28th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum
13-16 January 2020
Rules of Procedure (Amended)
As amended in 2020
The procedural arrangements in the APPF were set out in the 1994 Annual Meeting in the Philippines, and are updated from time to time. They are as follows:
Structure and Role
- The APPF will be loosely structured and non-exclusive forum of national parliaments of sovereign states of the Asia-Pacific region, in which parliamentarians will participate either as delegates of their parliaments or in their personal capacities.
- The APPF will seek to provide opportunities for national parliamentarians of sovereign states of the Asia-Pacific region:
- to identify and discuss matters of common concern and interest and to highlight them in a global context;
- to deepen their understanding of the policy concerns, interests and experiences of the countries of the region;
- to examine the critical political, social, and cultural developments resulting from economic growth and integration;
- to encourage and promote regional cooperation at all levels on matters of common concern to the region; and
- to play the roles of national parliamentarians in furthering in their respective countries a sense of regional cohesion, understanding and cooperation.
- The APPF will operate on the basis of:
- commitment to frank and constructive dialogue;
- equal respect for the views of all participants; and
- full recognition of the roles performed by governments, business communities, labour organisations, research institutes and others.
- The APPF will act to promote greater regional identification and cooperation with particular focus on:
- cooperation for the further advancement of peace, freedom, democracy, and prosperity;
- open and non-exclusive cooperation for the expansion of free trade and investment, sustainable development and sound environment practices;
- non-military cooperation which gives due consideration to issues relating to regional peace and security; and
- preservation and promotion of the diverse cultures of the peoples in the region.
- The APPF will maintain the closest relations with regional institutions, particularly the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), and the Pacific Basin Economic Council (PBEC), to ensure a free flow of information between the APPF and these institutions. APPF member parliaments will endeavour to have APPF views reflected in these institutions.
Membership and Observership
- Membership of the APPF will in principle be open to all national parliaments of sovereign states in the Asia-Pacific region (in particular those of the member nations of ASEAN, APEC, and the PIF) which:
- have an active interest in promoting dialogue among parliamentarians in the region; and
- accept the objectives and principles of the APPF as reflected in the 1993 Tokyo Declaration and subsequent declarations and the Rules of Procedure.
- Membership of the APPF will be reviewed from time to time.
- National parliamentarians of sovereign states of the Asia-Pacific region and others invited as observers or in any other appropriate status may attend the APPF Annual Meeting.
- Parliamentarians from member parliament delegations (hereinafter referred to as "participating delegates") will attend the Annual Meeting. In cases where a national parliament is represented by an official delegation, the attendance of other parliamentarians from that parliament in a personal capacity is allowed only with the advice and consent of that parliament.
Honorary Presidency, Presidency, and Chairmanship of the Annual Meeting
- The President will represent the APPF and will serve as Chairman of the Executive Committee.
- The host country shall appoint a President from the host parliament who shall serve as President from May in the year preceding the Annual Meeting until April following the Annual Meeting.
- The Chairman of the meeting shall serve as Chairman of the Executive Committee.
- The APPF shall appoint the founding APPF President as Honorary President in order to ensure the APPF benefits from continuity of leadership. There shall be no limit to the term of the Honorary Presidency.
- The Honorary President shall advise the Executive Committee and Annual Meeting as required.
- The Chairman of the Annual Meeting shall be a member of the host parliament and shall be elected by the Annual Meeting.
- The Chairman of the Annual Meeting shall direct the work of the meeting and see that the rules are observed. The Chairman shall also open, suspend, and close the sessions, make known the results, and declare the meeting closed.
- The Chairman of the Annual Meeting may, with the approval of the Executive Committee, appoint deputies from among participating delegates to direct the meeting in place of the Chairman, as necessary.
- The APPF will meet annually.
- The host, date and venue of each Annual Meeting will be determined by the plenary at the preceding meeting.
- The host country will be proposed on the basis of discussion from among those countries wishing to host the Annual Meeting. Priority will be given to those countries which have not previously hosted an Annual Meeting. Where no country wishes to host the meeting, the host will be proposed with reference to the order of hosting previous Annual Meetings.
- The host of the Annual Meeting will make the necessary arrangements for the meeting including coordination of the provisional agenda of the meeting, in consultation with the Executive Committee, and for the provision of a secretariat for the Annual Meeting.
- The host parliament will bear the cost of organizing the meeting and the participants will cover their expenses for attending the meeting. Membership of a delegation will be limited to a maximum of ten parliamentarians. This limitation shall not apply to the host parliament.
- The host country will determine the provisional agenda in principle no later than four months prior to the opening date of the Annual Meeting and notify member parliaments.
- The agenda shall be approved by the Annual Meeting on the advice of the Executive Committee.
- Requests for supplementary items may be considered by the Executive Committee for inclusion on the agenda.
- Member parliaments must submit draft resolutions to the host country in principle no later than two months prior to the opening date of the Annual Meeting. This time limit, however, will not apply to draft resolutions relating to supplementary items included in accordance with Article 25.
- Draft resolutions must be relevant to the agenda items.
- A proposed resolution must be made available for circulation to all participating delegates before it is moved.
- All decisions of the APPF will be made by consensus at the Annual Meeting. When decisions are required on substantive matters, the principle of unanimity shall be observed.
- While draft resolutions will be adopted on a consensus basis, the Chairman of the Annual Meeting may allow mention to be made of partial reservations in the resolution document, and thereby permit minority opinions to be reflected.
