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Report of the Coordinators of the

Fifth Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM V)

Of theForum for East Asia - Latin America Cooperation

The Fifth Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM V) of the Forum for East Asia-Latin
America Cooperation (FEALAC) took place in San Jose, Costa Rica, on the 13th and
14th of August 2003. The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, H.E. Marco
Vinicio Vargas, inaugurated the Meeting. The Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for
Policy of the Philippines, the Regional Coordinator for East Asia, H.E. Sonia
Cataumber Brady and the Coordinator for Asia and Africa of Colombia, the Regional
Coordinator for Latin America, H.E. Pio Garcia, jointly chaired the SOM V.

Delegations from 29 member countries participated in the Meeting: Argentina,

Australia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile,
China, Ecuador, El Salvador, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico,
Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand,
Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam. The list of delegates is attached as Annex 1.

1. Adoption of Agenda

The Meeting adopted the agenda attached as Annex 2.

2. Designation of Deputy Coordinator for Latin America

The Meeting welcomed Brazil as Deputy Coordinator for Latin America. The SOM
expressed appreciation to the Republic of Korea and Brazil for taking on the
responsibility of the positions as they assume the functions of Regional Coordinator
for East Asia and Regional Coordinator for Latin America, respectively, at the
conclusion of the Second FEALAC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (FMM II) and
expressed full confidence in them as they prepare to discharge their functions.

3. Reports of the Co-Chairs of the Working Groups.

The SOM expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the Co-Chairs of the
Working Groups, particularly to the countries that hosted the Second Meetings of the
respective Working Groups, namely: Chile (political/cultural), Japan
(economic/social) and Costa Rica (education, science and technology).

The SOM considered the final reports of the Politics and Culture and the Economy
and Society Working Groups and endorsed them for the approval of the Foreign
Ministers. They likewise recommended for the approval of the Ministers the projects
in progress, and those proposed for implementation or in the process of elaboration, as
enumerated in the abovementioned reports and as proposed during the deliberations of
the SOM V. The projects recommended for approval are attached as Annex 3.

The SOM likewise noted with appreciation, the ad interim report of the Education,
Science and Technology Working Group, and agreed to consider its final report at the
Finally on this agenda item, the SOM recognized the need to adopt a system of
rotation of Working Group Co-Chairs, taking into account the need for continuity
when necessary.

4. Consideration of Report of the Co-Chairs of the Core Group Process

The SOM expressed appreciation to the Philippines and Colombia for Co-Chairing the
Core Group Process. They endorsed the recommendations of the Core Group process
to the Foreign Ministers for their approval at the Second Foreign Ministers’ Meeting,
to be held in Manila in January 2004.

5. New applications for membership: Nicaragua and Guatemala.

The Meeting recommended to the Foreign Ministers the admission of Nicaragua and
Guatemala into the Forum. The Philippines, as host of the FMM II, will invite the two
new members to participate in the FMM II once their admission to FEALAC is
officially approved by the Foreign Ministers.

6. Preparations for FMM II

The Philippines proposed 19 and 20 January 2004 as the dates for the SOM VI and 21
and 22 January 2004 as the dates for the FMM II. Upon the request of some member
states, the Philippines agreed to explore alternative dates in late January 2004.

The SOM also agreed that the FMM II would be composed of three phases. The first
phase, a plenary meeting, would consider the recommendations of the SOM. The first
phase would also include presentations by the heads of international institutions, such
as, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Inter-American Development Bank
(IDB), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Economic and Social
Council for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Economic and Social Council for
Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), on how their activities might support the
aims of FEALAC and the specific projects of its Working Groups. The SOM also
agreed that should the heads of these entities be unavailable, very senior
representatives should represent them. The SOM requested the Philippines to
coordinate with these entities with regard to their participation.

The SOM also agreed that the second phase of the FMM II would be composed of a
ministerial retreat that would cover three broad areas: Enhancing Partnerships
Between Latin America and East Asia, Securing the Future, and Overcoming Poverty
as well as other topics of interest.
The SOM also agreed that the third phase of the FMM II would be a final plenary
session to adopt the Manila Plan of Action to promote Cooperation between East Asia
and Latin America (MPA), as well as to cover any outstanding procedural matters, if

The SOM likewise agreed that the Philippines would determine the exact duration of
the three phases of FMM II at a later date after consulting with the member-countries.
With regard to the FMM II outcome document, the SOM agreed that in principle,
there should be only one outcome document, namely the Manila Plan of Action
(MPA) and that the Co-Chairs statement that would reflect the proceedings of the
FMM II could also be prepared.

The SOM agreed that the final text of the MPA should reflect the results of the
Working Group process and should be a political document that would guide
FEALAC in the biennium from the FMM II to the FMM III. It should therefore be
brief enough to be interesting but long enough to cover the essential points. The SOM
also agreed that relevant elements resulting from the ministerial retreat should be
incorporated in the MPA.

Lastly, the SOM agreed that the final round of comments on the indicative list of
elements for inclusion in the MPA should be submitted in writing to the Philippines
not later than end of business on 01 September 2003, Manila Time, to ensure that at
least two full rounds of consultations on the draft document could be conducted
before the SOM VI. These inputs could be faxed to +632-831-8894, or e-mailed to or

The SOM also agreed that, to ensure transparency, countries submitting these
comments should also circulate their inputs directly to all member states. The
Regional Coordinators agreed to post copies of these inputs on the FEALAC website
managed by Colombia, at

The SOM also noted that greater use of information technology is necessary to
enhance FEALAC’S effectiveness and efficiency, especially in the preparations
leading up to the FMM II. It was thus agreed that it is desirable for national FEALAC
focal points to be in direct e-mail contact with each other. The SOM therefore
expressed with appreciation Costa Rica’s efforts to collect such a list of e-mail
addresses and for circulating this information.

Upon the suggestion of the Philippines, the SOM also agreed that effective 15
September 2003, draft documents would be posted in the password-protected section
of the abovementioned website and that member countries would be responsible for
ensuring that their delegations to the various FEALAC meetings have a complete set
of the pertinent meeting documents. It was agreed, however, that documents could
also continue to be circulated by traditional means (ordinary correspondence and fax).

To facilitate the organization of documents, the SOM also requested the Regional
Coordinators and the Co-Chairs of the Working Groups to work together to devise a
uniform document numbering system.

7. Consideration of the Report of the Coordinators.

The SOM received the present Report of the Coordinators. The SOM also expressed
its appreciation to the host country, Costa Rica, for its generous hosting of the SOM V
and for the excellent arrangements as well as the warm reception and hospitality
extended to the delegates.