6 - 9 January 2002
X ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ASIA PACIFIC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
1. At the invitation of the United States Congress, the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) was held in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 6-9 2002.
2. The meeting was attended by 101 delegates from 24 member countries of the APPF and one observer country, Brunei Darussalam. The list of participants appears as Appendix I.
3. The meeting opened with a traditional native Hawaiian chant and welcome, followed by remarks by the Honorable Amory Houghton, U.S. Congressman of New York, the Honorable Daniel K. Akaka, U.S. Senator from Hawai‘i, and His Excellency, Yasuhiro Nakasone, President of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum and former Prime Minister of Japan.
4. The meeting welcomed the Honorable Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, who spoke during the Opening Ceremony. He touched on issues facing the Asia Pacific region, as well as the September 11 th terrorist attacks on the United States and its effect on the entire world. Speaker Hastert’s remarks appear as Appendix II. At the suggestion of the Honorable Ratu Epeli Nailatikau of Fiji, a moment of silence was observed during the first plenary session in memory of the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States.
5. The Honorable William V. Roth, Founding Member of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum, read a letter from the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, expressing support for the meeting. The letter appears as Appendix III.
6. The meeting welcomed the Honorable Thomas Daschle, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, who expressed support for the APPF’s work and provided reassurance that the United States would remain "a strong partner and active participant in the family of nations."
7. A number of expert speakers addressed the plenary sessions. A list of speakers from the plenary sessions appears as Appendix IV.
8. The meeting welcomed a special report from China. The report, entitled "Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)," focused on the outcomes and accomplishments of the APEC meetings held in Shanghai in 2001. The report noted that APEC leaders focused on the theme of "Meeting New Challenges in the New Century" and discussed the future direction of APEC and anti-terrorism cooperation, among other issues. Publications from the meeting include the APEC Leaders Declaration, the Shanghai Accord, the e-APEC Leaders Strategy, and the APEC Leaders Statement on Terrorism. China’s report appears as Appendix V.
9. The meeting welcomed a special report from Vietnam focusing on the outcome of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Vietnam noted that the ARF participating countries agreed that, during the last inter-sessional year, the ARF process continued to make progress and play an important role in maintaining peace and stability in the region. The report noted that ARF is enhancing and promoting dialogue and cooperation on political and security issues in the Asia Pacific region. Vietnam’s report appears as Appendix VI.
10. Resolutions Passed:
The Tenth Annual Meeting adopted 13 Resolutions on the following topics:
11. Plenary Discussion Highlights:
A. Terrorism: Terrorism became a focal point of discussion because, as one delegate stated, the September 11 th terrorist attacks on the U.S. were "an unforgivable assault against all humanity." The 24 APPF countries in attendance were unanimous in condemning terrorism in all its forms—international, regional and local—and encouraging cooperation with the United Nations to combat terrorism. In order to accomplish this, the meeting called upon all APPF members to sign, ratify and implement, as soon as possible, relevant international conventions and protocols on terrorism, especially those relating to money laundering. Delegates were concerned that terrorism may become more of a threat in the future because of the potential use of weapons of mass destruction. Delegates called upon all member countries to make further efforts for the solution of a wide variety of political, economic and social problems, including poverty and regional conflicts, which terrorists could take advantage of to justify their attacks. The rule of law was seen as one way to combat terrorism.
B. Economics and Trade: Delegates congratulated China, as a member of the APPF, on its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). Delegates praised the results of the Doha Ministerial discussions. Delegates agreed on the importance of maintaining an international trading regime that promotes balanced trading relationships mutually beneficial to both developed and developing countries. Delegates discussed the consequences of artificial barriers to trade and the importance of regional financial cooperation and the resolution of currency issues.
C. Politics and Security: There was consensus to encourage all parties to restart the Middle East peace process based on the mutual recognition of an independent Palestinian state and border security for the state of Israel. At the urging of Australia, with input from Singapore, the meeting agreed that "people-smuggling" and "human trafficking" threatens the security of the Asia Pacific region. The meeting expresses its appreciation and support for the efforts to convene the "Regional Ministerial Conference On People Smuggling, Trafficking In Persons And Related Trans-National Crimes," sponsored by Indonesia and Australia, to be held in Bali 27–28 February 2002. APPF members were encouraged to promote the role of women in their respective societies by moving toward the ideal of a gender equal society, with particular emphasis on enhancing female participation in the political process, including this Forum.
D. Environment Outlook: The delegates expressed concern over the impact of global warming on the Asia Pacific region. The meeting called for regional strategies for controlling greenhouse gas emissions and urged the adoption of policies that promote sustainable resource usage.
E. Information Technology and Education: The delegates urged the creation of an information technology (IT) network to share information on successful environmental protection programs. The meeting endorsed efforts to ensure the continuation of APPF’s own technology website.
F. Asia Pacific Cooperation: The meeting accepted an invitation by the Mexican delegation to attend an APPF meeting prior to the APEC Leaders Conference in Mexico in 2002 to examine ways in which APPF views can be integrated into the APEC agenda. The meeting also adopted a recommendation to establish a technical working group of the APPF, under the Executive Committee Authority to study and report on ways and means of strengthening the APPF.
12. On the recommendation of the Executive Committee, the meeting approved the appointment of Malaysia as host for the Eleventh Meetings of the APPF. The meeting will take place in Kuala Lumpur, January 2003.
13. His Excellency Yasuhiro Nakasone was unanimously reappointed President of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum.
14. Executive Committee Membership: The meeting appointed the following countries to sit on the APPF Executive Committee:
- Northeast Asia – 1) Japan 2) China
- South East Asia – 1) Indonesia 2) Lao People’s Democratic Republic
- Oceania – 1) Fiji 2) Federated States of Micronesia.
- The Americas – 1) Canada 2) Mexico will continue through 2002 and be followed by Chile in 2003.
- Host Country – 1) Malaysia
15. Executive Committee Actions:
- The Executive Committee confirmed that membership tenure to the Executive Committee will remain at two years.
- The Executive Committee will amend the rules of procedure to add Ecuador and Costa Rica.
16. The Honorable Phil English, U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania and the Honorable Eni Faleomavaega, delegate from American Samoa, were appointed to co-chair the Joint Communiqué Drafting Committee with membership open to all delegations.
17. The meeting expressed its sincere gratitude to the co-chairs of the meeting, the Honorable Daniel K. Akaka, U.S. Senator and the Honorable Amory Houghton, U.S. Congressman, for their exemplary guidance; the host country, the United States of America, for providing such a wonderful venue for the meeting; the governor of the state of Hawai‘i for his hospitality; and the Secretariat, the East-West Center, for the excellent administrative and social arrangements.
Approved on Wednesday, 9 January 2002, at Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America.