- Draft resolutions shall be discussed at the plenary session before examination by the Drafting Committee.
- Where a resolution is adopted by the Annual Meeting, the country tabling that resolution shall provide the next host country with a written report on how that resolution has been put into effect no later than two months prior to the opening date of the next Annual Meeting. The next host country shall endeavour to gather information and report at the next Annual Meeting on the status of action in each country in relation to resolutions.
- After the Annual Meeting, the host country shall send the adopted resolutions out to the relevant countries and international institutions for reference purposes.
- Parliamentary delegations will be requested by the host parliament to submit motions for discussion at the next Annual Meeting by a specified date.
- A participating delegate may, when called by the Chairman, speak freely on any matter included in the agenda.
- As a general rule, only current members of parliaments may voice opinions.
- In inviting participating delegates to speak, the Chairman of the Annual Meeting will be guided by the following two principles:
- commitment to frank and constructive dialogue; and
- equal respect for the views of all participants.
- Priority to speak will be given to participating delegates. The representatives of the parliaments attending as observers and other official participants may also speak with agreement of the Annual Meeting, when called by the Chairman.
- Membership of the Executive Committee shall be open to all member countries of the APPF and shall comprise representatives of the following:
- The current Annual Meeting host country
- The next Annual Meeting host country
- Countries designated by the Honorary President
- Countries elected from sub-regions.
- Qualification for Executive Committee Members
- Executive Committee members must be current members of parliaments.
- The countries of Executive Committee members may be reelected.
- In the election of representative countries from sub-regions as stipulated in Article 39, with due regard to balance in regional representation, the Asia-Pacific shall be divided into the following four sub-regions with two countries being elected from each sub-region.
- Northeast Asia (5 countries): People's Republic of China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Russian Federation.
- Southeast Asia (8 countries): Kingdom of Cambodia, Republic of Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Singapore, Kingdom of Thailand, Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Negara Brunei Darussalam not included as it has observer status).
- Oceania (6 countries): Australia, Republic of Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands.
- The Americas (8 countries): Canada, Republic of Chile, Republic of Colombia, United Mexican States, Republic of Peru, United States of America, Ecuador, Costa Rica.
- Duties of the Executive Committee
a. The Executive Committee may submit recommendations to the Annual Meeting with regard to policy issues which the APPF wishes to address or APPF's management policy.
b. The Executive Committee shall engage in coordination with the host country of the Annual Meeting concerning the draft agenda and schedule of the Annual Meeting.
c. The Executive Committee shall advise the host country of the Annual Meeting concerning the matters deemed necessary for the Annual Meeting.
d. The Executive Committee shall receive applications for membership in the Forum from each parliament, and submit the recommendations to the next Annual Meeting for determination.
- The term of office for an Executive Committee member representing a sub-region shall be four years, from May of the year of an Annual Meeting until April four years later, subject to the following conditions.
- Half of the Executive Committee members representing sub-regions shall be reelected every two years.
- The method of election of Executive Committee members representing sub-regions shall be decided by each sub-region in order to respect its voluntary will. Sub-region representatives shall report to the Executive Committee when the Executive Committee member for their respective region has been elected.
- If any Executive Committee member representing a sub-region is unable to attend an Executive Committee meeting, a parliamentarian from another country in that sub-region may be designated by those sub-region representatives present at the annual meeting to serve as an alternative member.
- The term of office for an Executive Committee member representing the host country of an Annual Meeting shall be from May of the year preceding the Annual Meeting until April following the Annual Meeting.
- Reports of the Executive Committee on its work may be made orally or in writing at the Annual Meeting.
Meeting of Women Parliamentarians
- A Meeting of Women Parliamentarians will be held on the occasion of the APPF Annual Meeting.
- The Meeting of Women Parliamentarians will seek to create a forum for all parliamentarians to discuss issues on women, children and to achieve gender equality.
- The Chair of the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians shall be a member of the host parliament.
- The Meeting of Women Parliamentarians may elect Co-Chairs from among participating delegates.
- The Meeting of the Women Parliamentarians will submit a report to the Plenary Session.
- A Drafting Committee will be established at the Annual Meeting on the advice of the Executive Committee to prepare draft resolutions and a draft joint communiqué for consideration, adoption, and release at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting.
- The Chair of the Drafting Committee shall be designated based on approval from the Executive Committee. The provisions of Article17 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the appointment of deputy chairs to the Drafting Committee.
- A participating delegate from each member parliament submitting a draft resolution shall participate in the Drafting Committee examination of that resolution.
- The Drafting Committee, when in session, shall determine its own priorities. At the conclusion of its deliberations the Drafting Committee will report to the plenary session of the Annual Meeting.
- Reports of the Drafting Committee on its work may be made orally or in writing at the Annual Meeting.
- Working Groups may be established by the Annual Meeting on the advice of the Executive Committee:
- to examine specific issues referred for consideration and report on these to the Annual Meeting or to the Executive Committee; or
- to create a new joint draft resolution in place of multiple existing proposals with similar content, and submit this to the Drafting Committee.
- Working Groups examining draft resolutions will include but need not be limited to a participating delegate from each member parliament submitting a draft resolution.
Matters Not Covered by Rules
- The President shall decide on all matters not covered by these rules, on the advice of the Executive Committee.