UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LISBON 000412
NSC FOR SBUSBY
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM XB PO
SUBJECT: INTER-SESSIONAL MEETING OF THE ASIA-PACIFIC
Â¶1. (U) SUMMARY. The ROKG (South Korea), current Chair of the
Asia Pacific Democracy Partnership (APDP), hosted an
inter-sessional meeting of APDP on the margins of the
Community of Democracies Ministerial in Portugal on July 11.
The ten governments represented received a briefing on APDP
activities since last year's Senior Officials Meeting (SOM)
and discussed drafts of the APDP Mission Statement and
Organizational Guidelines for Election Observation Missions.
Participants agreed to continue working together through APDP
to strengthen democratic institutions in the Asia Pacific
region. END SUMMARY.
Â¶2. (U) As agreed at the APDP Senior Officials Meeting in
Seoul in October 2008, the ROKG hosted an inter-sessional
meeting on the margins of the Community of Democracies
Ministerial Conference in Lisbon. The meeting was chaired by
ROKG Deputy Foreign Minister Oh Joon and attended by
representatives of Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Mongolia,
the Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and the United
States. Christopher Camponovo, DRL Senior Advisor, and
Michael Fuchs of S/P, represented the USG.
Â¶3. (U) Before the APDP Inter-Sessional Meeting, Oh Joon met
with Acting DRL A/S Karen Stewart to exchange views on APDP
and to discuss the upcoming meeting. During their breakfast,
Oh Joon and Stewart discussed possibilities for who might
take over the APDP Chair at the end of 2009. The ROKG has
approached the Philippines, Thailand and Timor-Leste, but
none expressed interest, primarily due to previous
commitments this year. As a result, Oh Joon stated that the
ROKG is willing to continue as APDP Chair until Spring 2010,
which will provide more time to find a successor and should
minimize potential conflicts with other international
meetings. Acting A/S Stewart indicated that we are
appreciative of the ROKG's efforts as APDP Chair and that the
USG will work with the ROKG to help find a new APDP Chair.
She further expressed the USG's continuing commitment to
APDP. Although the new Administration is reviewing all of
the USG's democracy-promotion activities, we will continue
our participation in APDP, in particular, through funding a
joint APDP/Bali Democracy Forum workshop and by possibly
contributing to APDP election observations in 2010.
Â¶4. (U) To begin the Inter-Sessional Meeting, the USG
representative briefed participants on the APDP election
observation missions to Bangladesh (December 2008) and to the
Federated States of Micronesia (March 2009). The
participants agreed to invite both Bangladesh and the
Federated States of Micronesia to participate in APDP. The
USG also encouraged APDP participants to consider where APDP
might send election observation missions in 2009 and 2010 and
suggested two possibilities for 2010 ) the Maldives and Sri
Lanka. Although no extended discussion followed this
suggestion, in bilateral discussions after the meeting,
several governments expressed interest in the proposal.
Â¶5. (U) Following the briefing, the participants discussed two
draft documents prepared and reviewed by "virtual" working
groups: an APDP Mission Statement and a set of
Organizational Guidelines for APDP Election Observation
Missions. After discussion of the Mission Statement, only
one section remained in brackets ) that which addresses any
APDP member which "seriously fails to comply with one or
several of the membership criteria." In particular, India
raised concerns over the ability of one-third of APDP's
membership to raise the issue of a member's non-compliance,
noting the potential for divisive discussion and the
provision's inconsistency with APDP's inclusive nature. With
regard to the Organizational Guidelines, participants were
comfortable with the document as revised to incorporate
comments of the working groups and, accordingly, recommended
that it be adopted at the next Senior Officials Meeting.
Â¶6. (U) As a final matter, the ROKG asked participants to
consider assuming the rotating APDP Chair sometime during the
LISBON 00000412 002 OF 002
first half of 2010, at which time the second SOM would take
place. Although this issue was not resolved in Lisbon, the
meeting successfully maintained the momentum necessary for
APDP's future sustainability.
This cable was prepared by DRL Bureau.
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