Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 08 Mar 2014 -- Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from Asia and the Pacific opened a two-day Consultation today to discuss their joint concerns about the future of small farmers, landless farmers, farm workers and other concerned stakeholders.
This parallel Consultation is organized just prior to FAO’s Thirty-Second Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC), also in Ulaanbaatar, 10-14 March. Forty participants representing different CSOs and their organizations from the region and Mongolia are participating in the Consultation and their conclusions will be shared with delegates through formal interventions during the APRC.
In his welcome remarks as the host organization’s president, Bayartsaikhan Nadmid, of the National Association of Mongolia Agriculture Cooperatives (NAMAC), pointed out the meeting was convening on an auspicious day – International Women’s Day – and praised Mongolian women for the important role they play in rural society.
Addressing the opening session, Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, said he welcomed CSOs participation in the upcoming APRC.
"The role of the CSO is crucial. The public sector and CSOs must work together in the shared goal towards attainment of food security. At FAO we are supporting each other,” Konuma said.
Konuma commended the SCO’s in Asia and the Pacific, saying they have been playing an important role in different fora and international, multi-stakeholder meetings. Their contributions are usually very professional.
FAO has worked for many years with CSOs in Asia and the Pacific in different fields.
Last November, a consultation on promoting FAO-CSO partnership in the region was held in Bangkok resulting in the establishment of a Regional CSO - FAO Network.
“FAO helps (CSOs) bring the voices of the grassroots to policy level and promote the role of CSOs in the policy making process,” said Marlene D. Ramirez, a meeting co-convener from the Philippines, in reference to FAO’s invitation to CSOs to participate in the APRC.
"We appreciate the work of FAO and wish to further work with governments, FAO and other stakeholders,” said the other co-convener, Sarojeni Rengam from Malaysia. “Together, we can attack the roots of the problems we face and I carry that hope for all of us.”
The FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC) brings together ministers of agriculture and high-level officials of Member States across the region. Convening every two years, it examines the opportunities and challenges in the region and sets priority areas of work to improve food security and nutrition, increase agricultural productivity, raise the standard of living in rural populations and contribute to sustainable development.
For more information about this topic and the APRC, please visit the Conference Website: www.fao.org/about/meetings/aprc32/en/