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FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Invitation to journalists to attend opening ceremony of FAO South West Pacific Ministers of Agriculture meeting

17/05/2007 the Marshall Islands

Media advisory

Majuro/Apia - The seventh session of the FAO South West Pacific Ministers of Agriculture meeting will be held at the Marshall Islands Resort Hotel, in Majuro from 29 to 31 May 2007. This major biennial event is convened by FAO to review and make recommendations on key food and agricultural issues affecting the Pacific region.

The conference brings together 14 Pacific nations and a wide range of observers such as representatives of Pacific intergovernmental bodies, United Nations organizations, donors and other development partners.

Participants include ministers of agriculture from countries in the region, senior government officials, the FAO director-general as well as representatives of civil society and the business sector.

In-depth discussions will be held on diverse food security needs and challenges in the region: plant production and protection; forestry; fisheries; agri-business and rural development. Also nutrition and food safety concerns will be addressed as well as the need to ensure that trade benefits security, and making agriculture mitigate the impact of climate change on Pacific countries.

A prominent guest speaker will give a presentation on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the Pacific.

Attendance by journalists
Journalists are invited to attend the official opening session of the meeting at 18:30 hours on Tuesday 29 May. The President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands will officiate and deliver the opening address. The FAO statement will be delivered by its Director-General Jacques Diouf.

The adoption of the communiqué of the meeting is planned around 17:00 hours on Thursday 31 May.

The conference will be conducted in English. The provisional timetable and other documents are available on request.

Journalists accredited by the government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands can register for attendance at the opening ceremony.

In order to facilitate media registration, journalists accredited in the Marshall Islands should contact Frederick Muller, Secretary of Resources and Development, Ministry of Resources and Development, PO Box 1727, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960, email rndsec@ntamar.net , phone +692 625 3206/ 4020.

Journalists not accredited in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and interested to report on this event should contact the FAO Information Officer Diderik de Vleeschauwer, phone +66 81 899 7354, email Diderik.deVleeschauwer@fao.org .

In addition to regular media briefings and the issuance of FAO press releases, media interviews with participants and FAO staff will be facilitated upon request to the FAO Information Officer.

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