- Upon the invitation of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Thailand, the Fourth Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) was held in Cha-am, Phetchaburi Province, Thailand, on 15-18 January 1996.
- The Meeting was inaugurated by H.E. Mr. Banharn Silpa Archa, Prime Minister of Thailand, H.E. Mr. Booneua Prasertsuwan, President of the Thai National Assembly and Speaker of the House of Representatives and H.E. Mr. Meechai Ruchupan, President of the Senate of Thailand. In his address, H.E. Mr. Banharn Silpa-Archa emphasized the significance of the APPF as a forum for parliamentarians from the Asia-Pacific region to discuss and exchange experiences with a view to further promoting peace and prosperity in the region. He also stressed Thailand's commitment to regional security cooperation, economic integration, political stability and the flow of trade, investment, and technological transfer among countries in the region.
- 114 parliamentarians attended the Meeting from 24 participating countries of the APPF from four continents representing almost half of the world population. The list of participating delegates appears as Annex I.
- H.E. Mr. Sutham Saengpratoom, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Kingdom of Thailand, and Mr. Pracha Guna-Kasem, Member of Parliament, Thailand were elected Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Fourth APPF Annual Meeting respectively by acclamation.
- The Meeting unanimously reelected H.E. Mr. Yasuhiro Nakasone as the President of the APPF and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the APPF for another three-year term.
- Particular attention was given to issues of mutual interest in the fields of political and regional security. The APPF welcomed the result of the 2nd ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) held in Bandar Seri Begawan in August 1995 and agreed that closer cooperation among parliamentarians in the region would significantly contribute to the strengthening of the Confidence Building Measures adopted by the ARF.
- The Meeting welcomed recent developments regarding the installation of light-water reactor in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea through the efforts made between the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It also agreed that the early resumption of dialogues between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is vital for the peaceful solution of the Korean issue.
- The Meeting addressed the issue of nuclear weapons testing which has attracted worldwide attention and adopted a resolution encouraging those states with current nuclear weapons testing programs to cease such testing as soon as possible. The resolution also urged all participating countries of the APPF, and in particular all nuclear weapon states, to give their strong and unequivocal support to the conclusion as soon as possible and no later than the end of 1996 of a truly comprehensive and internationally verifiable test ban treaty as an essential step towards preventing nuclear weapon proliferation and attaining the ultimate goal of total elimination of nuclear weapons. It further recommended that all nuclear weapon states support the full implementation of the Treaties establishing the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone and the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, consistent with the internationally recognized navigation and overflight rights of nonsignatory countries under existing laws and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. As a concluding point, the resolution called upon other regions to consider the wisdom of establishing nuclear weapons free zones in their respective areas.
- The problem of terrorism as a flagrant violation of human rights also received serious consideration from participants, and a resolution calling for closer cooperation among member countries to tackle the problem was adopted.
- On regional cooperation in the Asia Pacific region, the Meeting reviewed the results of the APEC Economic Leaders` Meeting in Osaka In November 1995 and agreed that the parliaments of member countries should render support to their respective governments in the efforts to implement the Osaka Action Agenda, which provided the framework for the future cooperation to achieve the goals of free and open trade and investment set out in the Bogor Declaration. It was noted that a number of APPF member countries, including Peru, Mongolia, Russia and Fiji wish to become a member of APEC.
- Regarding environmental issues, the Meeting expressed serious concern over the potential impacts of nuclear weapons testing on the environment particularly on marine environment. The Meeting also called for concerted efforts from parliamentarians to bring an end to the unfair practice of natural resources exploitation, particularly by countries with more advanced technologies in countries with less advanced technologies without due consideration for the environmental impact from such exploitation. The Meeting recommended that APPF member countries irrespective of their legal frameworks, move to ensure greater participation of families and communities in conserving natural resources and protecting the environment.
- On social issues, the Meeting adopted a resolution calling for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which called for appropriate measures to protect children from all forms of discrimination.
