JOINT PRESS STATEMEN
1. The ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministers of the Peoples’ Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea held their fourth meeting in Yangon, Myanmar, 8 October 2004 under the chairmanship of H.E. Major General Htay Oo, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, The Union of Myanmar.
2. The Ministers expressed satisfaction with the growing number of cooperation activities in agriculture, fisheries and forestry that have been carried out between China, Japan and the Republic of Korea and ASEAN in the various areas of collaboration. The Ministers welcomed the new projects proposed for this year as well as the coming year. These activities will continue to be instrumental in fostering good relations and contribute to the stable and equitable development of agriculture, fisheries and forestry in the region.
3. The Ministers recognized the necessity for conserving the natural environment; preserving the social and cultural traditions of rural communities while promoting a sustainable development in agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors. Moreover, the Ministers recognised that agriculture, which is the foundation of each society, should be maintained and developed to secure a stable supply of safe foods to their own peoples.
4. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of establishing the East Asian Emergency Rice Reserve(EAERR) to strengthen food security and address poverty alleviation in the East Asian region, and encouraged each country to actively contribute on a voluntary basis to the Pilot Project including earmarked and stockpiled rice reserve taking into account the reference quantity for the project and to be further engaged in developing the Guidelines for Release of EAERR stock, while welcoming the commencement of the 3-year Pilot Project of the East Asia Emergency Rice Reserve earlier this year. The Ministers also urged the ASEAN Plus Three countries to join the EAERR expeditiously.
5. The Ministers are pleased with the further developments of the ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS) which manages, analyses and disseminates data and information on food security of the ASEAN Plus Three countries.
6. Recognising the impact of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) on public health, poultry production and the economy in the region, the Ministers expressed their support for the formulation of the HPAI task force to coordinate the control and eradication of HPAI in the region and to share experiences and expertise in HPAI control.
7. The Ministers reaffirmed the important role of rice and its production system in the reduction of poverty and malnutrition population, and welcomed the many activities undertaken by each country to commemorate the International Year of Rice.
8. Recognising that deforestation and degradation of forests in the region still remains to be a critical problem, the Ministers reaffirmed the need for effective collaboration to enhance sustainable forest management in the region.
9. The Ministers affirmed the necessity for the sustainable and effective utilisation of marine bio-resources from a viewpoint of the food security and the cooperation promotion to be contributed to the development of the fishery sector.
10. The Ministers agreed to have their fifth meeting in the Philippines in 2005.
9. The Ministers noted that the Seventh ASEAN and People’s Republic of China, Japan and Republic of Korea Summit will be held in 28 – 29 November 2004 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, during which the highlights of the Fourth Meeting of AMAF Plus Three will be reported.
10. The Ministers expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government and people of the Union of Myanmar for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements made for the Meeting.
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The Meeting was attended by:
H.E. Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam
H.E. Mr. Chan Sarun, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodia
Honourable Dr. Memed Gunawan, Secretary General, Ministry of Agriculture, Indonesia
H.E. Dr. Siene Saphangthong, Minister of Agriculture & Forestry, Lao PDR
H.E. Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin bin Haji Mohd. Yassin, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Malaysia
H.E. Major General Htay Oo, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Myanmar
H.E. Mr. Arthur C. Yap, Secretary of Agriculture, the Philippines
H.E. Mr. Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development, Singapore
H.E. Mr. Suphot Dhirakoasal, Ambassador of Thailand to the Union of Myanmar
H.E. Dr. Bui Ba Bong, Deputy – Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam
H.E. Mr. Fan Xiaojian, Vice Minister of Agriculture, People’s Republic of China
H.E. Mr. Hiroyuki KINOSHITA, Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan
H.E. Mr. Hae-Sang PARK, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Republic of Korea