Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Hiroyuki Konuma

FAO Regional Representative for Asia-Pacific

OPENING ADDRESS

by

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

delivered at the

Consultative Meeting on Country Programming Framework for Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand
26 August 2011

 

Dr Jirawan Yamprayoon, Inspector-General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and other distinguished participants of the Royal Thai Government
Distinguished delegates from donor countries, UN Agencies, international Organizations, NGOs/CSOs, and other organizations
Ladies and Gentleman,

On behalf of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, I have great pleasure in welcoming you all to this Consultative Meeting on the Thailand Country Programming Framework (CPF) for 2012-2016.

• Country Programming Framework

The CPF, previous named as NMTPF (National Medium-Term Priority Framework) started its preparation in March 2007 in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative (MOAC). The first NMTPF (2007-2011) was formulated as a guideline for both FAO and the Royal Thai Government to work together with a set of common goals. It identified priority areas, and determined priority outcomes and outputs to be achieved by 2011. Since there was need to continue such planning process into the next five years, taking into account the 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2012-2016) as well as the work, the United Nations Partnership Framework, by the United Nations Country Team in Thailand, and national Millennium Development Goals, efforts were made to formulate a new country programming framework, very much in line with the NMTPF, for the 2012-2016 period.  The CPF would place greater emphasis on work programming.

Six priority areas, outcomes and outputs have been identified as a result of a reviews and brainstorming workshop on Implementation Review of the NMTPF (2007-2011) which discussed past successes and shortcomings of the NMTPF and, based on the analysis of the current situation facing Thai agriculture, recommended future priorities for the cooperation and partnership between RTG and FAO in the next five years.

Six priority areas; a) Poverty alleviation and reduction of inequalities, b) Climate change and natural resources and environment, c) ASEAN integration and South-South cooperation, d) Food safety, quality and availability, e) Farmer’s institutions and rural youth programmes, and f) Food security and bioenergy.

The CPF will be finalized and expected to be approved after this consultative meeting by the National FAO Committee. With the approval of the RTG, it will decidedly have important bearing on the Thai economy over the next five years.

• Global Food Security

As you know, the food price crisis of 2007-2008 pushed the prices of basic staples beyond the reach of millions of poor people. In 2007 alone an additional 75 million poor people fell below the hunger threshold – of which more than half, or 41 million people, were from the Asia-Pacific region. The financial crisis, following closely on the heels of the food price crisis, further increased the number of food insecure. It reached over one billion in 2009.  925 million people worldwide in September 2010 are undernourished, of which 62 percent or 578 million people are in Asia and the Pacific.

Thailand is a food surplus country. It is a major food exporter contributing world food security. However, there are number of undernourished people, most of them are poor rural and urban households. For the period of 2005-2007, the number of the undernourished (as measured by the caloric intake below minimum dietary energy requirement) was 10.8 millions or 16% of the total population. During the same period, the proportion of the population for the Asia and the Pacific region regarded as undernourished was 16%. Thus, the undernurishment rate of Thailand is on the average level in the region. Government agencies with the help of FAO have combined their efforts to re-assess the current status of undernourishment.
 
With rising food prices, expectations to FAO’s role and contribution have been increasing sharply. Now, it is the time to capture the opportunity to demonstrate FAO’s role as the UN Agency with the mandate to respond to and meet the demands of the people against hunger and malnutrition.

• Strengthening Cooperation with development partners

FAO’s activities are funded by Regular Program resources and voluntary extrabudgetary contribution. The Regular Programme, which is developed and approved for a two-year period, is financed through assessed contributions from Member Countries and the extrabudgetary funds consist of voluntary contributions to FAO primarily by donor countries, United Nations agencies and international financing institutions.

Partnerships with UN agencies and international financing institutions as well as donor countries had been strengthened. FAO regional office for Asia and the Pacific has been providing assistance to Thailand in the region to meet its emerging challenges.

We are confident that the development partners with their long-standing commitment to help Thailand in this region to meet their development target.

I thank you for your kind attention and wish you all fruitful and productive discussions.

Thank you very much.