1. H.E Mr. Noli de Castro, Vice President of the Philippines, officially opened the Twenty-Seventh Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) which was held on 29 September 2005 in Tagaytay City, the Philippines, and attended by:
H.E. Pehin Dato Dr. Awang Haji Ahmad bin Haji Jumat, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam
H.E. Dr. Chan Sarun, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodia
H.E. Dr. Andin H. Taryoto, Secretary General, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia
H.E. Dr. Siene Saphangthong Minister of Agriculture & Forestry, Lao PDR
H.E. Dato’ Seri Haji Mohd. Shariff bin Haji Omar, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Malaysia
H.E. Major General Htay Oo, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Myanmar
H.E. Mr. Domingo F. Panganiban, Secretary of Agriculture, the Philippines
H.E. Mr. Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development, Singapore
H.E. Mr. Charal Trinvuthipong, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand
H.E. Dr. Bui Ba Bong, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam
H.E. Dr. Wilfrido V. Villacorta, ASEAN Deputy Secretary – General, and their delegations.
2. The Meeting was chaired by H.E Mr. Domingo F. Panganiban, Secretary of Agriculture of the Philippines and H.E. Mr. Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development of Singapore was elected as the Vice – Chairman.
3. The Ministers noted the endorsement by the ASEAN Leaders on the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP), to realize the end goal of the ASEAN Vision 2020. The Ministers further noted the signing of the ASEAN Leaders on the Framework Agreement for Integration of Priority Sectors, including the Protocols and Roadmaps for Integration of wood-based products, rubber-based products, agro-based products, and fisheries sectors. This signals and reaffirms the ASEAN’s commitment to fast track the economic integration towards the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
4. The Ministers reviewed the progress of ASEAN cooperation in the various sectors of food, agriculture, and forestry, and noted with satisfaction the efforts made in further strengthening ASEAN cooperation. The Ministers endorsed the Strategic Plan of Action for palm oil, rubber, cocoa and pepper and tasked the various industry clubs and National Focal Point Working Groups (NFPWG) to implement their activities specified in the Strategic Plan in the next five years (2005-2010).
5. The Ministers endorsed the Regional Framework for Control and Eradication of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) proposed by the ASEAN Task Force on HPAI. The Framework covers 8 strategic areas over a period of three years from 2006 to 2008 to prevent, control and eradicate the disease. The Ministers directed the Task Force to urgently formulate detailed action plans for implementation and proceed to identify potential sources of funding. The Ministers agreed that the HPAI outbreak requires an all-out coordinated regional effort. The Ministers also agreed that the HPAI Task Force will work closely with international organizations such as FAO, OIE and WHO. The Ministers expressed confidence that with financial and political commitment, the disease can be effectively controlled in the region.
6. The Ministers stressed the importance of strengthening food security for ASEAN Member Countries, and therefore agreed to explore with the Plus Three counterparts, i.e. the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea on the possibility to extend the ongoing projects on East Asia Emergency Rice Reserve (EAERR) and the ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS) before the end of the current phase.
7. The Ministers endorsed an additional 104 maximum residue limits (MRLs) of pesticides for various fruits, vegetables and cash crops, which are being widely traded among ASEAN Member Countries. Thus, the total number of MRLs values that have been endorsed by AMAF, to-date, is 559, involving a total of 42 pesticides.
8. In order to achieve internationally recognized standards and enhance ASEAN competitiveness in trade in livestock and livestock products, the Ministers endorsed the ASEAN Criteria on Sheep and Goats for Breeding, Sheep and Goats for Slaughter, Ducks for Slaughter, and Cattle Slaughterhouses for the Production of Frozen or Chilled Beef.
9. The Ministers also agreed to the improvement of the Manual of ASEAN Rules and Procedures for the Registration of Animal Vaccines so that there shall be only one mechanism and procedure for registration of animal vaccines manufactured within or outside ASEAN Member Countries.
10. The Ministers noted the progress made in nthe establishment of the ASEAN Animal Health trust fund (AAHTF). All member countries have pledged contributions to the AAHTF. An agreement is being developed to ensure that there is a robust framework for accountability, drawdown proposals and proper use and management of the Fund for long-term sustainability.
11. The Ministers underscored the contribution of forestry sector in the ASEAN economy and stressed for ASEAN to stay united and adopt common stands for policy deliberations in international fora. In this regard, the Ministers noted with satisfaction the forest policy statement, presented at the 5th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF-5) in May 2005, New York. The joint Statement outlined the ASEAN’s commitment to sustainable forest management, regional forest cooperation and joint approaches in the international forest dialogue.
12. The Ministers noted the declaration of the ASEAN Statement on CITES announced at a Joint Press Conference, held on 11 October 2004 in Bangkok which was conducted in conjunction with the CITES COP13. The Ministers expressed full support for the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Action Plan on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora as a tool in realizing the commitments put forth in the Statement.
13. The Ministers from other ASEAN Member Countries expressed their appreciation to the Government and people of the Philippines for hosting the 27th Meeting of AMAF and for their warm hospitality. The next AMAF Meeting would be hosted by Singapore in 2006.