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In response to resolution 4/2005 of the Thirty-third Session of the FAO Conference in November 2005, the United Nations General Assembly, at its Sixty-eight Session in December 2005, declared 2008 as the International Year of the Potato (IYP). The resolution, submitted by the Government of Peru and co-sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Group of Countries, invited FAO to facilitate the implementation of the IYP in collaboration with governments, the International Potato Centre (CIP) and its associated research networks, other centers of the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), other organizations of the United Nations system, as well as non-governmental organizations and private sector stakeholders.

The UN Declaration of the IYP reflects the importance of the potato in the diet of the world’s population. It affirms the need to focus world attention on the role that the potato can play in providing food security and alleviating poverty in support of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The IYP provides another opportunity to raise awareness about food security, agriculture and rural development among policy-makers, donors and the general public.

Against the above backdrop, the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in cooperation with the Government of Peru, through its Embassy in Thailand, organized a Workshop for the Commemoration of the International Year of Potato. The Workshop was held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 6 May 2008. A large number of Ambassadors, Senior University Academics and high ranking Government officials as well as experts/resource persons participated in the Workshop. They were able to identify critical issues needing more attention. This publication collates useful information, highlighting the major recommendations, in the form of proceedings.

Appreciation is expressed to the participants for their presentation of papers and contribution to the discussions. Thanks must be accorded to Mr Minas K. Papademetriou for compiling and editing this valuable document. Also, the unfailing support of Mrs Valai Visuthi, who provided assistance in formatting the manuscript, is greatly appreciated.

He Changchui
Assistant Director-General
and FAO Regional Representative
for Asia and the Pacific

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