THE 31st Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF31), hosted by the Philippine Congress, has ended with the adoption of all 10 resolutions and the signing of the Joint Communiqué.
Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez who together with Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, cochaired the APPF31, hailed the signing as a historic moment, aligning with the theme of “Resilient Partnerships for Peace, Prosperity, and Sustainability” last Saturday.
Romualdez, Zubiri, House Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr., and Senator Ronald Dela Rosa signed the Joint Communiqué on behalf of the Philippine delegation.
The Speaker emphasized the importance of alliances and cooperation among member parliaments, especially in the face of the region’s growing challenges.
“Collectively, we were able to discuss and deliberate substantially on a wide range of urgent regional concerns. And in the end, we were able to adopt a worthwhile resolution that can help our region attain much higher growth and stability,” he said.
The adopted resolutions seek to address crucial issues such as combating transnational crimes, women’s participation and
leadership, gender and Sustainable Development Goals, critical infrastructure, universal health care, climate action, education and culture, the Korean Peninsula, regional peace and stability, and human capital development and inclusive growth.
Two key resolutions with implications on regional security, including one seeking enhanced regional cooperation on maritime conflicts, were among those endorsed for further committee study by the APPF executive committee earlier.
The other resolution, on achieving denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula, was endorsed by the APPF Executive Committee to the Working Group on Political and Security matters for consideration.
According to the Joint Communique issued at the close of the 31st APPF that Manila hosted for the second time in 29 years, a resolution on Combating the Glorification of Nazism, Neo Nazism and other Discriminatory Practices was deferred to the Annual Meeting next year.
Earlier, Senate President Zubiri had said issues on the West Philippine Sea will likely be discussed by lawmakers from member states of APPF because Indonesia had pitched a draft resolution on Enhancing Maritime Security Cooperation in Asia Pacific. This was endorsed to the Working Group on Political and Security Matters.
The delegates emphasized the need to enhance cooperative efforts and seek collaborative solutions to issues that are vital for enhancing regional peace, stability, and prosperity.
Romualdez also reiterated the Philippines’ agenda for the year, which includes amending the APPF Rules of Procedure to include young parliamentarians as a permanent part of the APPF, soliciting support from APPF member-countries for the Philippines’ candidature to the United Nations (UN) Security Council, and establishing a permanent APPF Secretariat.
Image credits: Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB