Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia/Bangkok, Thailand, 27 Sep 2013 -- FAO and the member governments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) launched a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday under which the two Organizations will strengthen cooperation in agriculture and forestry with goal of reducing hunger in the region and improving food security. The MoU was signed yesterday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
ASEAN is a geopolitical organization of 10 Southeast Asian countries* that works to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development among its members. It also protects regional peace and stability and provides a fora to discuss issues. ASEAN was formed on 8 August 1967.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony on behalf of FAO’s Director-General José Graziano da Silva, Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific said, “The MoU signifies mutual strategic vision and trust of the two organizations in working together in addressing growing challenges in agriculture, particularly in addressing global challenges in food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture as well as in support of the sector in contributing to the realization of ASEAN Community in 2015 and beyond.”
Through the MoU, ASEAN and FAO would strengthen its collaboration in the areas of transboundary animal disease control, food safety, nutrition, food security and bioenergy development.
Konuma said, “It is agriculture that holds the key to food security as well as raising levels of nutrition and standards of living of the bulk of the hungry and poorly nourished.”
According to the MoU, the agreement provides ASEAN Member States with greater access to information services and other programmes offered by FAO, increases technical assistance in the fields of agriculture, forestry, and food security in order to promote development activities in those fields and enhances and strengthens existing cooperation between ASEAN Member States and FAO.
The MoU is subject to ratification or acceptance by all ASEAN Member States. *The ASEAN Member States are: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.