IX ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ASIA PACIFIC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
Valparaiso, Chile, 14 – 19 January 2001
The IX Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum was held in Valparaiso, Chile, from January 14th – 19th, 2001, with the participation of delegations and parliamentarians from 26 nations. The opening ceremony was chaired by the President of the Chilean Senate, Senator Andres Zaldivar, with the participation of the President of the House of Deputies, Mr. Victor Barrueto, and H.E.Mr. Yasuhiro Nakasone, President of the Forum. After a welcome speech by Mr. Zaldivar and Mr. Nakasone, the President of the Republic, H.E. Mr. Ricardo Lagos, addressed the audience.
On Tuesday 15th January, in the morning, the Executive Committee held a meeting, in which it was decided to nominate Mr. Andrés Zaldivar as the President of the IX Parliamentary Forum, and Mr. Mario Ríos Santander as the Vice-President. The Committee then recommended the amendment of the agenda in order to allow for the Assembly to consider the request of Ecuador and Costa Rica to be admitted as full members. The Committee unanimously agreed to support the request.
On the recommendation of the Executive Committee, the Assembly approved the appointment of the United States as host for the X Annual Meeting of APPF. The meeting will take place in Hawaii.
In its five plenary sessions, the IX Parliamentary Forum Assembly proceeded to discuss the various issues included in the agenda. They comprised as follows:
- The Forum supported the resolutions of the 7th ASEAN Regional Forum, making special note of the incorporation of North Korea into this important Asian Forum.
- The Forum approved a resolution supporting to the unification efforts of the governments of the Korean Peninsula, having been briefed by the delegates about the various steps taken in this direction.
- In relation to the situation in East Timor, the Forum recognized the important participation of countries in the regions committed to the stability of the country, under the direction of UNTAET, and expressed hopes for reconciliation and social justice in that territory.
- The Forum expressed particular interest in the approval of a document urging the elimination of missiles and an end to nuclear weapons proliferation.
- Several documents paid special attention to a balanced economic development in the Asia Pacific region, citing actions made and discussions held by APEC. Special note was made of the need to protect the diversity of nations, with their various systems and standards of economic development, with a gradual shift towards trade practices that obey common norms, such as WTO. The Assembly and all the Forum members have expressed strong support to the accession of the People´s Republic of China to the WTO as soon as possible.
- The Forum considered a comprehensive report of the Resolutions approved in the Brunei 2000 meeting of the leaders of the APEC., at which the members accepted the commitment to continue their economic development, and strengthen their local financial systems, in order to promote welfare in their respective countries in an environment of regional diversity.
- The Forum informed of the global agreements reached in the ASEAN + 3 summit meeting.
- The Forum approved a resolution on environmental issues, calling upon member states to protect the natural environment through wise elimination of waste and to create awareness in their societies to promote these actions.
- The Forum expressed special concern in the debate on drug use throughout the world. It agreed to promote national actions, which commit society as a whole to the search for solutions, understanding the essential role of social action in this fight. This implies that drugs are not only a problem for law enforcement, but also essentially a social problem, involving all members of society.
- The Forum clearly rejected all terrorist acts, whatever their form. These actions, sometimes internationally supported, were seen as destroying the harmony of society.
- In reference to piracy and armed robbery against ships, the Forum agreed to encourage joint governmental actions to put a quick end to these situations.
- Presentation of an analysis of technological revolution allowed this Forum to raise the most relevant aspects of this issue. The Forum encouraged technological growth and expressed its desire that it reaches all nations harmoniously, without exclusions.
- There was special concern expressed about the spreading of infectious diseases. The Forum advocated greater WHO support and government implementation of actions aimed at the gradual weakening of infectious disease in the world.
- With reference to education, the Forum made special mention of its comprehensive scope. In a global world, education is essential for the people, because it is an introduction to the future, promoting knowledge and technology. However, no society that is represented here can be excluded by technological progress.
- The Forum was informed of different domestic political events that have recently occurred, including elections, changes of government and other specific situations in Russia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, the Philippines, Ecuador, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Indonesia, Peru, Mongolia, and Korea. The Forum expressed its best wishes for success to the new governments and urged those countries with critical domestic situations to find prompt solutions to their differences.
- The technological Working Group presented its report on the progress of the APOINT program, which was approved by the Forum.
- The Forum, after listening President Nakasone and the opinions of a number of delegations, agreed to postpone the issue of the duration of the Executive Committee’s Membership to the next meeting in Hawaii. The Forum also agreed that the Sub Regions are entitled to determine themselves who would serve as members of the Executive Committee following N°8, e) of the procedural norms.
- It was unanimously agreed to incorporate Ecuador and Costa Rica as full members of the Assembly.
- The 9th Assembly approved a document, "Declaration of Valparaíso – Chile", with reference to the reality, interests and the future of the Pacific Basin; considering the traditional ties of friendship and cooperation among parliaments and common interests in coordinating legislative decisions in order to progress towards common aims, considering their respective sovereignties. The document is contained in the ANNEX.