Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Hiroyuki Konuma

FAO Regional Representative for Asia-Pacific

OPENING SPEECH

by

Hiroyuki Konuma
Assistant Director-General and
FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific

delivered at the

SAARC-FAO Consultation Meeting with Development Partners

Bangkok, Thailand
20 February 2013

 

His Excellencies,
Distinguished participants from various countries of Asia,
Resource persons, Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you, to the SAARC-FAO Consultation Meeting with Development Partners jointly organized by the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and  SAARC in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank.

I would also express my appreciation for the surge of support signified by the broad range of delegations present here today. In particular, I welcome the strong presence from governments of the region.

I would also like to thank the SAARC Secretariat  in formulating a regional strategy and programme for food security as a follow up to the World Food Summit.

In line with the this initiative, Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided regional technical assistance grant to the SAARC Secretariat to develop the programme concept notes into six programme proposals with detailed financial cost estimates, which is the basis for today’s  SAARC-FAO Consultation Meeting with Development Partners.

Our task here in Bangkok is to help build the capacity to deliver on these programs.

His Excellencies,
Distinguished participants from various countries of Asia,
Resource persons, Ladies and gentlemen,

This meeting is taking place against the fact that  South Asia remained as a home to more than a half of the total hunger population in Asia, which counted 304 million during 2010-2012 and shared more than one thirds of the global hunger population.

Therefore, it is our task to strengthen the important new momentum we now see. More than before, the process of eradicating hunger and the process of improving food security and nutrition are truly interconnected. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity.

In connection of this movement, we signal by our presence and our meeting that we believe in your cause, in your resolve and in an outcome that will be a foundation for eradication hunger and improving food security and nutrition in our region.

With your support, we will have the right basis for cooperation between the SAARC and Development Partners to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives and to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy.

I hope that today we will have a constructive exchange of views between representatives from the donor and development partner, and that this exchange will deepen in future.

Thank you very much for your attention. I would like to wish you a successful workshop.