The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Organization (APEC) leaders on Saturday were divided in their condemnation of Russia's attack on Ukraine, arguing that this was not the forum for resolving security matters.
The leaders said in a "2022 Leaders' Declaration" issued after a two-day summit in Thailand's capital Bangkok that the war in Ukraine has further adversely impacted the global economy.
There was a discussion on the issue. They reiterated their positions as expressed in other forums, including the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, deploring in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demanding its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine, according to a statement on the APEC website.
"Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine and stressed it is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy – constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity, and elevating financial stability risks.
"(However) there were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions. Recognising that APEC is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy," reads the statement.
The 21-member group leaders met in person for the first time in four years on Nov. 18-19 and reaffirmed their commitment to achieving the APEC Putrajaya Vision of an open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all people and future generations.
"We will continue to promote efforts to strengthen APEC’s leadership and standing as the premier economic forum of the Asia-Pacific, as well as a modern, efficient and effective incubator of ideas," it said.
The leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to providing a free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, inclusive, and predictable trade and investment environment, as well as to keeping markets open and addressing supply chain disruptions.
"We support efforts to foster open, secure and resilient supply chains, enhance supply chain connectivity and minimise supply chain disruptions," the leaders said.
APEC leaders also discussed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and agreed to continue mobilizing resources to combat the pandemic and strengthen their systems to prevent, prepare for, and respond to future health threats.
"We are determined to ensure extensive immunisation of our people against COVID-19 as a global public good," according to the statement.
The leaders also thanked Thailand for hosting APEC in 2022, while the US will host the next meeting in 2023.
Meanwhile, the leaders also welcomed Peru and the Republic of Korea as APEC 2024 and 2025 host countries, respectively.