ASEAN Plus Three vows to ad­dress food se­cu­rity

Manila Bulletin - - News - By ELLSON A. QUISMORIO

The 10-mem­ber As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) and its three di­a­logue part­ners from East Asia, namely China, Ja­pan and South Korea, have vowed to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion on food se­cu­rity.

The 13 na­tions are col­lec­tively dubbed the ASEAN Plus Three (APT).

On Tues­day, the sec­ond day of the 31st ASEAN Sum­mit and re­lated meet­ings in Manila, the group “[reaf­firmed] their com­mit­ment to work to­gether to en­sure food se­cu­rity, food safety, bet­ter nu­tri­tion and eq­ui­table dis­tri­bu­tion, as well as to pro­mote sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in the re­gion.”

This ac­tion is in line with their com­mit­ments un­der the United Na­tions (UN) Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment to end poverty in all its forms ev­ery­where by the year 2030.

The UN Agenda, which sets 17 Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals or SDGs, of­fi­cially came into force in 2016. It was adopted by world lead­ers in Septem­ber 2015.

In­ci­den­tally, this year marks the 20th an­niver­sary of APT Co­op­er­a­tion, which came about as a way to mit­i­gate the 1997 ASEAN fi­nan­cial cri­sis. The three-page state­ment was ap­proved fol­low­ing the APT Com­mem­o­ra­tive Sum­mit chaired by Philippine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte.

Also at­tend­ing the Sum­mit were China State Coun­cil Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang, Ja­pan Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe, and South Korea Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-In.

The three-page state­ment notes the “ever-in­creas­ing de­mand for food due to the rapid in­crease in global pop­u­la­tion, which has not been met by the lim­ited growth in global grain pro­duc­tion, and the need to safe­guard re­gional food se­cu­rity with con­crete and ef­fec­tive mea­sures and co­op­er­a­tion.”

APT, through the doc­u­ment, also “em­pha­sized [its] strong de­ter­mi­na­tion to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion in food se­cu­rity by en­cour­ag­ing coun­tries in the re­gion to take ef­fec­tive mea­sures.”

Fif­teen mea­sures to pur­sue food se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion were agreed upon by the par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries.

Among these are the con­duct of reg­u­lar pol­icy di­a­logues among the APT coun­tries to ex­change views on poli­cies, share ex­pe­ri­ences and best prac­tices, en­hance co­op­er­a­tion and safe­guard food se­cu­rity in the re­gion; in­creas­ing pri­vate sec­tor par­tic­i­pa­tion in pol­icy dis­cus­sions, pro­grams and project for­mu­la­tion, re­search and de­vel­op­ment; and supporting coun­tries in the re­gion to ac­tively and ef­fec­tively co­or­di­nate their poli­cies and ac­tions and im­ple­ment the plans to im­prove the com­pre­hen­sive grain pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity, in­clud­ing the use of green tech­nolo­gies, re­search and de­vel­op­ment and re­source man­age­ment sys­tems.

They are also bat­ting for the ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of the ASEAN In­te­grated Food Se­cu­rity (AIFS) Frame­work and the Strate­gic Plan of Ac­tion on Food Se­cu­rity in the ASEAN Re­gion (SPA-FS) cov­er­ing the pe­riod 2015 to 2020.

APT also plans to col­lab­o­rate with rel­e­vant ASEAN bod­ies in im­ple­ment­ing the ASEAN Food Safety Pol­icy (AFSP).

EN­CHANT­ING PRINCESS – SM Mega­mall re­cently cel­e­brated the start of Christ­mas sea­son with the launch­ing of’ En­chant­ing Princess: A Hol­i­day Mu­si­cal Won­der.’ The event un­veiled the mag­i­cal cen­ter­piece, a per­for­mance of the World of Won­ders at Okada Manila, and SM Foun­da­tion’s Bears of Joy: Share a Bear this Christ­mas. In photo are Man­daluy­ong City Mayor Menchie Aba­los (cen­ter) and Coun­cilor Charisse Aba­los-Var­gas (sec­ond from right) as the special guests. They are seen with SM Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent for Mar­ket­ing Jon­jon San Agustin; SM Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent for Op­er­a­tions, Pre­mier Malls Steven Tan; and As­sis­tant Vice Pres­i­dent for Op­er­a­tions, Pre­mier 2, Chris­tian Mathay. With them are the mall’s Bears of Joy 2017 ben­e­fi­ciary – chil­dren from Nayon ng Ka­bataan or­phan­age.

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