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By Nazario Rodriguez, Jr.

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, Dec. 6) – Four members of the Palau House of Delegates and a staffer at the speaker’s office attended the recently concluded 6th General Assembly Meeting of the Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace in Thailand.

The six-day conference, which was attended by delegates from 25 countries that included Bhutan, the Philippines and Kiribati, was held at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort in Pattaya City, Chon Buri province in Thailand.

The four Palau lawmakers who attended the conference were Vice Speaker Okada Techitong, House Judicial and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Kerai Mariur, House Resources and Development Committee Chairman Noah Idechong and House Education Committee Chairman Joel Toribiong.

Yokochi Mori, from the office of the speaker, also joined the trip as the delegation’s secretary.

In Thailand, the Palau delegation paid a courtesy call to Dr. Bhokin Bhalakula, president of the Asian country’s House of Representatives, who was also elected as president of the general assembly.

The Palau delegation met with Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and King Bhumibol Adulyadej at his official residence.

Delivering the welcome address at the assembly were Thailand Senate President Suchon Chaleekure and outgoing assembly president Chaudhry Amir Hussain, the House speaker of Pakistan.

The general assembly included a workshop on political issues with topics on parliamentary diplomacy, and a workshop on socio-economic issues centered on the enhancement of human security through the Millennium Development Goals.

Also discussed were the anti-poverty fund, global debt relief, multilateral trade, economic cooperation, terrorism, pandemic diseases, human and drug trafficking, natural disasters, women and youth issues, gender equality, health and education.

Besides Kiribati and Palau, two other Pacific island nations attended the assembly — the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Papua New Guinea.

December 6, 2005

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