FORUM FOR EAST ASIA – LATIN AMERICA COOPERATION (FEALAC) 5th WORKING GROUP MEETING ON POLITICS, CULTURE, AND EDUCATION Bali, Indonesia 16th July 2008
CO CHAIRS' STATEMENT
1. The Forum for East Asia–Latin America Cooperation Fifth Working Group Meeting on Politics, Culture, and Education was held in Bali, Indonesia on the 16th of July 2008. The meeting examined existing projects, presented new projects, furthered the work of the previous working group meetings, held in Singapore (1-3 May 2002), Chile (8-9 May 2003), Singapore (9-10 September 2004), and in Bogot? (27-28 February 2006). The Meeting was co–chaired by Indonesia and Columbia.
2. The meeting was attended by delegates from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Chile, China, Columbia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Mexico, Myanmar, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Venezuela and Viet Nam. The list of Delegates appears as Annex A.
3. The Head of the Indonesia Delegation as co–chair, opened the meeting and welcomed all delegates to Brazil. He elaborated on the important of this 5th Working Group Meeting and on the continuity of the cooperation with regards to the previous working group projects in FEALAC.
4. During the opening session, the meeting underscored some concern within the FEALAC framework, including the minimum numbers of objectives that has been achieved due to the existence of barriers between the two regions and also the lack of concrete programs. In this context, a debate should take place to review the timing and the venue for future working group meetings. The meeting also emphasized the need FEALAC cooperation to be beneficial to all sectors of society.
5. The meeting reviewed the proposed and ongoing political, cultural, and education projects undertaken by the working group. The meeting welcomed new initiatives and the continuity of the existing cooperation among FEALAC countries, to be implemented for the prosperity of the people of both regions. Acknowledging the importance of political, cultural, and education cooperation for closer partnership in FEALAC the meeting emphasized the role of international, regional, or national institutions to support the cooperation in their own respective field. In this respect, it was agreed upon the convenience of preparing a consolidated list of the academic institutions of the member countries that would engage in cooperation program.
6. The meeting also emphasized the need to take stock of ongoing and future initiatives to avoid overlapping of program conducted under the three working groups of FEALAC.
7. The meeting called for the implementation of reciprocity in organization of initiatives that will lead to the sustainability of the projects.
8. The meeting adopted the agenda, which appears as annex B.
9. On the follow up of Brasilia Ministerial Declaration, Korea reported the renewal of the FEALAC official website, www.fealac.org, to serve as a portal of communication between FEALAC secretariat. Korea also reported that the terms of reference will be discussed further at the upcoming meeting in Ecuador, 2008. Korea also reported the progress on focal points on SMEs and Financial and Trade Information Network of Business Organizations. On the network on SMEs, Ecuador suggested the creation of a network through the development of a center.
10. The following decisions were made regarding projects presented at the meeting.
Political cooperation :
a. FEALAC Seminar on Counter Terrorism (Indonesia): The meeting emphasized the importance of strengthening cooperation in addressing terrorism threats within the framework of FEALAC. The meeting also sought the possibility of conducting the next seminar in the Latin America region.
b. Young Leader Symposium (Japan): The meeting appreciated the annual programme held by Japan, with 2008’s topic on energy conservation and forestation. The meeting further proposed the development of Young Leader’s network for participants of the symposium.
c. Young Parliamentarians Forum (Singapore): The meeting appreciated Singapore’s program and support the key outcomes of the forum, including the establishment of a website.
d. Workshop for Drug Cooperation (Thailand): The meeting appreciated Thailand’s workshop for Drug Cooperation and acknowledge Thailand’s future seminar on narcotic law enforcement.
e. Korea–Latin America Business Forum (Korea): The meeting recognized the change of name of the initiative and forward to the next meeting to be held in Seoul, 2008. The meeting sought the possibility of moving the initiative to the economy and society working group.
f. Network against Drug Trafficking and Observatory of Drug (Columbia): the meeting recognized the need increase efficient and economical information network despite the financial burden of holding projects in the two regions. The meeting also took note of Columbia’s offer in the holding of technical workshop on the observatory of drug between individual member countries.
