On November 18 – 19, General Election Network for Disability Access (AGENDA) organized a virtual two-day workshop on designing talking points for engaging with ASEAN officials. The workshop aimed to increase disabled people’s organization (DPO) partner’s capacity to more effectively advocate for the implementation of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025 (Enabling Masterplan). Facilitated by IFES Inclusion Specialist, Rebecca Aaberg, ASEAN Disability Forum (ADF) Chairman, Lim Puay Tiak, and AGENDA Disability Rights Advisor, Tolhas Damanik, DPO representatives learned the importance of identifying strategic advocacy opportunities, building advocacy allies, and collecting detailed information related to ASEAN officials’ priorities and interests on the first day of the workshop. On the second day, DPO representatives learned what makes a set of talking points effective and practiced drafting talking points and role-playing as an advocate to enhance their ability to steer the conversation back to their talking points. The workshop also welcomed Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, former Thailand representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), as a guest lecturer to share his insights on effective talking points for ASEAN officials. He emphasized the importance of having effective engagement with ASEAN officials by establishing contact persons within the sectoral bodies, regularizing the engagement with annual meetings, providing specific on points on DPO’s concerns, delivering coherent messages, and using a positive approach (ex. focusing on added valye instead of sectoral bodies’ shortcomings) in order to advocate for disability rights at the regional level. The workshop was joined by DPO representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam.

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