Joint Communiqué

27APPF Joint Communique

27th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum
14-17 January 2019

Joint Communiqué

1. At the invitation of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the 27th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-27) convened in Siem Reap, the historical and cultural city of Cambodia, from 14 to 17 January 2019 with the participation of 331 delegates from 20 member countries and 1 observer country. The list of participants appears as Annex l.

2. The Executive Committee Meeting, held on 14 Jan uary  2019, under the chairmanship  of Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the 27th President of APPF, approved the agenda and program of activities. The Me e ting nominated Hon. Dr. Nguon Nhel and Hon . Khuon Sudary as Vice-Chairpersons of the 27th Annual Meeting, Hon. Khuon Sudary as Chair of the Women Parliamentarians Meeting, and Hon. Hun Many as Chair of Drafting Committee. The Executive Committee Meeting approved 43 draft resolutions to be submitted to the Drafting Committee for  consideration,  and announced Australia as the next President of APPF. The Executive Committee Meeting took note of the Japanese delegation informing the Meeting that the Republic of Korea stands ready to host the 29th APPF Annual Meeting in 2021.

3. The Ina ugural Ceremony was held on 15 January 2019. His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, in His Roya l Message, extended a warm welcome to all guests of honour and distinguished delegates, who attended APPF-27. His Majesty stressed on the importance of dialogue and international cooperation in order to face challenges of the evolving multipolar world and global uncertainties. In addition, His Majesty called for the building of stronger international partnership to realise the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the strengthening of multilateralism and rule-based international system amidst the threats  posed  by  unilateralism, protectionism, extremism, nationalism and populism.

4. During the Inaugural Ceremony , all participants stood up in a moment of silence to pay tribute to the late Speaker of the Parliament of Fiji, Hon. Dr. Jiko Luveni , who passed away on 22 December 2018, for her active contribution to the development of APPF.

5. The Chairperson and member s of Women Parliamentarians Meeting expressed sympathy and support for the victims of Tsunami in Indonesia.

6. The congratulatory message from the APPF Honorary President Yasuhiro Nakasone, which was delivered by Hon. Takuji Yanagimoto, Member of the House of Councillors of Japan and Head of the Japanese Delegation, urged politicians to strive to ensure peace and stability of the international community, while pursuing their national interests. He underscored the importance of tradition, culture, history and philosophy in understanding and constructing worldview. He also highlighted the importance of the first formal Meeting of Women Parliamentarians held in Siem Reap.

7. In his opening address, Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin stressed the relevant role of APPF in promoting international dialogue and cooperation for peace and sustainable development in the region and beyond. As a diverse region, the Asia­ Pacific has extensive economic potential. He shared the view that the world order is in transition from a unipolar world to a multipolar world. Such power transition together with power competition between major powers has caused geopolitical risks for small and medium-sized countries. To deal with tensions and conflicts, he suggested that _ countries in the region should resolve disputes in a peaceful manner based on international law.

8. Hon . Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, President of the National Assembly of Viet Nam, raised concern over potential risks emanating from trade tensions, protectionism, unresolved hotspots, and non-traditional security threats such as terrorism, cyber security, transnational crimes, climate change, epidemics and natural disasters. She called for the continuing the implementation of Hanoi Declaration in Hanoi 2018 including close cross-sectoral cooperation, enhancement of partnership among regional parliaments and between legislative and executive bodies, and setting up mechanisms to supervise the implementation of the resolutions adopted at APPF.

9. Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, delivered his remarks, which called for joint efforts by all countries together with the United Nations, ASEAN, NGOs, and private sectors to tackle global issues and traditional and non-traditional threats such as trade war, armed war, cross-border terrorism, all kinds of illegal cross-border trafficking, climate change, natural disaster, food security and poverty. In addition, he emphasised the respect for rights and dignity of people of each country as stated in the charters and covenants of the UN. He stressed that by adhering to international law, especially the principle of non-interference and peaceful settlement of disputes, it will contribute to regional and global peace and security.

10. Samdech Vibol Sena Pheakdei Say Chhum, President of Senate of Cambodia, stressed that sustainable development is inseparable from peace and security, noting that each country has its own historical, political, social and cultural context forming a basis for its own type of governance. Mutual respect of independence, equal sovereignty, and non-interference are indispensable for peace and development.

