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International Committee

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE

The International Committee or the Board of Trustees oversees and serves as the advisory body of the Forum. It is the policy-making body of the Forum for the period when the General membership is not convened. The IC has eight (8) members elected or appointed by the General Membership in a meeting for that purpose or in the Forum Annual Meeting (FAM). They have a two-year term of office and are eligible for re-election or appointment.

At least five (5) of the members come from Developing Member Countries of the ADB, representing collectively at least three (3) of the Forum’s sub-region. At least one IC member come from the Philippines. At least one IC member come from the Donor Countries of the ADB. The Executive Director is an ex-officio member of the IC. The Convener or President presides over IC meetings.

HEMANTHA WITHANAGE

International Convener

Centre for Environmental Justice

Sri Lanka

RENE OFRENEO

Treasurer

Freedom from Debt Coalition

Philippines

Dr. Rene E. Ofreneo is a Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines and former Dean of the UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations. He served as Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary for Labor Relations in 1997-98, at the height of the Asian financial crisis.


Dr. Ofreneo is one of the leading scholars on labor relations and labor market studies in the Philippines and in the Asia-Pacific. He sits on the editorial board of several international journals. Among his international publications are: Asia and the Pacific: Advancing Decent Work Amidst Deepening Inequalities (Singapore: ITUC-AP, 2013); A Toolkit for Labour Law Reform Advocacy (Singapore: ITUC-AP, 2011); and Green Jobs and Green Skills in a Brown Philippine Economy (Geneva: ILO, 2010).


Dr. Ofreneo writes a weekly column, “Laborem Exercens”, for Business Mirror. Dr. Ofreneo is President of three civil society organizations: Freedom from Debt Coalition, Integrated Rural Development Foundation and Philippine Movement for Climate Justice.

NORA SAUSMIKAT

Urgewald

Europe

Nora Sausmikat is a qualified sinologist with more than 30 years of experience analyzing political reform processes in China with a special focus on environmental and human rights movements. She works with non-governmental organizations and policy makers. Since September 2019 she has been working in the influential Urgewald eV organization

In 2008, together with Klaus Fritsche, she founded the Asia House Foundation's China Program , which she continued to develop and manage until 2019. In addition, she founded the EU-China NGO Twinning Program , which up until 2019 included over 140 alumni from over 20 European countries and China. Nora Sausmikat organized the Belt and Road project of the Asia House Foundation as well as numerous European-Chinese civil society dialogues.

The focus was on human rights and the economy, raw materials policy, labor rights and civil society. In recent years she has increasingly focused her work on the environmental and social standards of the multilateral development banks, in particular the Chinese-dominated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), as well as on the social and ecological effects of Chinese foreign investments, especially within the framework of the Silk Road Initiative (Belt and Road Initiative).

Nora specialized in the subject of memory politics in China and political generation history.

She studied Sinology, Tibetan, Ethnology, Political Science and Theater Studies at the Sichuan University in Chengdu / PR China and the Free University of Berlin. She was a fellow at Beijing University, guest lecturer at various European universities and lecturer in Venice, Cologne, Dortmund, Bremen and Berlin.

From 2000-2003 she worked as a research assistant at the University of Duisburg on political reform discourses and the influence of political ideas on real politics. She is a partner in the Excellence Forum China Global and the Ruhr University Bochum. Her main areas of research are Chinese civil society, political reforms and the role of intellectuals in these processes.

Dr. phil. habil. Nora Sausmikat lives in Cologne. Her passions are yoga / tai qi, hiking and literature / art.

She lived in Nepal from 1984-85, in Chengdu from 1988-90, and in Beijing from 1993-1994 and 2005-2006. She has been traveling to China at least once a year since 2007.

