Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Director-General of FAO Jacques Diouf, and on my own behalf, I have great pleasure in welcoming you all today to the Consultation with Development Partners at our FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
We all share the same views that realization of the global commitment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the World Food Summit Plan of Action remains a priority in Asia and the Pacific.
With the support and assistance from your Government, as well as other donor countries and in collaboration with UN agencies and international and regional financial institutions and banks, most Asian countries have achieved considerable success in reducing poverty and improving food security and the overall welfare of the people, although several countries are still lagging behind and the region remains home to the majority of the world's poor and hungry. We are confident that, through our joint unswerving efforts, we can help make the Asia and the Pacific Region free from hunger in the 21st century and that its people can live with dignity in a sustainable society and environment.
Through the organization of this Consultation, we wish to express our thanks to you and your government for the strong support to FAO's mission and to seek your advice on our mission in the new year and beyond. I would like to take this opportunity to brief you on our recent initiative of developing a RAP Strategic Framework and share with you Regional Vision and Action in Asia and the Pacific geared towards fighting hunger and poverty. During this Consultation, we will also give you a brief introduction to FAO's field programme in the region and present you with some examples of successful FAO projects in the region. We would very much appreciate your valuable comments on how RAP’s Strategic Framework and its development programmes and technical assistance to the countries in the Asia and Pacific Region could be further expanded and improved.
I thank you again for your participation at this Consultation.