SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation
The APEC Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) coordinates and manages the APEC members' economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH) agenda, which is outlined in the Osaka Action Agenda. In 1996, an APEC Framework for Strengthening Economic Cooperation and Development was adopted to guide members in implementing the Osaka Action Agenda.
The objectives of the SCE are to
- Support implementation of APEC's ECOTECH activities by prioritizing work based on the commitments made by Leaders' and Ministers, and overseeing the work of APEC fora
- Provide policy guidance on ways to contribute to APEC's ECOTECH goals
- Coordinate ECOTECH objectives and priorities between the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the APEC ministerial meetings
In 2010, Senior Officials endorsed a new Framework to Guide ECOTECH Activities for APEC-funded capacity building and all ECOTECH activities. This framework adopted a holistic approach by
- Revising APEC ECOTECH priorities
- Introducing a uniform set of criteria for all project funding, where funding is based on the link between proposals and APEC’s core objectives
Within this framework, the following medium-term ECOTECH priorities are established for the period of 2015-2019:
- Developing human capital through capacity building
- Developing and strengthening the dynamism of SMEs
- Harnessing technologies for the future and supporting innovation
- Inclusive growth—addressing the social dimension of globalization, health, gender
- Regional economic integration
- Structural reform
- Safeguarding the quality of life through sustainable growth
- Human security
These medium-term priorities will be reviewed again in 2019.
Additional Background on SCE:
The SCE was first established as the SOM Sub-Committee for Economic and Technical Cooperation in 1998. In 2002, the sub-committee was elevated to the SOM Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation. In 2005, the ESC was strengthened and transformed into the SOM Steering Committee on ECOTECH (SCE).
In 2012, the SCE conducted an internal review of its working mechanisms and new terms of reference was endorsed and reconfirmed in 2016.
In 2016, the SCE decided to develop a new system to assess SCE fora. This new system will develop a detailed standardized program for assessments in 2017, which covers but is not limited to
- A set of indicators to assess the performance and governance of the fora
- A survey questionnaire template
- A possible scope of survey
- A list of useful information and data for the assessment
- The methodology of processing such data
- A reporting template
The annual assessments of 2018 will be conducted by an assessment team comprising the representatives from the preceding, current and next year’s SCE chairing economies—as well as any other volunteering economies and with assistance from the Secretariat. Assessments will be based on the data and information produced through the standardized program for a group of SCE sub-fora, pursuant to their terms of reference and the decisions of the SCE.
The SCE expects strengthened follow-ups on recommendations by the assessment team. An optional comprehensive fora review after a full cycle of assessments of all fora will also contribute to the sound management of the whole organizational structure of the SCE’s subfora.
The APEC Secretariat has engaged a contractor to develop the standardized system. Their work plan was approved by the SCE during its first meeting in March.
Promotion of cross-cutting agenda
The SCE and the APEC Secretariat have been facilitating cross-fora collaboration through the SCE Committee of the Whole (COW), through the Lead-Shepherds and Chairs’ Meeting, through a cross-cutting map of initiatives, and through identifying areas to create synergies for cooperation.
The SCE has continued its exploration of additional measures to promote such collaborations. These efforts came to fruition when the third meeting of the SCE decided to take concrete steps to promote cross-cutting agendas such as
- The more efficient use of SCE COW gatherings
- The promotion of various IT facilities
- A request for considering premiums for cross-fora projects
- The continued encouragement of cross-fora meetings and cross-fora participation
The SCE and the SOM also extended the mandate of the Mainstreaming Ocean-related Issues Steering Council by two more years, till 2018.
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Ms T. Renee WATKINS
Mr Mathias FRANCKE
APEC Senior Official of Chile
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chile