1. The Twelfth Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture. and Forestry was held on 18 -20 October 1990 in Manila, Philippines. The Meeting was preceded by a Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) held on 15 -16 October 1990.
2. The Meeting was attended by H.E. Pehin Dato Hj. Abdul Rahman bin Dato Hj. Mohd. Taib, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam; H.E. Dr. Sjarifudin Baharsjah, Junior Minister of Agriculture of Indonesia; H.E. Dato’ Wan Jaafar Wan Abdullah, Secretary-General, Ministry of Agriculture of Malaysia; H.E. Mr. Senen C. Bacani, Secretary of Agriculture and H.E. Mr. Fulgencio S. Factoran Jr., Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines; H.E. Dr. Lee Boon Yang, Senior Minister of State for National Development and Home Affairs of Singapore; and H.E. Mr. Chuan Leekpai, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand; and their respective delegations. H .E. Mr. Rusli Noor, Secretary-General of the ASEAN Secretariat and members of his staff were also in attendance.
3. The Meeting was officially opened by Her Excellency Mrs. Corazon C. Aquino, the President of the Republic of the Philippines. In her Keynote Address she underscored the need for stronger economic ties among ASEAN member states in view of the recent dynamism of world affairs such as the rapprochement in Europe, the crisis in the Middle East and the emerging ascendancy of Asia-Pacific nations. She expressed hope that the Philippine proposal to formalize ASEAN cooperation in economic matters be earnestly studied and realized in the near future.
4. With regard to sectoral concerns of agriculture and forestry, President Aquino urged all member countries to continue being guided by the ASEAN development agenda. She commended AMAFCOFAF for its achievements in empowerment and human resource development and expressed satisfaction at the increased private sector involvement in ASEAN affairs. President Aquino said that ecology and the prudent management of forests were overriding ASEAN concerns which have become all the more urgent and necessary in the face of the current ASEAN willingness to develop marginal lands into agricultural lands. She observed that the principle of sustainable development was the matrix that should determine future ASEAN initiatives in agriculture and forestry.
5. The Meeting unanimously elected H.E. Mr. Senen C. Bacani, Secretary of Agriculture of the Philippines and H.E. Mr. Chuan Leekpai, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Meeting respectively.
6. The Ministers reviewed the progress of ASEAN-cooperation in the field of food, agriculture and forestry, as well as common policies on plant and animal quarantine, agriculture training and extension, agricultural development planning, food handling and food security. They also deliberated on bold and innovative approaches for ASEAN cooperation in the 1990s and the ASEAN stand on various international issues.
7. In the area of animal disease control, the Ministers noted the strides made in the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Eradication Programme. The Meeting approved the application of Indonesia to declare the whole of the country and FMD-Free Zone, based on COFAF ‘s endorsement of the report of an ASEAN Study Team consisting of representatives from all ASEAN member countries and a representative from FAO. The Ministers also noted that an ASEAN Study Team would be sent to the Philippines to evaluate its application to declare FMD-free the island provinces of Basilan, Tawi – Tawi, Sulu, Bohol, Siquijor and Batanes. The Ministers also approved the ASEAN Standards of Animal Vaccines.
8. With respect to the Anti-Tropical Timber Campaign, the Ministers commended the actions taken by Indonesia as lead country to counter the move. The Ministers also lauded the ASEAN Ministerial Mission to Europe headed by the Indonesian Minister of Forestry which succeeded in convincing the EC of ASEAN efforts to preserve its forests. A Joint Communiqué had been issued by the ASEAN Ministerial Mission and the Commissioner for North South Relations for the EC Commission.
9. Regarding an International Instrument in forestry, the Ministers agreed to cooperate in the deliberations pertaining to such a document, with ASEAN countries individually and collectively contributing to the preparation of a comprehensive report on forestry as requested by the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development. The Ministers emphasized that any international instrument on forestry should not be concluded without considering its implications on developing countries.
10. The Ministers reaffirmed the ASEAN position in negotiations on agriculture, market access and tropical products of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. They were of the view that the success of the Uruguay Round rested on a satisfactory and mutually acceptable outcome on agricultural trade. ASEAN requested the North States to reduce the internal support, trade protection and export subsidies given to their agricultural sector.
11. Deliberating on the directions that ASEAN cooperation in food, agriculture and forestry should take in the decade of the ’90s, the Ministers agreed that long term programmes should be identified covering new areas of cooperation that would further enhance private sector involvement and participation. The Ministers agreed that it was necessary to encourage more intra-ASEAN trade in agriculture by minimizing trade barriers through harmonized rules and regulations.
12. The Ministers commended the ASEAN Committee on Food, Agriculture and Forestry (COFAF) for its achievements in regional cooperation. They expressed the view that COFAF ‘s performance can further be improved through the establishment of an information network and the conduct of a study on ASEAN commonalities in order to form a basis for the further enhancing of intra-ASEAN cooperation.
13. The Ministers accepted the offer of Thailand to host the 13th AMAF Meeting in late 1991.
14. The delegations from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government and people of the Philippines for the warm hospitality accorded to them and for the excellent arrangements made for the meeting. The Meeting also expressed appreciation to the ASEAN Secretariat for its valuable assistance.
15. The Meeting was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN solidarity and cordiality.