The Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation, Inc. invited selected analysts and experts to the launch of its newest project, the Track Two Observer (TTO). The meeting was held at Sangkalan Restaurant last March 20, 2017.

The idea of TTO draws from the concept of “Track Two Diplomacy”, which refers to "non-governmental, informal and unofficial contacts and activities between private citizens or groups of individuals, sometimes called 'non-state actors' acting outside the official state-led negotiation and mediation processes for purposes of helping manage intra-state or inter-state conflicts. When the term “Track Two diplomacy” was first published in the early 1980s, its underlying assumption “is that actual or potential conflict can be resolved or eased by appealing to common human capabilities to respond to good will and reasonableness.”

As part of its efforts to promote a forward-looking, people-centered, peaceful and independent Philippine foreign policy, APPFI spearheads the “Track Two Observer”, which aims to monitor the proceedings and outcomes of Track Two-related events, and to process these into policy-relevant insights and recommendations that could be beneficial for the development of Philippine foreign relations and security policy.

TTO has two major components: a database of relevant events, and a network of experts and analysts. For both components, TTO emphasizes information pertaining to Philippine relations with China, the United States, Japan, ASEAN and other relevant actors, as well as themes such as regional security cooperation, defense, diplomacy, territorial and maritime disputes

Research analysts from the University of the Philippines, UP Institute of Maritime Law of the Sea, the Foreign Service Institute, Ateneo de Manila University, StratSearch Foundation, and the Albert Del Rosario Institute – all active participants in Track Two diplomacy efforts - attended the initial meeting.