(Sponsored by Australia and the Russian Federation)
The 22nd Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum,
Considering the shift in wealth and economic power to the Asia Pacific region presents opportunities and challenges for the creation of socially cohesive societies.
Recognising that cohesive societies work towards the well-being of all members, fight exclusion, create a sense of belonging and trust, and offer members the opportunity of upward mobility.
Aware that the absence of social cohesion threatens national and regional peace and stability, sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.
Cognisant that recent events in the Arab world and also in Asia and Latin America suggest that economic growth, rising fiscal resources and improvements in education are not sufficient to create social cohesion.
Convinced of the importance of complementary social and economic policy to support social cohesion and sustain long term prosperity.
Cognisant that many countries in Asia-Pacific are in the midst of a youth ‘bulge’ due to demographic transition, which presents tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges for long term prosperity.
Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the various United Nations conventions on human rights and resolutions adopted by the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum on the importance of youth in society.
1. Urge all APPF member countries to ensure dignity, respect and tolerance for all members of society regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, indigeneity, sexual orientation, caste, class, disability or any other characteristic.
2. Encourage APPF member countries to build understanding of the causes of social exclusion in their countries, and develop responsive policies and programs to promote social cohesion and combat exclusion.
3. Encourage APPF member countries to share lessons with each other on policies and programs that have been effective in promoting social cohesion and combatting exclusion.
4. Call upon APPF member countries to take steps to ensure young women and men are actively engaged in their societies, through education, safety in their homes and communities, political participation and opportunities for fair and safe work.
5. Encourage APPF member countries to adopt economic and social policy measures appropriate to national contexts, to promote social cohesion and active engagement of young women and men. Potential policy measures include:
a. inclusive, universal education;
b. social protection systems to ensure all in need have access to essential health care and basic income security over the life cycle in a context-appropriate manner;
c. broadening the tax base to ensure social policies can be sustained over the long term;
d. labour market reforms to create opportunities for safe, fair work, particularly for young women and men; and
e. anti-discrimination measures providing protection from violence and ensuring access to justice.
6. Urge APPF member countries to monitor indicators of wellbeing, social exclusion, and inequality alongside economic indicators such as GDP growth, through their national statistics organisation.
7. Acknowledge the necessityto continue discussing actual problems of youth politics within the APPF Annual Meetings with participation of members of national parliaments, representatives of youth advocacy bodies and public unions, and also the experts from the APPF member countries with the purpose of sharing expertise, promoting generations’ dialogue and raising the youth’s interest to the APPF activities.
8. Confirm the intentionto promote carrying out on a regular basis of the youth sections of the APPF Annual Meetings with emphasis on practical steps by means of which the APPF member countries could involve the youth into more active participation in public life in the Asia Pacific region.
Puerto Vallarta, México
15 January, 2014