Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation to the third annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific parliamentary forum which was held in Acapulco, Mexico, from January 12 to 15, 1995.
The Asia-Pacific parliamentary forum, which was inaugurated in January 1993, is quickly becoming an important voice in dealing with political and security matters, co-operative economic arrangements and other key regional interests and issues.
At the same time the Asia-Pacific region is becoming increasingly significant in the achievement of Canada's goals in terms of trade, technology acquisition in job creation, in sustaining a global environment and in managing the demographics of immigration.
These forums provide parliamentarians of the subject regions the opportunity to express their own views and those of the people they represent in a frank and open manner. The opportunity to meet and discuss issues with fellow parliamentarians from 20 other Pacific rim countries was a positive experience. In effect it was an international discussion at the grassroots level and this is to be encouraged.
In 1997 Canada will host the heads of government and the ministerial meetings of the Asia-Pacific economic co-operation, APEC. The government is considering that 1997 be declared the year of Canada in Asia-Pacific.
I am pleased to add that Canada has also been asked to host the fifth meeting of the Asia-Pacific parliamentary forum in January 1997. This is an honour and an indication of the high regard in which our country is held in the international community.