratic reforms in the aftermath of the May 1992 protests in Bangkok .In the Philippines, a number of NGOs have sought to expand the scope and impact of their work at the national level in order to strengthen the independence of civil society.
¡¡¡¡The interaction between the government and citizens changed the quality and quantity of power relation. In the past few years, East Asian governments realized that the development of civil society does not necessarily result in anticipated damage of its governance. On the contrary, the development of civil society is beneficial to its governance, while the ability to suppress is not the ability to administrate. The development of economy, pressure from poverty-environment-population crises, strong requirement of citizens for human rights and political freedom, rise of creativity at the grass roots level, make the government feel the huge difficulty to pilot economic and social transformation. This is the reason why governments wisely accept the existence and development of NGOs, which do not impose direct threats on the government as the revolution did.
¡¡¡¡In a long period after World War II, the connection between the government and citizens was absent. With the development of economy, the people who are excluded from political procedure require free press and political participation through fixed channels. Under this circumstance, NGOs connecting government and citizens emerged as the substitute channel for people¡¯s expression and participation. NGOs in East Asia are quite active in the fields of human rights. Their activities prevent the government from wantonly violating human rights, and play a positive role in the alleviation of social conflicts. In Cambodia, since 1997, the situation of human rights made new progress after the involvement of NGOs, which is symbolized by the foundation of Human Rights Action Committee composed of 17 NGOs, and the Freedom and Justice Election Union. NGOs for women call for the government to take measures to improve and protect their rights and interests, such as the rights of property ownership, heirloom, employment, free from sexual harassment and family violence. In 1989, as the result of NGOs¡¯ 5-year-long Anti-Sex-Violence Movement, Congress of Malaysia passed the Criminal Law and the amendment on rape crime in the Testimony Law.In other East Asian countries, under the pressure of women¡¯s NGOs, governments passed bills to sternly punish crime behaviors such as women trafficking.
¡¡¡¡NGOs play an important role as the political supervisor and restrictor. In the Philippines, NAMFREL supervised the national election, became the main force to extend rapid ballot count way and disclose election embezzlement. NGOs in Mindanao promoted the policy choice, curbed potential election embezzlement and violence by the education of constituency. Some of them established special channels to obtain information about corruption and embezzlement. In ROK, NGOs were active in criticizing, supervising, and advising. The most famous case is the foundation of Citizens Union for Economic Justice in 1989, which commits itself to just distribution and against corruption. Its members increased rapidly from 500 at the beginning to 9200 in 1993, 25000 in 1997, and set up 43 branches. This organization proposed to implement real name institute in financial sector, and strived to impose pressure on government by releasing statements, organizing assembly and press conferences. During the Kim Young Sam period, this institute was finally put into effect.
¡¡¡¡In Singapore, although the government-NGOs relation is highly tense, the government still can make use of the influence of NGOs to settle racial problem. Some organizations, aided by community, such as Singapore Indians Social Relation Association, Chinese Social Development Committee, and Islamic Social Development Committee made great contribution to race harmony. Malaysian government also began to distinguish NGOs of environment, consumer, human rights, development, and women issues with other NGOs, and decided to cooperate with those friendly NGOs.
¡¡¡¡NGOs are promoting the economy-social coordinate development, enhancing the social security modulus. Many non-traditional security issues, such as development assistance, family planning, humanitarian relief, which the government does not like or is unable to involve, provide huge space for the development of NGOs. In East Asia, economic development and poverty elimination are two fields where NGOs made prominent achievement. Comparatively even distribution of the results of economic growth is an important experience of East Asian modernization, whereas different social groups gain differently. For example, a key social question raised in each country in Southeast Asia is the extent to which different groups are benefiting or suffering from the rapid changes affecting each society,urban versus rural,landed versus non-1anded,central versus peripheral,distinctions are sharpening,but also becoming more complex.NGOs cooperate with World Bank, UNDP, UNFAO and other countries, assuming the work of planning, consulting, organizing, supervising, effectively promoting social-economic development of underdeveloped regions in the fields of development-oriented poverty relief, poverty reduction, medial improvement, and education promulgation. Indonesia and the Philippines¡¯s NGOs¡¯ performance are more prominent. In Malaysia, Malays¡¯ social welfare and social security are mainly charged by government, whereas the non-Malays¡¯ depend on NGOs funded by Chinese and Indians.
