Saturday, October 23, 2010
PHNOM PENH, Oct. 23, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- The 32nd ASEAN Ministers' Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry opened in Cambodia on Saturday with a warm welcome by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Delivering an opening speech to ministers and deputy ministers of agriculture and forestry from the 10-member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Prime Minister Hun Sen said,"this event shows that Cambodia is moving forward with great confidence and determination, as its institutional capacity and ownership are strengthened."
He said the event indeed held in the aftermath of the global financial crisis has created a new dynamic of regional and global architecture.
As the host and chair of the meeting, Cambodia has well prepared a series of meetings that began on Oct. 20 and will last until Oct. 26 which includes the senior officials meeting, plenary sessions of 32nd ASEAN Ministers Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry and 10th ASEAN+3 Ministers Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry and other sideline meetings, all of which focusing on promoting further cooperation which are evidence of effort and new fruitful progress concerning the food security.
The plenary meeting of the ministerial level starts Saturday and will follow with another meeting with an additional dialogue partners, known as ASEAN+3 on Sunday.
The meeting is expected to provide additional key inputs by building on the progress of existing cooperation and set future direction to accelerate integration and jointly address agriculture and forestry issues.
This meeting will also provide a rare opportunity for leaders of ASEAN and ASEAN+3 to exchange dialogue to fast-track socio- economic development in each country during their meeting set for Sunday.
While welcoming the leaders in agricultural sector and other stakeholders for the meetings, Hun Sen alerted that food security remains a sensitive issue.
"It is very true that food security still remains a sensitive issue, which requires every country to work hard in order to find a solution. But this concern is also a new opportunity for some countries in the region that have high potentials in agriculture sector," he said.
"I would like to welcome all the efforts within the regional framework which aims to promote cooperation in agriculture sector, essentially investment in infrastructure, technology transfer, and technical assistance to increase agricultural yields,"he added.
Hun Sen made his remarks by attributing his concerns due to the increase in price of food, the increase in price of gases, the growth of population, climate change, the decrease in land for farming due to the use of land for the production of energy- producing crops, the fall in value of global currencies, and the increase in food stocks in order to sell at higher prices and so on.
"I understand that this confronting problem requires ASEAN to be more active in performing her role, which ensures food safety for peoples in ASEAN member countries, as well as in the region and in the entire world, who have been screaming for food to survive,"he said.
ASEAN comprises of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and its plus three includes China, South Korea and Japan.