MANILA, Philippines – Leaders from 21 countries and self-governing territories are in Manila for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. The meeting’s official agenda is focused on trade, business and economic issues but terrorism, South China Sea disputes and climate change are also in focus. (All times are local.)
“What’s APEC?” asks Winifredo Sumaya, a 60-year-old jobless man standing outside his shack in a Manila slum that sits on a mountain of trash just a few miles from the venue where global leaders held two days of meetings.
The leaders say economic growth has lifted many people out of poverty but acknowledge millions are still left behind. They say renewed efforts are needed to eradicate the extremes of poverty.
Asked what message he would send to the leaders meeting in a heavily guarded convention centre, Sumaya says: “We need a small house that can’t be taken from us and any job for an old man like me.”
Leaders’ declaration is officially released, with the expected condemnation of the attacks in Paris and a call to urgently step up international co-operation to combat terrorism.
The leaders also say economic growth, prosperity and opportunity are among the “most powerful tools” to address the root causes of terrorism and radicalization.
The statement says the global economic recovery is uneven and it urges greater efforts to reduce poverty.
President Barack Obama has ribbed his younger Canadian counterpart, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, over how the responsibilities of leadership can age a person.
Obama, 54, recounted to reporters a phone call he’d made to Trudeau to congratulate him on his recent election win at the youthful age of 43.
The U.S. president says he had no grey hair when he took office seven years ago and told Trudeau “if you don’t want to grey like me you need to start dyeing it soon.”
Standing alongside Obama at APEC, Trudeau retorted: “So young, and yet so cynical.”
Thursday evening and Friday morning are terrible times for travellers to have a booked a flight in or out of Manila. There’s an exodus of foreign leaders slated for those periods, which severely restricts use of the airspace by commercial planes. Some leaders will be returning home and others will be heading to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for an East Asia summit that includes President Barack Obama. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled or delayed during APEC. Between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Thursday 10 leaders are leaving. Another nine including Obama leave between 9 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. on Friday.
China’s president says the killing of a Chinese hostage by the Islamic State shows that “terrorists are the common enemy of humankind.”
Xi Jinping is quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency as saying China “strongly condemns the brutality of the killing of a Chinese national.” He was speaking at the APEC summit.
IS claimed in its magazine it had killed two hostages from Norway and China it was holding for ransom.
The Chinese hostage was Fan Jinghui, 50, a self-described “wanderer” from Beijing who once taught middle school.
APEC host Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has urged the group to work on promoting prosperity and ending poverty for all in the region.
He says that “represents our vision for an Asia-Pacific that embraces a growth agenda that benefits everyone.”
Aquino called for growth that creates jobs, puts children in school and food on tables, raises standards of living, protects the environment and fosters creativity and innovation.
He says this year’s leaders’ retreat should be an incubator of ideas that will improve the region’s prospects for the future, leaving a “world that is better than what we found.”
A copy of the APEC leaders’ declaration seen by The Associated Press says they “strongly condemn” all acts of terrorism and are stressing the “urgent need for increased international co-operation and solidarity in the fight against terrorism.”
The statement is a rare departure from convention for APEC which typically prefers to focus on economic and business issues.
The leaders of the 21 Pacific Rim countries and self-governing territories that make up APEC say their meeting is being held in the shadow of the attacks in Paris, Beirut and against a Russian aircraft over Sinai.
They say economic growth, prosperity and opportunity are among the most powerful tools to address the root causes of terrorism and radicalization.
A barricade of police, cargo containers and fire trucks blocks about 1,000 anti-globalization protesters marching on the venue of the APEC meeting in Manila.
Police are using water cannons and canes to try and disperse the increasingly rowdy protest.
Earlier about 100 students clashed with police at a public square, with the two sides pushing and shoving and police beating protesters with their batons after the students crossed over a security barricade.
The protesters carry banners that read “Junk APEC” and “Down with the Puppet U.S.-Aquino Regime.”
Protest leader Renato Reyes of the left-wing alliance Bayan says over the past two decades “APEC and imperialist globalization have only benefited the rich countries while further impoverishing developing countries like the Philippines.”
Protesters also marched toward a separate media centre for the APEC meetings.