¡¡¡¡East Asian economic crises produced a large number of unemployed people. Many NGOs were established to help and aid the jobless. In 1998, Indonesian government implemented the rescue plan and recovery plan,and hundreds of NGOs from all over Indonesia were invited by the government to select target groups andimplement the two activities. Apart from helping the government to implement the social safety-nets program, NGOs also run their own relief projects. Some of them formed a national coalition and network in order to make a greater impact. For example, in 1999 twenty-seven NGOs from all over Indonesia formed a consortium to run a community recovery program¡ªPKM. To administer the implementation of the PKM, the consortium established the National Advisory Council whose membership consisted of representatives of NGOs, academia, and government agencies. This consortium managed to secure some US$20 million funding from donor countries (Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark and Italy). An international agency (the UNDP) and the Indonesian government, where Bappennas (the National Development Planning Board) agreed to contribute 1 billon Rupiah to support the project.
¡¡¡¡Humanitarian assistance is another important activity of NGOs. Through cooperation with UN humanitarian center¡¯s standing committees, such as UNFAO, UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees), International Red Cross Committee, NGOs actively participate in poverty reduction, settlement of women and children issues, prevention and cure of AIDS. In Thailand, when AIDS patients were found in 1984, the corresponding NGOs were established immediately. Till the mid 1990s, this kind of NGOs increased to 76.On January, 1995, Japan Hanshin-Awaji earthquake claimed the death of 6400 and left 320,000 homeless. Due to the government¡¯s limited assistance, 1% Club, International Center of Japan NGOs, Red Cross and the media mobilized 1.3 million volunteers to take part in rescue work, and raised 160 billion Yen for the refugees. NGOs¡¯ activities enormously alleviated the suffering of victims, and helped them pull through difficulty.
¡¡¡¡Some NGOs help the migrants become familiar with local environment, which are of important significance in preventing transnational crimes. Since 1980, more and more foreigners went to Japan for work and study, and foreigners married with Japanese also increased sharply. How to manage foreigners is a new challenge for Japanese government. Since 1990, the migrants of Latin Americans in Japan increased from 1.32 million in 1993 to 1.41 million in 1996, and illegal residents reached 280000. According to an investigation made by Asahi Shibun, 296 international exchange and cooperation organizations were established to help foreigners, 146 of them were founded after 1988.In 1990, Japanese retirees and housewives established language studying volunteer organizations such as Friend to help foreign students and their family members with Japanese study. According to an investigation made by Tokyo Japanese Volunteer Network, there were 70 classrooms and lectures, which provided free language studying service to foreign students.Some NGOs applied themselves to vindicate foreign labors¡¯ rights, such as asking for payment in arrears, providing medicine, education, and judicatory services. On behalf of foreigners, All Japan Migrant Union Network always negotiated with local governments and parliament. This organization took part in MFA in 1999.
¡¡¡¡In the past few years, there have emerged many NGOs and non-profit organizations (NPOs) focusing on exchange and mutual understanding of cultures. Culture activities dominated by the government are liable to national interests-oriented development, crazy patriotism and Chauvinism, leading to racial and cultural friction. With the character of super-nation and super-country, international cultural exchanges promoted by NGOs are liable to alleviate culture conflicts and prevent the happening of non-traditional security issue.
¡¡¡¡With regard to construction of social security network, it is more and more popular in East Asia that government pays more attention to the special role of NGOs. In Malaysia, government invited some moderate organizations like Malaysia Family Planning Union, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association£¨FOMCA£©, National Women Committee to take part in national economic construction. Malaysia Family Planning Union, FOMCA also keep harmonious relation with Ministry of Industry and Ministry of Health. Since 1990, the representatives of FOMCA connected with officials of Ministries of Health, Finance, Information and Agriculture periodically, imposing influence on drawing of government policies. In 1989, the government allocated 285000 Ringgit to this organization.As the economy developed rapidly, the function of Japanese government was unable to fulfill the actual need of citizens. This function gap was filled in by non-profit organizations and volunteer groups. Hanshin-Awaji earthquake of 1995 deepened this necessity. At that time, more than 1.3 million volunteers took part in relief, and NGOs took on some work that government could not bear. Leaders from political, financial circles put more hope on NGOs, and tried to help and foster the development of NGOs. On March 1998, Japanese government formulated Law Regulation for Boosting Special Non-government Activity, with an aim to boost the development of non-profit organizations. In 1990, head of Singapore Ministry of Social Development proposed that government should provide citizens and civil associations with plenty of chances, encouraging their service for welfare cause. In Thailand, NGOs did a lot of works in the fields of family planning, medical care, etc.
¡¡¡¡In East Asia, some projects of non-traditional security could not continue without the support of NGOs. The Ministry of Health of the Philippines relied on NGOs¡¯ support to deal with Roman Catholic¡¯s objection of family planning. Due to high payment, Ministry of Health could not recruit young doctors for rural medial agencies. Whereas, NGOs pay enough money to rural doctors, and provide some medical equipment to rural agencies.
