(For the Japanese version of this article)

The 32nd APEC Human Resources Development Working Group Meeting and The 11th Capacity Building Network Meeting (Hiroshima) [February 23-28, 2010]

The 32nd APEC Human Resources Development Working Group Meeting and The 11th Capacity Building Network Meeting (Hiroshima)


Outline


Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting and related meetings will be held in various places around Japan in 2010, when Japan serves as the APEC chair. IIST participated as a Japanese representative in the 32nd Human Resources Development Working Group (HRD-WG) Meeting and the 11th Capacity Building Network (CBN) Meeting, which were held in Hiroshima on February 23–28 as part of these events. In the plenary session on February 25, IIST organized a seminar entitled “APEC Strategic Approach to Sustainable Capacity Building” to consider the desirable form of human resources development in APEC in the future.

The year 2010 is a milestone for APEC, since it is the target year for developed economies in the region to achieve the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment as agreed in the Bogor Declaration of 1994. It also marks an important step toward the year 2020, by which time developing economies in the region are also scheduled to achieve trade and investment liberalization.

In their meetings in 2009, the APEC leaders and ministers set the achievement of inclusive growth and sustainable growth as APEC’s objectives in 2010 and agreed to implement programs covering multiple years. In response, at their annual meeting, ministers instructed officials to develop a multi-year capacity building program for the achievement of inclusive growth in close cooperation with relevant bodies, including HRD-WG.

In 2010 China is scheduled to hold HRD Ministerial Meeting, and “Developing Human Resources, Vigorously Promoting Employment, and Realizing Inclusive Growth” is being proposed as the main theme.

Against this background, HRD-WG as a whole was required to study the strategic approach to capacity building. At this meeting, which was held together with the First APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM1) also hosted by Japan, IIST organized a workshop and seminar as part of the “Strategic Approach to Sustainable Capacity Building” project it is managing to think about the desirable form of human resources development in APEC from now on and to propose the results to the upcoming HRD-WG Ministerial Meeting.


Schedule


February 23-28, 2010


February 23 (Tuesday)
・Organizing a workshop on “Strategic Approach for Sustainable Capacity Building”
(venue: Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima)

February 24 (Wednesday)
・Participating in HRD Ministerial Meeting Planning Session and Joint Economic Committee(EC)/HRD-WG Meeting
(venue: Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima)

February 25 (Thursday)
・Participating in the 32nd HRD-WG Meeting and organizing a seminar on “APEC Strategic Approach to Sustainable Capacity Building”
(venue: International Conference Center Hiroshima)
・Holding of Welcome Reception
(venue: ANA Crowne Prince Hotel Hiroshima)

February 26 (Friday)
・Participating in Hiroshima excursion
・Participating in the 32nd HRD-WG Meeting and the 11th CBN Meeting
(venue: International Conference Center Hiroshima)

February 27 (Saturday)
・Participating in the 11th CBN Meeting
(venue: International Conference Center Hiroshima)
・Holding of Network Dinner

February 28 (Sunday)
・Participating in the 32nd HRD-WG Meeting
(venue: International Conference Center Hiroshima)


Overview


In the workshop on February 23 the state of progress of stocktaking past capacity building projects was reviewed and the contents of presentations to be given in the seminar on February 25 were confirmed. Subsequently, the workshop discussions focused on the future direction of the project including a plan to provide inputs to HRD Ministerial Meeting in China, which should cover past capacity building projects undertaken by other working groups in stocktaking, on possible agenda of the ministerial meeting, among others. There was also a lively discussion on the direction of capacity building in APEC in the future.

On February 24, following a preparatory meeting for HRD Ministerial Meeting scheduled to be held in China in September, the first Joint EC/HRD-WG Meeting was held. The joint meeting affirmed the importance of cooperation with HRD-WG toward the realization of structural reforms in the APEC region being discussed in EC.

On February 25 IIST put together a seminar entitled “APEC Strategic Approach to Sustainable Capacity Building” as part of HRD-WG meeting. In the keynote speeches, the Japanese speaker talked about contributions to the APEC region through human resources development in the environmental and energy fields; the US speaker talked about new factors of uncertainty relating to population, resources, and lifestyles in the changing APEC region and the development of human resources that can respond to these issues; and the Singapore speaker talked about the necessary framework and strategic approach to human resources development in APEC. A participant from the International Labor Organization (ILO) introduced the ILO’s strategy for human resources development. In addition, as part of “Strategic Approach to Sustainable Capacity Building” a Canadian expert spoke about the project’s background, the desirable form of capacity building in APEC, and the strengths and weaknesses of the HRD-WG’s capacity building projects.

The representatives from twenty-one APEC economies and invited guests from the ILO and other organizations participated in HRD-WG meeting on February 25, 26, and 28. As the main agenda item, an external assessment of HRD-WG was conducted, and various proposals were made. Discussions focused mainly on the role of CBN in the future. In addition, the Chinese representative reported on the results of the preparatory meeting for HRD Ministerial Meeting to be held in China and asked for cooperation in preparations from now on. Lively discussions also took place on a variety of other issues, such as the process of nominating the lead shepherd and network coordinators and the greater utilization of the HRD WIKI.

Eleven economies participated in the CBN meeting on February 26 and 27 (Brunei, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States). In the meeting, discussions took place on the three subthemes suggested by China for HRD Ministerial Meeting (“Devoting attention to maintaining and expanding employment-oriented macroeconomic policies,” “Improving social safety net and reinforcing social protection and employment assistance for vulnerable groups,” and “Enhancing human resources capacity building to prepare the workforce for revitalizing economic growth”). In addition, the participants formulated CBN’s opinions regarding the proposals of the Independent Assessment. All the participants welcomed Japan’s offer to contribute as the next CBN coordinator. Furthermore, the APEC economies presented reports on the state of progress and completion of various CBN projects, including Japan’s “Strategic Approach to Sustainable Capacity Building” and “IPR Strategies for Emerging Enterprises” projects.

In the seminar, the experts from outside HRD-WG gave presentations on human resources development from their respective standpoints, and it was very stimulating in terms of thinking about the desirable form of capacity building in APEC. Overall, it was suggested that from now on the involvement of the private sector in capacity building is desirable and that rather than one-off capacity building projects for individuals, long-term, organizational, and multi-faceted projects are necessary. In the HRD-WG and CBN meetings many economies expressed the opinion that the development of management, which is the main target of CBN, is extremely important for achieving the goals of APEC, and there were statements welcoming Japan’s initiative. The meetings were extremely beneficial in the sense that economies were able to share the importance of sustained capacity building and many suggestions were made concerning the desirable form of capacity building for the future.


February 23: Experts discussing in the workshop (morning)

February 23: Experts discussing in the workshop (morning)

February 25: Thematic Seminar “APEC Strategic Approach to Sustainable Capacity Building”

February 25: Thematic Seminar “APEC Strategic Approach to Sustainable Capacity Building”


February 26: CBN Meeting

February 26: CBN Meeting

February 28: HRD-WG Meeting

February 28: HRD-WG Meeting




Human Resource Development Dept.

(For the Japanese version of this article)


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