- The protection of women and women` s rights was also emphasized by the Meeting. A resolution was adopted urging member countries to address the protection of women's rights in a number of ways.
- The Meeting expressed serious concern over the expanding HIV/AIDS epidemic and adopted a resolution calling for APPF member countries to address this problem through education and other preventive programs.
- The Meeting also expressed serious concern in respect of organized international crime, including international illicit drugs production, trafficking and consumption, and money laundering. A resolution was adopted calling for APPF Governments and Parliaments to cooperate and enhance law enforcement structures and capabilities in tackling these problems.
- On the issue of corruption, the Meeting was of the view that the problem has international implications requiring concerted international actions to cope with this situation. The APPF, therefore, will continue to study and find ways and means to address this serious issue at its next meeting.
- Regional cooperation in other fields was discussed particularly human resources development, interchange of youth, intellectual exchanges, and legislative interchange among APPF member countries. A resolution calling for the establishment of an effective interparliamentary mechanism by which legislative interchange can take place was adopted.
- The Meeting was briefed by Thailand concerning the outcome of the Fifth ASEAN Summit Meeting held in Bangkok in December 1995. The Bangkok Summit Declaration set out policy guidelines and directions for advancing ASEAN towards the 21st century and would help bring ASEAN closer to realizing its goals of achieving lasting peace and prosperity in a community of one Southeast Asia. Thailand also informed the Meeting on the preparations for the forthcoming Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) which will be convened in Bangkok on 1-2 March 1996.
- The Meeting agreed that the Asia Pacific region would become the world's most dynamic region in the 21st century and that it was very important for the future of this region to have a clear vision for the next century. The Meeting, therefore, agreed with the recommendations proposed by the "Working Group on Vision for the 21st Century" as appears in Annex II that the Japanese vision paper be used as the working version for further revision at the next APPF meeting in Canada.
- The Meeting approved an application of the Republic of Marshall Islands to become a new member of the APPF. The Meeting also accepted the Canadian Parliament's kind offer to host the Fifth Annual Meeting of the APPF in Vancouver, Canada, in January 1997. In addition, the Meeting accepted the offers of the Korean and the Peruvian Parliaments to host the Sixth and Seventh APPF respectively.
- With a view to enhancing the efficiency and consistency of the APPF, the Meeting adopted the Australian paper entitled "Administrative Arrangements for the Conduct of the Meetings" as appears in Annex III as guidelines for the future APPF meetings.
- The Meeting agreed to amend Rule 8 of the APPF Procedures adopted in Manila in January 1994 to increase the size of the Executive Committee of the APPF from six to eight members while maintaining the principle of regional balance and representation. Accordingly, on this occasion the Philippines and Peru, representing Southeast Asia and Latin America respectively, were elected as new members of the Executive Committee. The term of the two new members would commence at the next Executive Committee Meeting in September 1996. The existing six members of the Executive Committee, together with Canada as host of the 1997 Annual Meeting, and the two new Executive Committee members, would prepare an options paper proposing further amendment to the APPF Procedures in relation to the term of office, eligibility for re-election and method of rotation of Executive Committee members. The option paper would then be subsequently submitted for consideration at the Fifth APPF Annual Meeting in Canada in 1997.
- The Fourth APPF Annual Meeting adopted the following resolutions attached hereto as Annex IV.
- Nuclear Weapons Test.
- Drug Abuse, Trafficking, and Money Laundering
- Protection of Children and Children's Rights.
- Protection of Women's Rights.
- Cooperation in the Sharing of Natural Resources.
- Legislative Interchange Among Member Countries.
- The Meeting unanimously adopted a resolution extending its congratulations to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand on the Fiftieth Anniversary of His Majesty's accession to the Throne.
Adopted on Thursday 18 January 1996, at Cha-am, Phetchaburi Province, Thailand.
| Yasuhiro Nakasone
President of the APPF
| Sutham Saengpratoom
Chairman of the Fourth