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APEC Second Senior Officials’ Meeting and Related Meetings to start preparations on three high-level APEC 2015 meetings

Boracay, The Philippines, May 13, 2015—The APEC Second Senior Officials’ Meeting and Related Meetings will discuss preparations on three scheduled high-level meetings to be held in the Philippines later this year, namely: the High-Level Policy Dialogue on Science and Technology in Higher Education, the Senior Disaster Management Officials’ Forum, and the Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting.

High-Level Policy Dialogue on Science and Technology in Higher Education

The Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will hold a preparatory conference from May 19 to 20, 2015 at Crown Regency Convention Center for the upcoming High-Level Policy Dialogue in Science and Technology in Higher Education (HLPD STHE) in July 2015. Delegates are expected to discuss the dialogue’s agenda and expected outcomes, including the facilitation of science student and researcher mobility, and the twinning of PhD programs across the Asia-Pacific economies. The significance of the human resources development in science and technology, as well as the crucial role of science and technology in higher education and employment will also be key discussion areas. This May, member economies will also begin drafting the HLPD’s declaration, which outlines policy initiatives and courses of action geared toward fostering talent mobility in science and technology. The HLPD fully supports the APEC 2015 Priority of “Investing in Human Capital Development”.

Senior Disaster Management Officials’ Forum

Preparations for the 9th Senior Disaster Management Officials’ Forum (SDMOF) will be part of the agenda of the 8th APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) Meeting on May 13 to 14, 2015 at the Shangri-La Boracay Resort. The EPWG will discuss the draft program the 9th SDMOF, a high-level meeting of disaster management officials, of ministerial rank or equivalent.

The Philippines, through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council–Office of Civil Defense as the Forum’s host, expressed that addressing the new normal is the highlight of the 9th SDMOF, with the proposed theme of “Whole-of-Economy Approach: A Paradigm Shift to Adapt to the New Normal”. The proposed theme emphasizes that disasters can no longer be managed single-handedly and in isolation by an economy. Inter-economy collaboration approach is the way forward. The initiatives of the EPWG, and in turn the SDMOF, strongly support the Philippines’ APEC 2015 priority of “Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities”.

Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting

The APEC Economic Committee will convene a Preparatory Meeting on the Second Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting (SRMM2) on May 16, 2015 at the Shangri-La Boracay Resort.  SRMM2 will be held in September in Cebu. The Committee is expected to discuss and agree on the themes and agenda for SRMM, as well as the timetable and preparation of discussion papers on the SRMM themes.

APEC’s work on structural reform commenced with the Leaders’ Agenda to Implement Structural Reform (LAISR) in 2007. APEC’s current structural reform program–the APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform (ANSSR)–was launched by Leaders in 2010 and will conclude in 2015.

The First SRMM was held in 2008 in Melbourne, Australia.   In 2015 under the Philippines’ leadership, APEC members will begin to see the progress made and the road ahead for the five pillars of APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform (ANSSR): Labor Market Opportunities, Open, Transparent & Competitive Markets, SME/Women Development, Social Safety Net Programs, and Better Functioning Markets.

This September, APEC Ministers are expected to review APEC’s work on structural reform since 2010, and propose the way forward i.e. a post-2015 structural reform agenda for APEC. As an additional feature, the SRMM will tackle the role of structural reform in good governance, i.e. how changes in institutional structures, such as rules and regulations, contribute to the transparency and accountability of governments and businesses, which are needed for inclusive and sustainable growth.

Secretary Arsenio Balisacan of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) will host and chair the SRMM.

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