g. The meeting underlined the importance of the fight against drug trafficking as most East Asian and Latin America countries are victims of illicit drug trafficking and calls for coordinated cooperation in drug control inter alia the development of an integrated policy on drug control and to involve anti–narcotic institutions or agents of FEALAC member countries in the fight against drugs trafficking.
h. Training course for FEALAC Cooperation on Poverty Reduction (Thailand): The meeting acknowledged Thailand’s readiness to host trainings on poverty reduction. The meeting took note of the possibility of moving this initiative to the economy and society working group.
i. Buakaew Roundtable International for Foreign Officials (Thailand): The meeting appreciated Thailand’s offer to continue holding the initiative despite the low number of attendance in the previous roundtable. The Representatives of private sectors may be invited to take part in future events.
j. Latin America and Caribbean Junior/Senior Diplomats Workshop and Seminar (China): The meeting recognized the program as an important platform for achieving better understanding between diplomatic members of both regions.
k. Report of the 6th Journalist Visit Programme (Singapore): The meeting welcomed the commitment made by Singapore to extend JVP to 2010 and are delighted in the increase number of journalist taking part in the program. The meeting sought the support of all FEALAC members towards this initiative, as it is an outlet to promote mutual understanding between East Asia and Latin America. The meeting further suggested that members find solutions in minimizing the cost of airfare.
l. FEALAC Film Festival, FEALAC Food Festival, FEALAC Textile and Traditional Costume Exhibition, FEALAC Youth Cultural Camp (Indonesia): The meeting supports Indonesia’s array of initiatives in the cultural field and encourage the participation of all FEALAC members in the said activities.
m. International Conference of the Philippines’ Academic Consortium for Latin America Studies – PACLAS – (The Philippines): the meeting recognized the Philippines’ initiative and hopes for the participation of other East Asian centers for Latin America studies in PACLAS activities.
n. The meeting looked back upon the commitment made by the Ministers in Brasilia to further develop the existing FEALAC academic network. Furthermore the meeting agreed that all members should encourage their respective central government to fulfill their commitments in this particular program.
o. Staff and Student Exchange Programs between Latin America Tertiary Institutions and Burapha University (Thailand). The meeting acknowledged Burapha University as focal point for Latin America studies in Thailand and took note of Thailand’s contemplation to host a meeting among tertiary institutions from FEALAC countries with a view to establishing a concrete network among academic institutions.
p. Darmasiswa Scholarship Program and Tertiary Education Institutional Cooperation (Indonesia): The meeting recognized the new initiative by Indonesia and appreciated Indonesia’s efforts to foster education and cultural cooperation within the FEALAC framework.
q. The Cuban Literacy Program, endorsed by UNESCO (Cuba): The meeting acknowledged Cuba’s successful effort in combating illiteracy in the Latin America region and other regions in the world, and supports Cuba’s offer to facilitate program on literacy to any interested party.
11. Argentina will host the upcoming SOM IX in March or April 2009 meanwhile Japan will host the FMM IV in 2009 after the holding of the SOM in Argentina. Ecuador informed the meeting that the 6th working group meeting on economy and society will be conducted in Quito on 25-27 November 2008, back–to–back with the 1st Meeting on Sub–Group on Tourism. Columbia in the meantime informed the meeting on its plan to host the 6th Working Group Meeting on Politics, Culture and Education in Columbia, in 2009.
12. New Zealand informed the meeting on the Report on Political and Cultural Linkage of Asia and Latin America produced by New Zealand and Paraguay in 2005. New Zealand will call for FEALAC member countries to provide updated information on recent and future initiatives for the purpose of reviewing the publication.
13. China and Myanmar in this occasion thanked the international community, the FEALAC member countries in particular, towards humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the wake of the devastating earthquake and cyclone disaster in the two countries.
14. The meeting expressed its profound appreciation to the Government of Indonesia for its excellent arrangements and warm hospitality accorded to the delegations.