Terms of Reference

Asia Democracy Network Terms of Reference (ToR)
Updated: September 16, 2015

The ADN was established at its founding assembly in Seoul on 22 October 2013. The Terms of Reference (ToR), formulated by the SC, serves as the guiding principles for the role and function of each organ of the organization. The ToR is accompanied by the implementation guidelines, which provide details of various relevant procedures.

The list of implementation guidelines is as follows;

  • Implementation Guideline for Membership
  • Implementation Guideline for Steering Committee Member
  • Implementation Guidelines for Advisors
  • Implementation Guidelines for Working Grou
Article 1: Identity
  1. The Asia Democracy Network (ADN) is a regional network of independent civil society organizations (CSOs) engaged in democracy promotion and committed to the full realization of democratic and human rights principles as well as the vision and mission articulated in the Charter of Principles.
  2. ADN is affiliated to the Community of Democracies (CD) as a member of International Steering Committee of the Civil Society Pillar.
  3. Asia refers to three sub-regions, namely South Asia, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia for the period 2016-2017 with the following countries and territories.
    • South Asia - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
    • Southeast Asia - Brunei, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste (East Timor), Vietnam
    • Northeast Asia - China (PRC), Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea (DPRK), South Korea (ROK), Taiwan (ROC)
  4. ADN works in partnership with CSOs in other neighboring sub-regions such as Central Asia, Southwest Asia,and the South Pacific region.
Article 2: Vision
ADN is committed to building a just, equitable, and sustainable community of democratic societies in Asia where all human rights of individuals, groups, and peoples are fully respected and realized.
Article 3: Mission
Under the slogan "Asian Solidarity for Democracy for All", ADN works to promote and advance democratization and democratic governance at all levels of society through effective solidarity and cooperation among civil societyorganizations and democracy advocates in Asiain accordance with democratic principles such as respect for human rights, ruleof law, free and fair election, andjudicial independence.
Article 4: Goal
ADN aims to build a stronger regional democracy network and movement engaged effectively in international solidarity and advocacy with governments, inter-governmental organizations, and other non-state actors and stakeholders in Asia and beyond.
Article 5: Values and Principles
  1. ADN embraces principles such as international solidarity and partnerships; plurality and diversity, shared responsibilities and leadership, and the human rights based approach.
  2. ADN believes that democracy is a universally recognized ideal as well as a goal, which is based on common values shared by peoples throughout the world.
    • Believes that participatory and inclusive democracy plays a role in promoting social justice, reducing inequality, and preventing armed conflict.
    • Believes that women’s active participation and empowerment is crucial in advancing inclusive democracy.
    • Believes that democracy should contribute to the protection of religious, ethnic, and otherminorities.
    • Believes that free, fair, and democratic elections are essential to good governance.
    • Believes that education for democracy at all levels ensures that citizens are aware of their rights and civic duties.
Article 6: Membership
  1. The membership shall beoforganizationsor as individuals.
  2. Organizational members shall be an independent civil society organization (CSO) operating at the regional, sub-regional, national or local level.
  3. Individual membership shall be persons who cannot form an organization but wish to participate and contribute to the work of ADN.
  4. Individual members shall be persons who have expertise and capacity, and are willing to commit to the Charter of Principles.
  5. All members shall agree to the Charter of Principles, and abide by the Terms of Reference (ToR).
  6. All members shall havethefollowing rights and duties;
    • Allmembers shall respect and observe the Charter of Principles and ToR.
    • All members shall actively participate in ADN activities.
    • All members shall be invited to relevant ADN meetings.
    • All members shall make effort to raise funds to cover their expenses to attend the ADN activities (unless invited as contributor with funding support).
    • All members shall receive communications from the Secretariat.
    • Annual membership fee for an organization shall be at the minimum100 to 1,000 USD per year.
    • Annual membership fee for individualsshall be at the minimum 10 to 100 USD peryear.
    • Members can join the Working Group.
  7. All other organizations that do not fall into the above stated membership types may join the ADN as partner.
Article 7: Partnership
  1. Organizations that do not fall into the criteria of membership can be invited to work with ADN as partner.
  2. Partners are those CSOs or their networks or public institutions that support the work of the ADN financially, politically and morally.
  3. The following categories of organizations or institutions can be invited to work with ADN as partner.
    • International and global CSOs that are operating in Asia (e.g. CIVICUS)
    • Public or private funding agencies or foundation (e.g. NED, KDF, TFD)
    • Global network of CSOs and public institutions on democracy which ADN may be associated with (e.g. World Movement for Democracy (WMD), Community of Democracies -International Steering Committee (ISC) for Civil Society, Open Government Partnership(OGP), etc. )
Article 8: Organs

