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Submitted by the Philippines

The Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum Sixth Annual Meeting,

Recalling the Fourth ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) held in Subang Jaya, Malaysia on July 27, 1997, chaired by the Honorable Dato Seri Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, with all member countries of ARF attending;

Noting that the ARF has developed into an important forum for multilateral security dialogue and cooperation in the region and has played a positive role in enhancing mutual understanding and trust, promoting greater transparency as well as strengthening the commitment among participants to maintain peace and stability in the region;

Noting further that the ARF discussed a wide range of issues relevant to the question of peace and security of the region, among which are the following:

  1. The region's economic prosperity has laid a solid foundation for political stability but it still faces certain challenges which have to be resolved through dialogue and cooperation;

  2. A number of confidence building arrangements made over the years have exerted positive influence on the regional security situation and encouraged ARF participants to continue pursuing bilateral and sub-regional measures suited to their needs and applicable to their specific conditions, to advance mutual trust and confidence in a gradual and incremental manner;

  3. The strengthening of security in the region and the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones globally due to the effectivity of the SEANWFZ Treaty on March 27, 1997.

  4. The coming into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention serving as a veritable global ban on chemical weapons; and the progress made on the protocol dealing with compliance and verification of the Biological Weapons Convention;

  5. The successful negotiations on a comprehensive treaty banning the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of anti-personnel mines;

  6. An urgent need to pursue vigorous negotiations on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament with the ultimate objective of eliminating nuclear weapons; and took note of the UN General Assembly's decision to devote its Fourth Special Session to disarmament in 1997;

  7. The efforts by countries involved in the South China Sea disputes to seek solutions by peaceful means in accordance with international law, the UNCLOS, and the exercise of self-restraint; the ASEAN's initiative to help restore political stability in Cambodia; and the maintenance of the 1953 Armistice Agreement for peace and security in the Korean Peninsula and the concern over the impact of food shortage in North Korea on the security and the well-being of the people; and

  8. The transboundary movement of the nuclear waste in the region which should conform to the existing international safety standards and norms, and the international efforts to prohibit the export of nuclear waste to those countries which do not have appropriate waste treatment and storage.

  9. Convinced of the importance maintaining the evolutionary approach adopted by the ARF whereby all participants frankly discuss issues of common concern while encouraging habits of cooperation and instilling a pattern of constructive behavior, and of taking decisions by consensus;

  10. Convinced further that the ARF process has resulted in a number of the settlements of regional disputes, problems and issues, and the conclusion of agreements favorable to the promotion and maintenance of peace and security in the region;

    Resolves to:

    1. Promote and maintain peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region through the evolutionary process of frankly discussing issues and taking decisions by consensus, taking into consideration the interests of all participants; and

    2. Encourage closer cooperation among ARF participants which would significantly contribute to the strengthening of the confidence building measures.