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Joint Communiqué
12th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum

Beijing, China, 12-14 January 2004

  1. At the invitation of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC), the 12th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) was held in Beijing, People’s Republic of China, on 12-14 January 2004.
  2. The Annual Meeting was attended by 88 parliamentarians and 150 accompanying persons from 22 member countries of APPF and one observer country, Brunei Darussalam. The list of participants is attached (see Annex 1).
  3. H.E. Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China, met with the heads of delegations. During the meeting, President Hu Jintao spoke highly of the effective work of APPF in the eleven years since its inception as well as the achievement of this Annual Meeting which helped enhance understanding and expand areas of consensus. He emphasised that China would continue to promote friendship and partnership with its neighbors and work together with other Asia-Pacific countries to create a peaceful, cooperative and harmonious regional environment. President Hu also gave a brief account of China’s domestic situation.
  4. H.E. Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, addressed the opening ceremony. He pointed out that while the Asia Pacific region was facing good opportunities, it also had to meet severe challenges in its endeavor to safeguard peace and promote development. He maintained that on political matters, Asia Pacific countries should respect each other and seek common ground while shelving differences, that in the economic field, they should go for mutually-beneficial cooperation and common development, and that on security issues, they should build up mutual trust and jointly safeguard peace and stability. He proposed that parliaments of all Asia-Pacific countries, particularly the young parliamentarians, should intensify exchanges of various forms in various areas, so as to learn and benefit from each other’s experience.
  5. The Executive Committee held its meeting on the evening of 11 January 2004, at which it elected Vice Chairman Li Tieying of the NPC Standing Committee as Chairman of the Annual Meeting.
  6. The Annual Meeting held in-depth discussions on four main topics:
    1. Political and Security Issues
      These included: a review of the political and security situation of the Asia Pacific region and the world; combating international terrorism; major international and regional issues of general interest, such as Korean Peninsula, Middle East, ARF, abduction (see Annex 2).
    2. Economic Issues
      These included: world and regional economic situation; globalization and a new round of WTO negotiations; regional cooperation; effect of currency values and exchange rates on international trade.
    3. Cooperation for the Stability and Prosperity of the Region
      These included: Pacific Ocean, protection of its biomass and current multilateral agreements; sustainable development and climate change; transnational crimes; cooperation on prevention and treatment of infectious diseases; exchange among cultures and civilizations.
    4. Future Work of APPF .
  7. The Annual Meeting reached extensive consensus and adopted the following 25 Resolutions (see Annex 3):
    APPF12/RES/01: Resolution on Review of the Political and Security Situation in the Asia Pacific and the World
    APPF12/RES/02: Resolution on Reform, Revitalization and Restructuring of the United Nations
    APPF12/RES/03: Resolution on Combating International Terrorism
    APPF12/RES/04: Resolution on the Denuclearization and Peaceful Reunification on the Korean Peninsula
    APPF12/RES/05: Resolution on Middle East Peace Process
    APPF12/RES/06: Resolution on Balanced Economic and Social Development
    APPF12/RES/07: Resolution on Economy and Trade
    APPF12/RES/08:Resolution on Globalization and the New Round of Negotiations of the WTO
    APPF12/RES/09: Resolution on Asia-Pacific Regional Economic Cooperation
    APPF12/RES/10: Resolution on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
    APPF12/RES/11: Resolution on Sustainable Development: Financing for Development
    APPF12/RES/12: Resolution on Pacific Ocean: Protection of its Biomass – Current Multilateral Agreements
    APPF12/RES/13: Resolution on Water and Its Use as an Essential Resource for Sustainable Development
    APPF12/RES/14: Resolution on Transnational Crimes
    APPF12/RES/15: Resolution on Trafficking of Persons
    APPF12/RES/16: Resolution on Co-operation for the Prevention and Eradication of Emerging Infectious Diseases
    APPF12/RES/17: Resolution on Dialogues between Different Cultures and Civilizations
    APPF12/RES/18: Resolution on Exchange among Cultures and Civilizations
    APPF12/RES/19: Resolution on Importance of Respect for Culture and Cultural Interchange
    APPF12/RES/20: Resolution on Cooperation in Tourism
    APPF12/RES/21: Resolution on Gender Equality
    APPF12/RES/22: Resolution on Fostering of Human Resources and Active Utilization of the Abilities of Women For The Sake of Economic Growth
    APPF12/RES/23: Resolution on the Role of Women in Sustainable Development
    APPF12/RES/24: Resolution on Development of the Information Society and Education
    APPF12/RES/25: Conferment of the title Chairman Emeritus on Hon. Yasuhiro Nakasone, Founder of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum
  8. The Annual Meeting unanimously accepted the invitation of the Vietnam National Assembly to host the 13th Annual Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam in January 2005.
  9. The Annual Meeting decided to amend the Manila Declaration-Rules of Procedure to establish an Honorary Chairmanship and change the arrangements for President from election to a rotating Presidency being appointed by the host of the next annual meeting (see Annex 4).
  10. The Annual Meeting agreed to accept the resignation of Mr. Yasuhiro Nakasone from the Presidency of the APPF. For years, Mr. Yasuhiro Nakasone, in his capacity as the President, has made important contributions to the establishment and development of the APPF. It was unanimously decided at the Annual Meeting that he is invited to continue to serve as the Honorary Chairman of the APPF.
  11. The APPF Technological Working Group met and adopted a statement which outlined the functions of the Group and set out the requirements for the APPF website. The report of the Technological Working Group is attached (see Annex 5).
  12. The Annual Meeting expressed appreciation to H.E. Li Tieying, Vice Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee for his excellent work as Chairman of this Annual Meeting; to Mr. Lu Congmin and Mr. Ji Peiding, Vice Chairmen of the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee for assisting the Chairman; to the NPC Standing Committee of the People’s Republic of China for its thoughtful arrangements and gracious hospitality; and to the Secretariat and the staff for their hard work which contributed to the success of the Annual Meeting.

Annex 2

Abduction Issue

On the issue of the abduction of the Japanese nationals by the DPRK, the Japanese delegation, following the last year’s meeting, emphasized the humanitarian nature and urgency regarding this issue, and requested again firm support and cooperation of the APPF member countries for the early solution of this issue on the basis of the UN General Assembly Resolution on 18 December 2002.

Member countries expressed great sympathy for the predicaments of the victims and their families and their desire that progress could be made as soon as possible.