[Jan 20] The 28th Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum takes place in Canberra, Australia, from January 13 to 16, 2020
Photo: Appf28. The 28th Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum takes place in Canberra, Australia, from January 13 to 16, 2020
The 28th Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF28) under the theme Parliamentary Partnerships for 2020 and Beyond was held in Canberra, Australia, from January 13 to 16, 2020. The event took place at the Australian Parliament House, with over 350 delegates from 19 APPF member countries and 10 observer countries.
On January 13, 2020, APPF's Executive Committee meeting, Opening Ceremony, and Meeting of Women Parliamentarians were held. Four plenary sessions were held from January 14 to 15, while the specifics of the sessions were simultaneously dealt with in working group meetings from January 13 to 15. Drafting Committee meetings also took place from January 14 to 15, taking charge of organizing resolutions. On January 15, the whole forum ended with the Final Plenary Session as its final schedule.
Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum intends to not only spark communication and promote bonding among member countries, but it also focuses on solving regional and global issues through methods of discussion and cooperation. It is held annually in mid-January, and next year’s host will be the Republic of Korea. Thailand has offered to host APPF30 in the following year.
This year’s forum considered, but was not limited to: trade and growth, agricultural development, digital economy, gender equality, climate change, sustainable development, oceans management, countering terrorism and extremism, peace on the Korean Peninsula, cybersecurity, and the role of security.
Prior to the Opening Ceremony, APPF’s Executive Committee meeting took place on January 13, chaired by the Hon. Tony Smith MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the APPF. Participating in the meeting were eight Executive Committee member countries, Australia and Korea, as the current and upcoming hosts of the APPF Annual Meetings, and Cambodia, as the previous year’s host. During the meeting, the Chair announced that 45 draft resolutions from 10 countries had been received and published prior to January 13, 2020, and the chairs of plenary sessions, working groups, and drafting committee were announced. The Chair also noted that Korea will be hosting APPF29 in 2021 at the end of the Executive Committee meeting.
After the opening ceremony, Meeting of Women Parliamentarians was held with Deputy President Senator Sue Lines as the chair. As a result, the meeting signed three resolutions: “Promoting gender equality for sustainable development and shared prosperity, realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” “Improving access for women and girls to education, innovation and technology,” and “Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in decision-making at all levels.” The Chair also showed her hopes of having the next Meeting of Women Parliamentarians at APPF29 in Korea.
Then, three plenary sessions and following working groups were held. Plenary sessions’ themes were Political and Security matters, Economic and Trade matters, and Regional Cooperation. These sessions provided multiple resolutions, ranging from enhancing parliamentary roles in response to climate change, promoting sustainable development, to promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula. Especially regarding the Korean Peninsula, APPF member countries emphasized the need for DPRK to be nuclear-weapons-free, and for member countries to help resume the working-level denuclearization talks between the US and DPRK. At the end of the forum, a Joint Communique was signed, 19 resolutions were newly adopted.
For more information, visit the official website of APPF28, https://appf28.org/!
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