¡¡¡¡Cooperation between government and NGOs is beneficial to resources integration of non-traditional security. In Hong Kong SAR of China, NGOs play an important role in the field of social welfare. 20% of the social welfare input is from NGOs.NGOs also extend their work to some sensitive aspects that the government is inconvenient to do, such as adolescence education, induced abortion (in Malaysia and Thailand, abortion is illegal), service for weak groups (sex workers and criminals). Malaysia established state-level family planning association in 1953, then the national family planning association. Because Malaysia does not implement serious population control, these associations committed to family health and family development, made great progress in the fields of genital health in different groups including youth and sex workers.
¡¡¡¡In the mid 1970s, when Population and Development Association (PDA) began to promote family planning, the birth rate of Thailand reached 43¡ë due to lack of family planning consciousness and contraception. At first, PDA distributed condoms and prophylactic medicine in communities. At that time, only doctors had the right to grant prophylactic medicine, but doctors worked only at regional hospitals, so many people in rural regions could not enjoy any contraception service. With the involvement of PDA, the nurses also obtain the right to grant prophylactic medicine. Realizing the vicious circle among low education, low health level and poverty, PDA focused on improving the health level of communities. PDA implemented rural community project (CBIRD), community income-increasing project (CPI), TBIRD, AIDS prevention project, connecting development of community with improvement of health. These projects not only decreased the birth rate, but also promoted the development of human beings.
¡¡¡¡NGOs are playing an important role in environment protection. NGOs in East Asia play an import role in national use of resources, protection of environment and sustainable development. NGOs concerning environmental protection were established under the background that resources and environment were seriously damaged with the development of economy. With the support of other countries environment-related NGOs, they strived with multinational companies, opposing construction of dams, industrial pollution, unrestrained exploitation, destroy of forest and plain, and made great progress in this field. NGOs of Thailand successively stopped or postponed several dam projects invested by National Irrigation Agency and electricity companies. They also did a lot of work to oppose unrestrained hag of tropic forest.Project of Environment Resume (PER), one union against deforestation, composed of representatives from government, business, community and 38 groups, helped journalists obtain valuable news. Under the joint auspice of PER and Thailand Wild Fund, government prohibited tree-hag in public land including forestland, parks, and wild animal reserves.
¡¡¡¡In the field of environment protection, NGOs not only cooperate or struggle with the government, but also link with UN Environment Program, acted independently. Institutional bases of environmentalism have multiplied throughout Southeast Asia during the 1990s£®NGOs represent the most commonly recognized organizational basis for environmental advocacy and action£®In Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia,environmental NGOs have mushroomed in number and diversified in character. Some environmental NGOs are principally advocacy and campaigningorganizations,notably Project for Ecological Recovery in Thailand,Sahabat Alam in Malaysia,Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (Indonesian Environmental Forum or WALHl) and Sekretariat Keliasama Pelestarian Hutan lndonesia (Indonesian Anti- Deforestation NGOs Network or SKEPHl) in Indonesia and Green Forum in the Philippines. These groups have secured strong links with one another, and with international environmental organizations. Other groups are involved in more specialized areas such as environmental education, watchdog activities in areas such as chemical pesticide monitoring, or development and application of alternative technologies. In Laos DPR, Burma and Vietnam, there are still very limited opportunities for independent NGOs¡¯ action, but foreign NGOs are increasingly staffed locally. The Sustainable Agriculture Forum in Laos, for example, serves as a kind of surrogate indigenous NGOs, involving mainly Lao and Lao-speaking expatriates with a constructively critical approach to the country¡¯s development strategy similar to those taken by NGOs elsewhere. ROK¡¯s environment protection movement grew since the second half of 1980s. The biggest one--Environment Protection Union (EPU)--was founded on March 18, 1998. In 2002, this group has 46 local and central organizations with 70000 members. The famous EPU sponsored by National Forest Movement, which promoted tree planning, cultivated people¡¯s consciousness of environment protection, called on forest loving, and propagandized harmonious co-existence between human beings and nature. The Philippines Environment Union, founded in 1979, and its 720 green forums also played an important role in this field.
¡¡¡¡At the initial stage of economy development, almost all the East Asian governments regarded the NGOs as the threat of political and social security. Since 1990, the relation between government and NGOs began to improve, but the difference and opposition still existed in some aspects such as enlargement of political involvement, promotion of democracy, protection of human rights, even in the field of environment protection. In Indonesia and Malaysia, this kind of opposition is serious. Malaysian government distrusted Aliran, Sahabat and some other NGOs, and put their activities under supervision. Usually, government is suspicious of NGOs who promote democracy, human rights and free press.To some extent, this suspicion and distrust is beneficial to national security and stability. Because most of the East Asian countries are multinational and multi-religious countries, if government looses the control and lets alone the activities of some groups including propagandizing race enmity and national independence, it would result in serious racial and religious conflicts, even leading to split of state. Because of the great difference in history and culture between East and West, East Asian political democracy should seek its own model to suit its national conditions. NGOs will not just follow the foreign model in promoting the political and social transition. If they just mobilize anti-government activities, there may cause big social riot and political crises. Besides, NGOs have to be clarified by their natures and functions. Some extremist groups that use NGO as the cover of their activities should not be tolerated, and also NGOs themselves should pay great attention of the issue of good governance.
¡¡¡¡III. NGOs in China
¡¡¡¡Current Situation of NGOs
¡¡¡¡In China, NGOs are termed as social groups by government. After the issuing of Temporary Measure for Registration of Social Organizations by central government in 1950 and the integration of old NGOs, China¡¯s NGOs entered a new rapid development period till the mid 1960s. By the statistics, the national social groups increased from 44 to nearly 100, and local social groups increased to 6000. Since Cultural Revolution starting in 1966 damaged China¡¯s democratic and legal system, NGOs based on law almost disappeared. Since reform and opening in 1978, NGOs faced new development opportunities. Especially in the 1980s, numbers of NGOs increased on an unprecedented scale, and reached 200,000. After second integration in 1997, NGOs decreased to 136,000, and national NGOs dropped from 1849 to 1500.
¡¡¡¡NGOs¡¯ rapid development was based on two conditions. As the reform and opening policy shifted the planning economy system to market economy system, the government does not play the role of omnipotent manager, and the control and distribution rights are leaked from government to society. This change provided enough room for NGOs¡¯ emergence. Lawmaking also laid legal base for NGOs¡¯ development.On the other hand, with the development of economy, China¡¯s non-traditional security issue flourished. Unfair distribution, polarization and corruption made people lose confidence to the government; poverty, unemployment, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, drugs and women trafficking formed serious threats to people¡¯s life and social security; environment and resource were polluted and damaged seriously. All this could not be dealt with or resolved by government, so NGOs emerged as a supplement actor.
¡¡¡¡According to Chinese scholars¡¯ opinion, China¡¯s NGOs development depends on the government¡¯s choice, with a characteristic of low density, low out lay, low capability and irrational structure. For example, the number of non-profit organizations in 10000 peoples is 110.45 in France, 97.17 in Japan, 51.79 in America, 17.18 in Indonesia, and 1.45 in China respectively.This situation demonstrated that the prevention and settlement of non-traditional security issue still depend on government. NGOs could only play secondary role under the guide and support of the government.
¡¡¡¡NGOs¡¯ Active Role
¡¡¡¡Although NGOs¡¯ role is still limited, their importance is growing. It is estimated that NGOs will play a more and more important role in the field of non-traditional security with the further development of economy.
¡¡¡¡NGOs can play an important role in helping a smooth political transition. Reform and opening policy made some deep-seated problems exposed, such as backwardness of rural region, over-burden of peasants, lay-off of workers, polarization of society, and unbalanced development of regional economy. Before the settlement of these problems, if the authority politics strips the political rights of people, any failure of control, poverty, unfairness and corruption will incite social discontentment. Without effective control, this discontentment will be deteriorated into civil resist or even social riot.
¡¡¡¡At present, Chinese government is committed to care for the weak groups and underdeveloped region, take measures to reinforce anti-corruption movement, involve social elites into policy making, consult with citizens in process of policy making, and relax control of mass media and community, with an aim to let people¡¯s will and interests be expressed and satisfied. At the same time, NGOs also play an important role in enhancing political security. Just as some Chinese scholars pointed out that, although China¡¯s NGOs are not a political power and do not take part in political activities, as a civil organization charged with special social functions, they can influence political process.Democratization is a long way to go, at present stage, the focus should be the grass roots especially the building of rural region¡¯s democracy. NGOs help to increase people¡¯s basic and political consciousness, encourage people to unite to vindicate their legal and rational rights, and promote the formation of social base for democracy by enlightening, educating and inducting people. NGOs enjoy the rights of knowing the inside story and consultation, take part in policy-making of social and economic development, supervise and criticize the government¡¯s performance. It is estimated that, in the future, China¡¯s NGOs will obtain further development and play an important role in promoting structural transformation of political system in China, which means to limit the elites¡¯ interests, protect people¡¯s rights and incline to people in distribution of wealth cake.
