What is the RCM?
The World Student Christian Federation - Asia Pacific (WSCF-AP) is consist of 22 member movements and the Student Christian Movement of Hong Kong (SCMHK) is one of them. The responsibility of WSCF-AP is to promote the cooperation among SCMs, and provide the most appropriate assistance when the Members are in need, but the administration and operation of the SCMs are independent of it. The Regional Committee Meeting (RCM) which is going to held in May 2017, is an opportunity to bring 22 member movements together to discuss the operational guidelines for the WSCF-AP for the next two years and select a new Standing Committee.
This is the 22th RCM of the WSCF-AP. From 10 to 13 May 2017, the meeting will be held in Thailand, at the Bangkok Christian Hostel. Prior to the meeting, the WSCF-AP has also arranged the Women's Workshop (5-6 May, 2017) and the Theological Conference (7-9 May, 2017) for different countries’ representatives to have more opportunities to interact and communicate.
What is the process and decision-making approach of the RCM?
The RCM, in fact, is similar to general organization’s AGM. During the meeting, Member Movements will pass through various contents, for examples, the agenda, the last meeting minutes, the financial report, the budget for the event and the date of the next meeting. According to the proposed operational guidelines of each content, Member movements will give comments or amendments, pass or objection. Each Member Movement only have one vote, even though there is more than one person attend the meeting. This year, Hong Kong will propose numerous amendments for the Charter, also, discusse and revise them with other SCMs, which will make the meeting unusual.
We will also select several committee seats, including the WSCF-AP Executive Committee, the Human Rights Righteousness and Peace Commission, and the Regional Women's Commission. To make the election fair, the candidates will be chosen from the Member Movements and the nomination will also be reviewed case-by-case before the election. If necessary, the selection committee will meet with the nominee. Moreover, based on the character of the vacancies, the selection committee will recommend some of the suitable candidates for delegates to vote.
What political program will you raise in current Asia Pacific Conference? Why?
As we all know, the WSCF is a 122-year-old organization while the Asia-Pacific region of WSCF already has 50-years-old history. Unfortunately, in recent decade, both unions gradually having financial difficulties and focus various problems caused by the spread of Conservative Evangelicals. Under such situation, reform is a must! Being one of the Member Movements and the most mature Christian Student Movements in the region, Hong Kong's SCM has the responsibility and capacity (sufficient theological discourse) to promote and even assist the WSCF-AP to carry out the reform. Hence, based on the status and progress of the WSCF-AP in last two years, the Executive Committee of SCMHK has do a thorough and detailed research. And in current meeting, we will propose a large amount of issues and provide our point of view to all the Member Movements.
First of all, we think that the evaluation of the staff (Staff Appraisal) should be done per year, in addition, addressing inquiries to the quality of WSCF-AP financial report is needed. Hence, the situation of unsatisfied organizational administration can be improved, as well as the productivity of WSCF-AP can significantly increase with good governance and accountability.
Second, clarifying the direction of WSCF-AP, especially the social movement in the Asia-Pacific region for coming two years. Certainly, WSCF-AP should also be a social movement which having the responsibility to leads the reform and advances the regional cooperation. Unfortunately, WSCF-AP has not taken her responsibility. And we see a decline of the movement in the region.
SCMHK sees the calling to initiate communication among SCMs. We are going to host the Hong Kong and Taiwan believers summit.
In addition, the function of the property which belong to the WSCF-AP, in Hong Kong should be considered. To see whether it is used to help serve the purpose of the movement or simply alleviating the current financial difficulties.
Finally, we suggest to amend the WSCF Constitution and by-law, since we found that the content of WSCF-AP’s charter is ambiguous which causes the WSCF-AP staff and standing committee interpret the charter at will and may cause misunderstanding. For example, the postponement of current RCM should be unconstitutional, yet, the charter cannot clearly show the consequences of it.
What’s more, the Charter has not included any crisis management, if committees want to call an emergency meeting, there is no rules to follow. Moreover, the most ridiculous thing is that during the term of office, Standing Committee is only able to call the meeting once. Constitution is vital to the organization, therefore this time, we have taken reference from legal and financial contract style to make various amendments.
Are there any difficulties in implementing or explaining these platforms?
How to carry out those political programs should be decided by the WSCF-AP Standing Committee, it is not suitable to comment on it. However, it is quite difficult to explains the above matters to the representatives of Member Movements. There are several reasons, first of all, many representatives are not familiar with the operation of WSCF-AP, since most of the representatives and staffs are newly assume office and may come without SCM background. Lacking the understanding of WSCF-AP structure, personnel, charter , financial reports and past experience, may leave them an impression that we are trouble makers making a fuzz. For those new staffs and representatives, they should be glad to join the meeting, but about the proposed agenda and the reasons behind, they may have no such driving force to consider it. Second, member movements do not share a tight and collaborative relationship with WSCF-AP due to years of incompetence and they may not have the mentality of reform. It takes tremendous trust and confidence to see if the WSCF-AP can bring together a regional movement, member movements can benefit too.
It may be difficult to overcome these difficulties, we will still try our best to lobby our counter parts. Although it is hard to overcome the difficulties, we would try out best to persuade other representatives to support the platform building process.
How would you persuade other East Asian countries to support Hong Kong's self-determination?
In fact, the spectrum of self-determination is so broad, like having local self-determination faction, democratic self-determination faction, and continuous Basic Law faction. Base on this topic, some may think the continuation of the status quo is equal to self-determination, while some may deem that self-determination is to completely divorced from the Chinese Communist Party. These discussions will never cease, and never reach a consensus. Hence, it is more sufficient to persuade people supporting Hong Kong's democratic movement and providing appropriate support when in need, rather than persuade them to support the indefinite self-determination.
SCMHK involves deeply in democratic movement. We not only participated in the parade, but also issued political statements and held event with strong religious background. For example we held worship for the activists who had been convicted rioting during the Mong Kok civil unrest.
Compare with persuading them to support the indefinite self-determination, convincing people to keep an eye on the situation of Hong Kong to their members and the local media is more practical, that we can put pressure on the administration of Hong Kong Government. Thus, we can clearly show what we want them to support and to act, and observe the actual Impact after their action.
Self-determination is to declare independence. Anyway, they are already a complete sovereign, armed with armaments, but Hong Kong does not have these conditions.