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Report on ADVOCATES ASIA CONFERENCE 2010

October 24th, 2010 · No Comments

As previously mentioned in my another post about attending the Advocates Asia Conference 2010, below is the report written by Min Choon (the chairman of Advocates Asia) about the said event.

It has been the practice of AA to have annual conferences. The last AA conference was held in Sri Lanka in 2007. There was no AA conference in 2008 due to the Global Convocation in Washington DC in October 2008. In 2009, the original host, Jordan, informed the AA Board in January 2009 that they could not host. Korea offered to step in but in April 2009 informed the Board that they too were unable to host. In June 2009, Malaysia agreed to host but after a few months of preparation Malaysia said that it did not have enough time to organize a conference and requested for a postponement to the following year.

The conference was eventually held at the Cititel Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 1-2 October 2010. Before the conference, there was a certain amount of uncertainty as to the support for the conference in the present worldwide economic climate and rising airfares. However, we praise God for 140 registered delegates out of which about 85 were international delegates. The Asian countries represented at the 2010 Conference were Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Jordan and Malaysia. Non-Asian countries represented were Russia, Nigeria, Switzerland, Australia, United Kingdom and United States.

The expenses for the Conference were completely undertaken by Malaysia. The funding was raised by charging each delegate US$100. Delegates had to pay their hotel charges directly to the hotel which consisted of another US$100. The deposit for half of the conference bill which had to be paid to the hotel in advance was raised by the Malaysian committee through gifts and loans from Malaysian lawyers. The registration fees collected from delegates were sufficient to more than cover the conference bill. The Malaysian committee had decided that a portion of the profits will be given to the AA Board.

Funding of delegates from poor countries was a challenge in the days leading up to the conference. Eventually, financial assistance were made available to about 20 international delegates by Syd Hume (Kyrgyzstan/Australia), Singapore, Art Lees (US) and Malaysia.

The theme of the conference was “Justice: Connect to God’s Call.” This was a variation of Micah 6:8 but skewed to promote personal involvement from delegates in the issues raised at the conference. The plenary sessions and workshops focused on religious liberty, poverty, exploitation of human labour and immigrants, ethics and networking. Speakers and workshops leaders were drawn from many Asian and Western countries. The key moments of the conference were surely the country reports. Most delegates were moved by the persecution and suffering of Christians in many Asian countries and the courage and commitment of the Christian lawyers to rise up to the defence of the Church during such trying times.

Special sessions included mentoring workshops for law students headed by the Handong International Law School. Daily prayer sessions preceded the conference program. Throughout the conference, the needs of Advocates International and in particular Sam Ericsson were remembered in prayer. A Conference banquet was held on the evening of October 1 and delegates were treated to cultural items from many Asian countries. The Country Representatives meeting extended the tenure of the AA Board and also approved Korea as the venue of the AA Conference for 2011.

Tags: Law News · Malaysian Law News

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