(Sponsored by Japan and the Philippines)
THE 15TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ASIA-PACIFIC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM,
Recognizing that the building of an “Asia Pacific Regional Community” will contribute to peace in the region, as well as to further economic and cultural prosperity;
Recalling the APPF’s 1997 Declaration of Vancouver and “seven principles” and the 2001 Declaration of Valparaiso and the “Pacific Basin Charter,” as well as APEC’s 1994 Bogor Declaration and the 1995 Action Agenda adopted in the Osaka Meeting;
Convinced that the strengthening of economic ties through multi-layered regional cooperation, which includes APEC, the East Asia Summit, ASEAN+3, a system of ASEAN relations with dialogue partners, and through a network of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements will contribute to the emergence of common regional goals, to the future establishment of a regional community, and to the unification of the region;
Noting the global importance of the Asia-Pacific Region, recognizing the developmental potential of the “region of possibilities,” including greater tolerance and respect for foreign guest workers and foreign companies, calling to mind the importance of regional values, such as religious and cultural diversity, tolerance and moderation, and simultaneously confirming that the community to be built in this region must not be exclusive or closed, but rather must be an “open community” in which universal values, global norms and the principles of transparency and openness are duly respected;
1. Welcome the East Asia Summit, which was inaugurated in 2005 and held its second annual meeting in January 2007, as having a constructive role to play in building a community in this region, and to encourage the promotion of regional cooperation through a multi-layered framework of regional cooperation that includes APEC, ASEAN+3 and a system of ASEAN relations with dialogue partners;
2. Call upon governments and parliaments of APPF member States to encourage efforts to promote initiatives for the conclusion of free trade agreements and economic partnership agreements in progress in the region and joint research projects, with full respect for the economic and cultural identity of each country;
3. Urge all APPF member States to duly respect the political systems and economic development stages of the countries of the region, as well as the region’s cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, and at the same time to nurture an awareness of common destiny in the region and to act to maintain a sense of unity.
4. Call on APPF Members to recognize that the globalization and the economic integration process of the Asia-Pacific Region is occurring and that its effects, such as migrant workers, will be a continuing phenomena;
5. Call upon all APPF member States, acting on a foundation of shared universal values, to promote the development of mutual understanding, mutual trust and amity in the region’s politics, security, economic and culture, to appreciate and to respect different cultures through the encouragement of exchange programs, to promote “open regional cooperation,” and to make the greatest possible effort to build the “Asia Pacific Regional Community” as a “common house” for the region.