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1. The Executive Committee of the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) held its Seventieth Session at the Legend Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 23 to 25 August 2005 under the Chairpersonship of Dato Junaidi bin Che Ayub, and Mr Parlin Tambunan, Vice-Chairperson. The list of the participants is in Appendix A.

2. At the opening of the Session, on behalf of the outgoing Chairperson, Mr Wimol Jantrarotai welcomed the members of the Executive Committee and thanked the Committee for their support during his term. He noted the increasingly active role of APFIC and the major outcome of the Twenty-eighth Session of APFIC in transforming it into a Regional Consultative Forum. In its new role, APFIC will be better placed to assist member countries in addressing the critical issues of fisheries governance and sustainability and in strengthening regional approaches to dealing with these issues. In conclusion, he looked forward to the new role of APFIC as consultative forum under its new chairpersonship of Malaysia.

3. The Chairperson then addressed the Committee and thanked them for the privilege of being appointed Chairperson and expressed Malaysia’s pleasure at being given this responsibility. He warmly welcomed the participants to Malaysia and stated that Malaysia looked forward to the task of hosting the inaugural Regional Consultative Forum Meeting and the Twenty-ninth Session of APFIC and the support of the members during his term. He was confident that APFIC would provide greater awareness of regional fisheries issues and assist members in improving regional coordination and understanding of the needs for better fishery management.

4. The APFIC Secretary, Mr Derek Staples, addressed the Committee and welcomed the members of the Executive Committee. He apologized on behalf of the Chief of the Policy and Liaison group of the FAO Fisheries Department, who had to cancel his participation due to an urgent responsibility in another region. He expressed his anticipation of a productive meeting and the need for Executive Committee guidance to the Secretariat on a range of decisions and issues relating to the work and functions of the Commission.

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