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A Human Resources Development Framework for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation

Recognizing that in 1993 APEC Economic Leaders in Seattle envisioned a community in which improved education and training would provide the skills for maintaining economic growth;
Recalling that the APEC Ministers in Seattle noted that the people of the region are its most important asset and that the dynamism of the region is reflected in changing human resources needs, and urged that continued priority attention be devoted to developing human resources;
Reaffirming the Declaration of APEC Education Ministers, adopted at their 1992 Meeting, regarding the critical link between education and economic development;
Reaffirming the vision and policy issues statements of the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group and the training-related parts of those of other Working Groups which were adopted at the Fifth Ministerial Meeting in 1993; and
Reaffirming the principles of the Seoul Declaration:
  • Affirm that the issues of human resources development and the development of economic growth, employment, and quality of life should be addressed in an integrated and coordinated manner;
  • Affirm the value of, and need for, concerted development of human resources by member economies, the region's business/private sector enterprises, and research, education, and training institution;
  • Affirm the important role of the public sector in giving guidance to human resources development in both the public and business/private sectors.
Recognizing that:
  • human resources is a broad concept requiring focused and sustained effort for its effective implementation;
  • the development of human resources cuts across the work programs of most APEC committees and working groups, and so requires close collaboration; and
  • differences exist in the economic and social and political systems of member economies,
Urge members to consolidate and concentrate their efforts in human resources development to produce tangible economic benefits in an effort based on focused dialogue and the achievement of consensus.
We declare:
The objective of human resources development in APEC is to promote the well-being of all people in the region through economic growth and development. This is to be achieved by advancing the design, development, and delivery of practical and appropriate education and training for current and future managers, entrepreneurs, and workers in both the public and private sectors to contribute to economic growth, trade and development in the Asia Pacific region. In appropriate cases, the objective is to be achieved through the medium of policy recommendations for the consideration of APEC Ministers.
The development of human resources in APEC is to be based on the following principles:
  1. The people of the Asia Pacific are the most important resource in economic growth and development, one of whose goals is to enhance the quality of life and well-being of our peoples;
  2. The development and protection of human resources contribute to the attainment of such fundamental values as the alleviation of poverty, full employment, universal access to primary, secondary and vocational education, and the full participation of all groups in the process of economic growth and development;
  3. Human resources development requires cooperative action by public, and business/private sectors, educational and training institutions;
  4. In designing regional approaches to human resources development attention must be given to the diversity of experiences and situations in the region.
  1. Provision of a quality basic education for all.
  2. Analysis of the regional labour market to allow sound forecasting of trends and needs in human resources development.
  3. Increasing the supply and enhancing the quality of managers, entrepreneurs, and educators/trainers in areas of the economy central to fostering economic growth and development. Such areas include training in small- and medium-sized enterprises, entrepreneurship and in the management of sustainable growth incorporating economic and environmental considerations.
  4. Reducing skills deficiencies and unemployment by designing industrial and other training programs for applications at all stages of a person's working life.
  5. Increasing the quality of curricula, teaching methods, and instructional materials relating to the education and training of managers and other workers.
  6. Increasing the opportunities in the region for people who seek to gain skills required for the economic growth and development of member economies and the region as a whole.
  7. Preparing organizations and individuals to remain productive in the face of rapid economic and technological changes in member economies, the Asia-Pacific region and the global economy.
We decide:
The APEC Human Resources Working Group shall prepare an annual work plan for human resources development in APEC. The work plan is to define the priorities for HRD activities in APEC and set out the means for their realization in the immediate and longer terms. In the preparation of this plan, the Working Group shall be guided by the objective, principles and priorities set out in this Declaration and by the decisions of APEC Leaders and Ministers. The Working Group may take into account the views of appropriate expertise from within APEC and its observer organizations.
The preparation of the work plan shall be incorporated in the HRD Working Group's first annual meeting held so that its report can be presented in a timely manner for consideration by the First Senior Officials Meeting.