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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, January 10, 2002

Asia-Pacific lawmakers in valuable meeting

We congratulate the 113 delegates from 26 Asian and Pacific countries who participated in the 10th annual meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum.

The participants are legislators from a wide range of political systems, with different philosophies and different priorities. But globalization is making one nation's problem a problem for all nations — a process much accelerated by the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.

The delegates dealt with a meaty agenda of matters of mutual concern, all of which were colored by the regional implications of the attacks on the United States. Indeed, terrorism was a serious issue for many other Asia-Pacific countries before Sept. 11, as noted in a Sunday Focus commentary by Charles Morrison, president of the East-West Center, which hosted the meeting.

The organization, which was founded and continues to be led by former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, produced a resolution calling the Sept.11 terrorist attacks "an unforgivable assault on all humanity."

It wisely called for more than simple retribution, however, urging all countries to seek solutions to a wide variety of political, economic and social problems, including poverty and regional conflicts, which terrorists could use to justify their attacks.

Among those addressing the delegates were Honolulu-based Adm. Dennis Blair, commander in chief of U.S. forces in the Pacific; Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.; House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R.-Ill.; and Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly.

We trust the delegates found the forum valuable and the Hawai'i setting ideal for this undertaking. They should reconvene here again in the near future.