¡¡¡¡The Center for Women¡¯s Law Studies & Legal Services is one typical NGO that provides law assistance for weak groups. The Center was founded in December, 1995, with the tenet of committing to law assistance, protecting women rights, vindicating justness of law, studying women rights, promoting level of state law assistance and protection of women rights. The Center¡¯s normal works include three aspects: law consultation, deputizing cases, and law studies. Till 2000, the Center received 6000 law consultation cases and 425 applications for law assistances, 187 of which were deputized by the Center, including women labor rights, personal rights, property, marriage, and family issues. Some of these cases drew broad attention of social circles, such as 25 women workers of Hebei province suing one Beijing dress factory on payment delay. This prosecution was finally done two years later after broad report by newspaper and TV stations. The concern of state leaders and unremitting endeavor of the staff of the Center, vindicated the women rights and the justness of law.
¡¡¡¡NGOs can play an important role in reducing economic and social division. Development-oriented poverty reduction, family planning and disaster relief are the main activities of China¡¯s NGOs. The related famous NGOs include Foundation for Underdeveloped Region of China, China Association for NGO Cooperation, China Population Welfare Fund, China Family Planning Association, China Youth Development Foundation, China Charity Federation, Practical Skills Training School for Women Peasants, and the Amity Foundation.
¡¡¡¡In the field of development-oriented poverty relief, NGOs¡¯ main activities include aiding the poor (Foundation for Underdeveloped Region of China implemented poverty farmers independence project, improving the basic water, farming and living conditions), technology-oriented poverty reduction (Foundation for Underdeveloped Region of China and Practical Skills Training School for Women Peasants implemented practical skills training project), education-oriented poverty reduction (China Youth Development Foundation implemented Project Hope, China Children and Teenager¡¯s Fund implemented Spring Bud Plan, China Charity Foundation and World Vision International jointly implemented Candle Project, China Population Welfare Fund and the China Family Planning Association jointly implemented Aiding the Poverty Mother Program). Furthermore, some NGOs cooperated with international NGOs in carrying out culture-oriented poverty relief and material object-oriented poverty reduction projects.
¡¡¡¡The China Family Planning Association, founded in 1980, is an organization composed of enthusiastic volunteers. Its service object is women in bearing ages and its tenet is: mobilizing the mass to practice family planning voluntarily, caring about population growth and the harmonious development and sustainable development among society, economy, environment and resource. At present, Association has 1 million grass root groups and 80 million members. In the past 20 years, the Association implemented many development programs around family planning course, and did a lot of jobs in researching, educating and propagandizing family planning. The Association put its emphasis on rural region, linking family planning with development-oriented poverty reduction and community activities, and taking part in policy making at different administration levels. The Association¡¯s work is proved efficient.
¡¡¡¡NGOs can also play an important role in the environmental protection. As the persistent development, the degradation and depravation of environment and resources are getting more and more serious, which is why environment security became the main sector of NGOs. In the past few years, NGOs concerning the environment are the most rapidly growing organizations. There are 1600 environmental NGOs around China in different regions and at various levels.The famous ones are: Friends of Nature, Global Village of Beijing, Green Home Volunteer, China Beastie Protection Association, China Green Fund, Beijing Environment Protection Fund, China Wild Protection Association, China Landscape Engineering Fund, China Environment Protection Industrial Association, Beijing Environment Protection Industrial Association, China Plant Academy, China Nature Resource Academy, China Environment Academy, Green Camp for University Students, Green Forum for University Students, Shanghai Youth Association of Environment Fancier.
¡¡¡¡Such are the main work of environmental NGOs: promulgating, educating and propagandizing environmental consciousness, promoting and enforcing the public participation in environmental protection, providing financial, equipment and technology support, implementing various environmental protection programs, organizing research, development and protection activities.In April, 2000, Global Village of Beijing and other 6 organizations jointly started Earth Day 2000 China Action; Friends of Nature called for the protection of Tibet Antelope; China Youth Development Foundation sponsored Green Project Hope. In China, State Council proposed to establish public participation system, giving free rein to social groups, encouraging public participation in environmental protection, impeaching and disclosing performance against environmental protection regulations in decision on some problems of environmental protection. Chinese environment organizations play a supervision role by varied means and ways. In Suzhou city of Jiangsu province, citizens were organized to protect and supervise environmental issues since the end of 1970. In the 1980s, many streets and resident communities founded environmental protection and supervision groups, forming an environmental supervision network around the whole city, supervising the environmental protection of enterprises and administrative units.
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