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1. The First Session of the Sub-Committee on Aquaculture of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) was held in Beijing, People's Republic of China, from 18 to 22 April 2002 at the kind invitation of the Government of the People's Republic of China. It was attended by 49 Members of FAO, by an observer from one non-Member Nation of FAO, by a representative from one specialized agency of the United Nations and by observers from eight intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations. The list of delegates and observers is given in Appendix B to this report.

2. On behalf of the Director-General of FAO, Mr Jacques Diouf, Mr Ichiro Nomura, Assistant Director-General, Fisheries Department, expressed the appreciation of FAO to the People's Republic of China for their generous hospitality and the excellent preparations which had been made for the Session. Mr Nomura remarked that the Sub-Committee was the first ever global intergovernmental forum to discuss issues concerning sustainable development and management of aquaculture. He also acknowledged with thanks the financial support of the Government of Italy. The full text of the opening statement is contained in Appendix D.

3. The welcoming address on behalf of the People's Republic of China was delivered by His Excellency Qi Jingfa, Vice Minister of Agriculture. He stated that the choice of China for the venue of the First Session of the COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture was of symbolic significance as it was in China that aquaculture was first developed over two thousand years ago. The welcoming address is attached as Appendix E to this report.

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