HASAN MEHEDI

SOUTH ASIA

Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network (CLEAN)

Hasan Mehedi has been working in the non-profit sector since 1998. His major focus is on the policy and practices in Environment & Forest, Climate Catastrophe, Food & Livelihoods, Socioeconomic Justice and Water Management sectors. Hasan Mehedi was one of the Alternative IC Member of the Forum for the period of 2012-2014.

He founded Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) in 2010 and currently working as Chief Executive of the organization. CLEAN is a member of NGO Forum on ADB, Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL), Climate Action Network - South Asia (CANSA), Food Security Network of Bangladesh (KHANI), Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM), Democratic Budget Movement (DBM) including other national and international networks on equity and justice for the poor and marginal producers.

Mehedi is also one of the editors of Mangropedia, a free and open-sourced encyclopedia on Mangroves. A life-long activist, Mehedi has led environmental and human rights campaigns specializing in environmental and socio-economic rights for more than 20 years. He has a number of publications on climate change, forced migration, national and regional policies, and human rights.

 

Traveling, reading, collecting films, and chatting are Mehedi's hobbies.

DEWI PUSPA

Solidaritas Perempuan

Southeast Asia

For more than two decades, Titi Soentoro has been active in women’s, environmental and social movements in her home country, Indonesia, and in the Asian continent. As her main advocacy, she promotes human and women’s rights, safeguards, and accountability in the context of development. Recently, she has been heavily involved in climate change financing work. She is into policy advocacy, project monitoring, and capacity building for activists and affected communities in Indonesia and other Asian countries. She also provides international skill-share training on gender, climate, and financial institutions. Titi monitors exclusively international financial institutions (IFIs) like the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank.

 

Currently, she is the policy advisor of Aksi! for gender, social and ecological justice, an organization she established with other four Indonesian feminists. Titi is a representative of Aksi! at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Women, Law, and Development (APWLD), one of the Coordinating Group members of the Southeast Asian Women Caucus on ASEAN, and a member of GenderCC – Women for Climate Change.

A native speaker of Bahasa Indonesia, Titi also speaks English and German.

In 1986, she took up economics at the Technical University in Berlin, Germany. For her cultural interests and recreation, Titi studies Buddhist wisdom and does Vipassana meditation in Mahesi Sayedaw and Goenka traditions, yoga and tai chi. Titi is also a serious amateur photographer.

YUKI TANABE

Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES)

Australia/Japan

Yuki Tanabe joined Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES) in 2003 and became a Program Coordinator/Director in 2005. He oversees the Sustainable Development and Aid Program (SDAP) program including policy and project research and advocacy activities on social and environmental issues in development projects funded by international financial institutions.

He is a campaign coordinator of No Coal Go Green projects which is to urge the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to stop using tax money and public funds to finance coal-fired power plants.

He is also a coordinator Japan Coalition of Fair Finance for Guide, which is a web-based tool enabling bank clients to make their bank more socially responsible, fair and sustainable, by assessing and scoring bank policies on a wide range of topics against international standards of sustainability and human rights.

EANG VUTHY

Equitable Cambodia

Mekong

Vuthy is an Advocate for Land and Housing Rights and the Executive Director of Equitable Cambodia (EC). This NGO is based in Phnom Penh and focuses on securing housing, land, and natural resources rights for the urban and rural poor. Most recently, EC has been assisting the affected communities of the Boeung Kak Lake, ADB-Railway Rehabilitation, and Rubber in seeking restitution.

Vuthy has been involved in civil society activism since 2003 when he began working with an NGO that provided legal aid to Khmer and urban poor communities. He later started a charity with some American friends that ultimately became Sustainable Cambodia, a group that provided technical assistance and alternative agricultural techniques to poor farmers.

This laid the groundwork for his involvement with EC, where he seeks to use his legal background to help empower communities to advocate for policy changes at the national and international levels. Vuthy has a Master’s Degree in Law and Political Science.

NGO Forum on ADB

The NGO Forum on ADB is a network of civil society organizations (CSOs) that has been monitoring the projects, programs, and policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). 

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