Challenges to Economic Cooperation
Chapter 22: APEC Organization
Page 195 22 APEC Organization EMINENT PERSONS’ GROUP (EPG) In Part II, I have shared with the readers my extended conversations with the “Eminent Persons” of South Korea, the United States of America, Indonesia, the People’s Republic of China, Singapore, Australia, Thailand and Malaysia. Earlier in 1994, I also had an occasion to exchange views on APEC with the EPG member of Japan (Yamazawa, 1994). I remain pointedly advised by each eminent person I have spoken with that he/she acts not as an official of the government of the specific membercountry, but as a nonofficial advisor. In a different context, they would have been designated their home country’s Ambassador to APEC. Or, the designation Advisor Plenipotentiary may appropriately describe the office. An international organization of 18 sovereign nationstatebased economies with a combined gross national product of U.S.$ 13.2 trillion in 1993, 56 per cent of the world’s total GNP, and 46 per cent of the world’s total merchandise trade, would certainly warrant a standing appointment of a group of high ranking advisors. In 1992, APEC foreign ministers at their meeting in Bangkok, Thailand voted to set up an independent, nongovernmental Eminent Persons’ Group, with one eminent person from each membercountry. Professional/scholarly eminence became the basis for an individual member’s designation. These eminent persons, so appointed, resolutely maintained their independent, nongovernmental status. The EPG’s assignment was to develop an agenda for APEC, and they completed their task by developing, A Vision for APEC: Towards...
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