1. The Seventh ASEAN Ministers Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (7th AMRDPE) was held on 2 November 2011 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, preceded by the Eight ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (8th SOMRDPE) on 31 October – 1 November 2011 and the Fourth ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (4th SOMRDPE+3) on 1 November 2011. The 7th AMRDPE adopted the theme “A Coordinated Strategy of Intervention: Towards Zero Poverty”.

2. The Opening Ceremony of the 7th AMRDPE was officiated by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office of Brunei Darussalam. In the Opening Remarks, His Royal Highness urged the Ministers responsible for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication to intensify their efforts to ensure that the coordination and collaboration in eradicating poverty and narrowing the development gap within ASEAN would contribute in realizing the goal of an ASEAN Community that enjoys peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

3. The 7th AMRDPE was attended by the ASEAN Ministers responsible for rural development and poverty eradication or their representatives. The Deputy Secretary- General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) was also in attendance. The list of the Ministers or their representatives is enclosed.

Towards Zero Poverty in ASEAN

4. The Ministers noted with satisfaction the continued efforts made in addressing the priorities of the ASCC Blueprint and the ASEAN Framework Action Plan on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (2004-2010). The Ministers were pleased to note the achievements of ASEAN Member States in undertaking integrated rural development approach and comprehensive community development efforts towards poverty eradication. The Ministers were also pleased that numerous regional projects had been successfully completed aimed at, among others, strengthening social protection especially in informal sector, promoting the participation of rural village leaders in community development, continuously improving statistics on poverty, and curbing the social impact of globalisation to the socially vulnerable groups. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to eradicate poverty, with particular emphasis on promoting the development of progressive, prosperous, and self-reliant rural and urban communities, and thus contribute towards creating a caring society in ASEAN Member States.

5. The Ministers adopted the Framework Action Plan on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (2011-2015) which outlines new strategic thrusts and concrete actions in six priorities of sustainable rural development and rural economic growth, food security and food sovereignty amidst climate change, social protection and safety nets, development of infrastructure and human resources in rural areas, constituency building for rural development and poverty eradication, and monitoring and evaluation of the poverty reduction in the region.

Attainment of the Millennium Development Goals in ASEAN

6. The Ministers were pleased with the finalisation of the ASEAN Roadmap for the Attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to guide ASEAN in taking collective actions to support its Member States in accelerating the achievements of the MDGs focusing on the five areas of advocacy and linkages, knowledge, resources, expertise and regional cooperation and regional public goods.

7. The Ministers tasked the Senior Officials to implement the ASEAN Roadmap for the Attainment of the MDGs in coordination with other ASEAN sectoral bodies corresponding to the Goals. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the plan to convene a regional workshop in 2012 to discuss possible coordinated strategies of intervention to accelerate the MDGs attainment and address the implementation gaps across sectors.

Engagement of Stakeholders

8. Acknowledging the importance of engaging stakeholders including private sector, women, and youth, in the ASEAN Community building efforts, the Ministers endorsed the establishment of the ASEAN GO-NGO Forum on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication which will serve as a platform of information sharing and exchange of views amongst the governments, NGOs and possibly other stakeholders, such as the private sector, on regional issues concerning the livelihood of the poor communities in the region. It was agreed that the First ASEAN GO-NGO Forum would start in 2012 backto-back with the 9th SOMRDPE hosted by Viet Nam.

9. The Ministers also endorsed the initiative to recognise the achievements and contribution of non-governmental organisations in ASEAN Member States to the community building and poverty eradication by giving them the ASEAN Rural Development and Poverty Eradication Leaderships Awards in conjunction with the biennial AMRDPE starting from 2013.

Partnerships with the Plus Three Countries

10. The Ministers noted that initiatives had been put forward by ASEAN and the Plus Three Countries to strengthen joint efforts in the area of rural development and poverty eradication. The Ministers encouraged the Senior Officials to strengthen partnerships and exert efforts in the implementation of joint activities under the SOMRDPE+3 platform in line with the ASCC Blueprint (2009-2015), Framework Action Plan on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (2011-2015) and the ASEAN+3 Cooperation Work Plan (2007-2017).

8th AMRDPE

11. The Ministers agreed that the Eighth ASEAN Ministers Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (8th AMRDPE) would be held in Indonesia in 2013.

12. The Ministers expressed their deep gratitude to the Government of Brunei Darussalam for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangement for the Meeting. The Ministers also expressed their appreciation to the ASEAN Secretariat for the assistance rendered.
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List of Ministers or their representatives attending the Seventh ASEAN Ministers Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication
1. H.E. Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair Bin Haji Abdullah, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Brunei Darussalam
2. H.E. Sao Chivoan, Secretary of State, Ministry of Rural Development, Cambodia
3. Dr. Sujana Royat, Deputy Coordinating Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Community Empowerment, Coordinating Ministry for People’s Welfare, Indonesia
4. H.E. Bounheuang Douangphacnanh, Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, President of the Lao National Leading Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication, Lao PDR
5. H.E. Dato’ Seri Hj. Mohd. Shafie Bin Hj. Apdal, Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Malaysia
6. H.E. U Kyaw Hsan, Minister of Information and Culture, Myanmar
7. H.E. Jose Eliseo M. Rocamora, Secretary/Lead Convenor, National Anti-Poverty Commission, Philippines
8. H.E. Halimah Yacob, Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Singapore
9. Mr. Vullop Phringphong, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Interior, Ministry of Interior, Thailand
10. H.E. Dr. Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam
11. H.E. Dato’ Misran Karmain, Deputy Secretary-General, for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC)