1. The Sixteenth Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) was held in Langkawi, Malaysia on 25 – 27 August 1994. The Meeting was preceded by a Senior Officials Meeting (SOM-AMAF) on 22 – 24 August 1994.
2. The Meeting was officially declared open by The Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
3. The Meeting was attended by H. E. Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib, Minister of Industry and.. Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam; H.E. Dr. Sjarifudin Baharsjah, Minister of Agriculture of Indonesia; H.E. Datuk Seri Sanusi Junid, Minister of Agriculture of Malaysia and H.E. Dato’ Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, Minister of Primary Industries of Malaysia; H. E. Dr. Carlos A. Fernandez, Undersecretary of Agriculture of the Philippines; H.E. Mr. Matthias Yao Chih, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of National Development of Singapore; H. E. Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand; and their respective delegations. H.E. Dato’ Ajit Singh, Secretary-General of ASEAN and members of his staff were also present.
4. H.E. Datuk Seri Sanusi Junid, Minister of Agriculture, Malaysia and H.E. Mr. Matthias Yao Chih, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of National Development of Singapore were elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Meeting respectively
5. Pursuant to the Ministerial Understanding on ASEAN Cooperation on Food, Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministers approved the Medium-Term Programme of Action (1995 – 1999). The programme focuses, inter-alia, on the strengthening of food security in ASEAN, facilitation and promotion of intra- and extra-ASEAN trade in agriculture and forest products, and human resource development.
6. The Ministers approved the sectoral work plans under the ASEAN Programme of Action on Food, Agriculture and Forestry together with the mechanism for, their implementation. The Ministers noted that sixteen (16) projects will be implemented on a networking basis utilising resources available within Member Countries.
7. In view of the significance of the agriculture and forestry sectors in ASEAN, the Ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding on ASEAN Cooperation and Joint Approaches in Agriculture and Forest Products Promotion Scheme. The Scheme aims to have joint efforts to improve the competitiveness, of ASEAN agriculture and forest products. The objectives of the Scheme are to strengthen the collective bargaining position of ASEAN, expand markets, and upgrade the quality of ASEAN agriculture and forest products. The Scheme will be private sector driven facilitated by the governments of Member Countries.
8. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction on the initiative taken to expand dialogues with the private sector by involving more private sector bodies at SOM-AMAF and sectoral meetings. The Ministers also expressed their desire to further promote participation of the. private sector in the implementation of the sectoral work programmes.
9. The Ministers agreed to the immediate inclusion of some unprocessed agricultural products into the CEPT Scheme for AFTA. However, the Ministers observed that certain agricultural products have significant influence on farmers’ income and welfare as well as the industrialisation process in Member Countries. As such, their inclusion needs further consideration including the establishment of new mechanisms for AFTA.
10. The Ministers endorsed the work plan of the ASEAN Food Security Reserve Board to review the size of the rice reserve stock, the commodities to be included in the reserve stock and the mechanism for the release and replenishment of stock.
11. The Ministers reiterated the need for Member Countries to continue to adopt common position on international issues affecting the interest of ASEAN. In this regard, the Ministers agreed to oppose any attempt to include Gonystylus bancanus (Ramin) in the Appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at the 9th Conference of the Parties to CITES to be held in Port Lauderdale, USA in November 1994.
12. The Ministers expressed concern over the proliferation of initiatives in timber certification and labelling particularly those developed unilaterally by non-government organisations (NGOs) and parties with pecuniary interests. They concurred that in the formulation and development of timber certification and labelling, due consideration should be given to the role of governments in deciding on the issue. At the same time the Year 2000 should be adhered to as the agreed time-frame for the attainment of the sustainability of all types of forests, the need to ensure coverage of all types of timbers and the use of scientific and internationally agreed criteria, indicators and guidelines as the basis for certification and labelling.
13. The Ministers welcomed the initiative by the Government of Thailand to host an ASEAN conference on the conservation and development of ASEAN forest resource in 1996.
14. The Meeting was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN solidarity and cordiality.