The challenge for ASEAN civil societies is to push demands for good governance covering the political, economic, social and cultural spheres and for the reforms undertaken to be as concrete and time specific as possible. There is a need for bottom-up not top-down governance.

The process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented concerns not only the government but also NGOs, corporate organizations, unions, associations right down to individuals. Citizens have the right to expect good governance that includes processes that are equitable and inclusive; promote participation; accountable and transparent; responsive, effective and efficient, and that follow the rule of law. This requires the establishment and strengthening of credible national institutions to implement good governance. Good governance involves not only technocratic criteria of efficiency and order but more importantly, democratic principles of participation and accountability. If governance is the exercise of authority in managing the resources of a country, then good governance concerns improving the quality of life of all citizens.

Good governance should ensure that all ASEAN citizens have a stake in their country, particularly, the most vulnerable, who need to have the opportunity to improve their lot in society.

Democracy concerns maximizing opportunities for as many people as possible to participate in the political process. Full participation in a democratic society requires the freedoms of expression, assembly and association to prevail.

Transparency: Decisions taken and enforcement that follows must be done in a manner that follows rules and regulations. 

Accountability: All institutions of the state as well as civil society must be accountable to their stakeholders. Good governance requires institutions and processes to serve stakeholders within the reasonable timeframe and to make the best use of resources

Rules of Law: The concept of rule of law can be distinguished from the rule by law in that, under the rule of law, the law is preeminent and can serve as a check against the use of power. The rule of law ensures that laws are enforced impartially and there is full protection of human rights, especially for minorities. This requires the existence of an independent judiciary, an impartial Civil Service, and an incooruptible police force.  ensures    of

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