At the invitation of the Lao National Assembly, the 17th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) was held in Vientiane, the capital of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic from 11-15th January 2009 with participants from 22 member parliaments, 1 observer country (Brunei Darussalam) and 1 special guest (Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)). The list of participants is attached.
The Executive Committee convened its meeting on the 11th January 2009. The report of the Executive Committee meeting is attached. The inaugural ceremony was held on the 12th January 2009. His Excellency Mr. Thongsing Thammavong, President of the 17th APPF and President of the Lao National Assembly delivered the opening speech in which he extended a warm welcome to all participants and declared the 17th Annual Meeting of the APPF officially open.
Honorable Mr. Yasuhiro Nakasone, APPF Honorary President’s message was delivered at the Meeting by Mr. Yanagimoto, Acting Head of the Japanese Delegation, and Mr. Lindsay Tisch, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of New Zealand addressed the participants. Opening remarks were also made by Mr. Anders Johnsson, the IPU Secretary General.
Delegations were honored and pleased to have had the opportunity to call on His Excellency Mr. Choummaly Sayasone, President of the Lao PDR, and His Excellency Mr. Bouasone Bouphavanh, Prime Minister of the Lao PDR.
At the plenary session on economic and trade issues, delegates discussed a number of topics and drafted resolutions on overcoming the global financial crisis, n energy security, the world economic situation and raising the level of egotiations of the Doha Round, sustainable tourism, food security, trade and capital flows within the Asia Pacific.
At the plenary session on political and security issues, delegates discussed a number of topics and drafted resolutions on political security in the Asia Pacific region, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, strengthening of peace and security in South East Asia, cluster munitions, terrorism and the Middle East peace process. The delegation from Singapore presented a report on the recent ASEAN Regional Forum 2008.
At the plenary session on inter-parliamentary cooperation matters, delegates discussed a range of topics and tabled resolutions on parliamentary capacity building, the importance of action in relation to climate change and environmental issues, natural disaster management, poverty reduction and gender issues on parliaments.
At the plenary session on APPF matters, participants discussed a number of specific topics regarding the future of APPF, and agreed to convene the 18th APPF Annual Meeting from 17th – 23rd January, 2010 in Singapore at the invitation of the Parliament of Singapore. The Japanese delegation took the floor and introduced the proposal made by the Honorary President of the APPF, the Honorable Mr. Yasuhiro Nakasone, that the Japanese Diet will host the APPF-20 Annual Meeting in 2012 which will commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the APPF and consider the future role of the APPF.
The 17th Annual Meeting of the APPF adopted 16 resolutions on the aforementioned issues. These resolutions are attached. The meeting thanked the drafting committee for its efforts in developing a package of resolutions and the joint communiqué which represent the meaningful outcome of the meeting.
The 17th Annual Meeting of the APPF expressed its high appreciation andgratitude to the Lao National Assembly for its organization, hospitality and arrangements which made the 17th Annual Meeting of the APPF a success. Special thanks go in particular to His Excellency Mr. Thongsing Thammavong , the President of the 17th Annual Meeting of the APPF and The President of Lao National Assembly, for his excellent guidance, and to the Lao delegation and all the staff of the secretariat for their hard work, thus bringing the current meeting to a successful conclusion