11. The Annual Meeting held four plenary sessions. A list of speakers appears as Annex 2.

12. The first formal Meeting of Women Parliamentarians, since the amendment of Rules of Procedures in 2018, was presided over by Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin on 14 January 2019, and chaired by Hon. Khuon Sudary, Second Vice President of the Cambodian National Assembly and Chair of the Cambodian Women Parliamentarians Caucus and co-chaired by Hon. Olga Epifanova, Vice-Chairperson of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. The Meeting

stressed the importance of promoting gender equality and women empowerment in achieving peace and sustainable development. It urged policy makers to strengthen multi-stakeholder dialogue and cooperation that would allow for construction of better frameworks and institutions, access to greater budgets and funding as well as the sharing of best practices and know-how in policy making. It is an urgent need to enable women and girls to have better access to education, knowledge and technology. The report appears as Annex 3.

13.The Meeting of the first plenary session covered three topics (i) Building Trust for Peace, Security and Sustainable Development in the Region, (ii) Combatting Terrorism and Transnational Crime in the Region, (iii) Strengthening Parliamentary Cooperation in Promoting the Responsible Use of Cyber Space for Social Progress. Key issues raised included the lack of political trust, and non-traditional security threats including terrorism, transnational crimes, cyber security, Rohingya crisis, and peace and security on the Korean Peninsula,. Some suggested policies to address these issues include _ developing mechanisms to strengthen mutual trust for peace and security, promoting collective efforts to resolve the root-causes of terrorism, advancing cooperation on cyber security and digital literacy.

14. Concerning the situation in the Korean Peninsula, the delegations noted the positive developments and expressed a desire for a diplomatic resolution of the remaining issues. Delegates expressed hope that the upcoming summit between the U.S. and DPRK will bring concrete results.

15. In the second plenary session on economic and trade matters, the Meeting discussed three topics namely (i) Building Strong Institutions to Promote Trade and Investment for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, (ii) Promoting Financial Access and Vocational Training for Small and Medium Enterprise s for Employment and Peace, and (iii) Enhancing Connectivity in the Asia-Pacific Through E-commerce. Key issues identified were protectionism, unilateralism and inequality. Some proposed solutions are to enhance open and inclusive multilateralism, strengthen free trade, and take a multifaceted approach to sustainable development in order to reduce inequality, mitigate the impact of climate change and ensure the preservation and protecting of cultural heritage.

16. The delegates highlighted the need to build strong institutions to promote trade and investment for sustainable and inclusive growth. We reiterated our commitment to fight against protectionism to achieve our common goal of free trade and investment in the region. We also discussed promoting access to finance, science, technology and innovation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and called for regional cooperation to encourage investment in education along with vocational training and lifelong learning to meet SME requirement of critical skills in the changing global business environment. In addition, we discussed enhancing regional connectivity through e-commerce and called for investment in telecommunications infrastructure and harmonized rules, regulations and legislation governing digital trade to promote the free flow of goods and services in the region.

17.  In the third plenary session on regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, the Meeting discussed three topics, namely (i) Enhancing Parliamentary Roles in response to Climate Change, (ii) Enhancing Parliamentary Cooperation in Promoting Cultural Diversity and Tourism in Asia-Pacific, (iii) Disaster Risk Reduction. Key issues discussed included climate change, cultural exchange and cooperation, and disaster risk reduction. Proposed solutions covered building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation to mitigate and adapt to climate change and global warming, promoting and harnessing cultural diversity for socio-economic development, and furthering investment in disaster risk reduction and prioritizing these issues in policy formulation.

18. The delegates underscored the commitment to the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, especially the principles for mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies and enhancing civilization connectivity. The delegates also raised the important role of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) in promoting the synergies of culture and peace and sustainable development.

19. Delegates also urged APPF member countries to foster global and regional cooperation mechanisms such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Belt and Road (B&R), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the Free Trade Area of  the  Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

20. In the final plenary session, Hon. Khuon Sudary delivered a Report on the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians and Ho n. Hun Many gave a briefing on the outcomes of the Meeting of the Drafting Committee. Fourteen Resolutions were adopted, as appear in Annex 4 (4.1- 4.14).

21. Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin concluded the Forum by extending his deep appreciation to delegates for their time and commitment to making APPF-27 a great success . The delegates expressed gratitude to Cambodia for its outstanding organization and warm hospitality.

22. The 27th Annual Meeting was concluded with the handover of the APPF flag from the Kingdom of Cambodia to Australia as incoming host in 2020.

Signed in Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia, on Sixteenth Day of January Two Thousand and Nineteen


Joint Communiqué

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