The organization shall consist of:

  1. General Forum
  2. Steering Committee (SC)
  3. Co-Conveners
  4. Advisors
  5. Secretary General
  6. Secretariat
  7. Working Group
Article 9: General Forum
  1. Shall be a meeting of all members and partners todiscuss the state of democracy, pertaining to challenges and opportunities to democracy in Asia.
  2. Shall be held ina conference form at least once every two years.
Article 10: Steering Committee (SC)
  1. Is the highest decision-making body of the ADN.
  2. Shall have a two year term and renewable.
  3. Shall be involved on an organizational basis.
  4. Shall be composed of notmore than 10 persons of highest executive position among regional or sub-regionalCSOswhich are members of the ADN.
  5. Shall decide on the policies and programs of ADN.
  6. Shall meet once or twice a year.
  7. Shall appoint the Secretary General.
  8. Shall decide on the admission of membership.
  9. May form a working group when necessary, and subject to review by the SC, dissolve the same.
  10. May appoint advisers when necessary.
Article 11: Co-Conveners
  1. Shall convene Steering Committee (SC) Meetings.
  2. Shall be composed of 2-3 persons among the SC members taking into account sub-regional and gender balance.
  3. Shall overseethe work of the Secretariat on behalf of the SC including financial accounts.
  4. Shall function on a voluntary basis.
Article 12: Advisors
The Steering Committee (SC) may appoint advisors. Advisors are to bechosen among experienced dedicated democracy advocates who can provide moral and political supportto ADN.
Article 13: Secretary General
  1. Shall be the head of the Secretariat and shall implement the decisions of the Steering Committee.
  2. Shall be appointed by the Steering Committee
  3. Shall be accountable to the Steering Committee.
  4. Shall be responsible for managing the Secretariat.
  5. Shall supervise the work of the Secretariat including financial accounts.
  6. Shall be the ex-officio secretary to the SteeringCommittee without voting power.
  7. Shall be a full time or part time paid or voluntary position.
Article 14:The Secretariat
  1. Shall normally be situated in any one of the countries in the Asian region.
  2. Shall provide administrative support in implementing the decisions of the Steering Committeeunder the leadership of the Secretary General.
  3. Shall have staff and other infrastructural facilities required for undertaking the programs and activities of the ADN
Article 15: Working Group
  1. Working Group is the main working mechanism to address issues related to democracy in line with the Charter of Principles.
  2. Working Group shall be established by the Steering Committee; and subject to periodic review, may be dissolved by the Steering Committee.
  3. Working Group shall work on the issues in which are not being adequately addressed by the existing CSOs in Asia.
  4. Members of Working Group shall be composed of organizational and individual members.
  5. The Secretariat shall provide logistical support for the Working Group.
  6. Working Group shall submit an activity report regularly to the Steering Committee.
  7. Chair(s) of Working Group shall be appointed by the Steering Committee upon recommendation from the Secretary General.
  8. Chair(s) of Working Groupmay be invited to attend the Steering Committee.
Article 16: Amendment
The ToR may be amended when necessary by the Steering Committee.
  1. Implementation Guidelines for Membership
  2. Implementation Guidelines for Advisors
  3. Implementation Guideline forWorking Structure and Programmes