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International Leaders Propose ‘Asian Union’

Yoon Won-sup / Korea Times | October 13 2006

Asian political leaders on Sunday proposed creating a community called ``Asian Union’’ in a concluding statement at the fourth general assembly of the International Conference for Asian Political Parties (ICAPP).

Four hundred representatives from 90 political parties in 36 Asian countries adopted the Seoul Declaration from the three-day conference, which included not only the establishment of the Asian Union but also a joint campaign to fight terrorism, poverty and weapons of mass destruction.

Also in the declaration were calls to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula and to resume the six-way talks aimed at resolving the North Korea nuclear problem.

Parties included the Bangladesh Awami League, Indian National Congress, Chinese Communist Party, United Russia Party, Thai Rak Thai Party, the National Peoples Coalition of the Philippines, United Malays National Organization of Malaysia, and the Vietnamese Communist Party.

Participants also adopted the constitution of the ICAPP for the first time since its inauguration in September 2000.

Rep. Chung Eui-yong of the governing Uri Party, a standing member of the ICAPP, said the international conference has been operating without a proper legal basis but that the constitution would make the meeting a regular institution.

The steering committee of the ICAPP decided to locate its secretariat in Seoul until the venue for the next general assembly is finalized.

Rep. Kim Hyong-o, floor leader of the main opposition Grand National Party, said in a closing ceremony, ``Not only nations concerned but also neighboring countries must seek solutions through cooperation in order to overcome threats in the region.’’

Kim further said that all political leaders agreed to exert every effort to make a regional community in Asia for peace and prosperity despite each nation’s difference.

Jose de Venecia, speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, who established the ICAPP, said that the Seoul meeting was a landmark as it paved the way to achieve peace in Asia.

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