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28th FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific

Jakarta, Indonesia, 15-19 May 2006

1. We the Ministers and Representatives of Member Nations of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations from the Asia and the Pacific region gathered in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 15-19 May 2006 for the Twenty-Eighth FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific.

2. We recognize that while Asia and the Pacific is experiencing vibrant economic growth, it is at the same time facing tremendous challenges that require strengthened regional partnerships, especially within the context of the FAO.

3. We reaffirm and reinvigorate our commitments to the outcomes of the World Food Summit (WFS) and to realizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, given that the majority of the world's poor live in the region. To this end, we reaffirm our support for FAO’s initiatives to expedite progress in meeting the WFS and MDG targets, including the Anti-Hunger Programme, International Alliance against Hunger and the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS).

4. We recognize the devastating effects of transboundary animal diseases, particularly avian influenza and foot and mouth disease. We thus underscore the importance of accelerating the implementation of the FAO-led regional plan of action for the livestock sector to address transboundary animal diseases, including the strengthening of regional partnerships incorporating capacity building and the mobilization of resources to develop avian and human influenza pandemic prevention, preparedness and mitigation plans.

5. We recognize the high susceptibility of the region to natural disasters that can reverse the progress of development and poverty reduction. We thus underline the importance of fostering regional partnership, including through FAO, to increase regional capabilities in disaster management and rehabilitation in a sustainable manner.

6. We underscore the high potential of certain agriculture products as alternative sources of energy. We therefore recognize the need for enhanced partnership, including through FAO, to intensify the development of bio-energy for the achievement of sustainable energy systems and the diversification of the rural sector while considering the impact on food prices and availability.

7. We recognize that trade, as an engine of growth and development, must support the efforts of poverty eradication. To that end, we underline the need to strengthen regional partnerships to ensure that trade liberalization supports the region’s efforts to improve food and livelihood security as well as rural development, in line with the spirit of the WTO Doha Development Agenda.

8. We further recognize that the partnership established in Asia and the Pacific can be extended to other regions. It is in this spirit, that we reaffirm our solidarity with people in other regions who are facing agricultural deterioration contributing to poverty, such as in Sub-Saharan Africa. We thus express our readiness to enhance our partnership to help farmers in other regions to rehabilitate their agriculture sector, especially through the sharing of experiences in this field.

9. We underline the need for the FAO Secretariat to undertake efforts to streamline its decision-making process to better assist the needs of its members in a timely manner, particularly in the field of technical assistance and capacity building. We further note the need for FAO to maintain adequate funding for international standards setting and capacity building. To this end, we support the ongoing efforts to reform FAO, in accordance with the 33rd Conference Resolution on reforms, with guidance from the Independent External Evaluation (IEE) of FAO. We also urge all members to make the evaluation a product of the membership and contribute to the IEE Multilateral Trust Fund.

10. We express concern over the weakening financial resources of FAO, reducing its capacity to effectively respond to the needs of the members. In this context, we underline the need for the FAO to prioritize its programmes and activities, taking into account its financial condition, including the large amount of arrears, and activities of other UN agencies, national governments and bilateral as well as regional arrangements.

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