SECOND FAO/WHO GLOBAL FORUM OF FOOD SAFETY
Your Excellency, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand,
Mr Chaturon Chaisang
Mr Hartwig de Haen, FAO Assistant Director-General
Dr Kerstin Leitner, WHO Assistant Director-General
Honourable Regional Representatives of FAO and WHO
Mr Banphot Hongthong, Permanent Secretary, MOAC
Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great honour to have the presence of your Excellency Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr Chaturon Chaisang. First of all, I would like to express my profound gratitude to his Excellency for his kindness in presiding over the opening ceremony of the Second FAO/WHO Global Forum of Food Safety Regulators (GF-2). It is indeed a great honour for Thailand to host this Conference. On behalf of the host organization, I have a great pleasure to extend to all delegates the most cordial and warmest welcome to Bangkok, Thailand which is known as "The land of smile".
Ladies and gentlemen,
As we are well aware, the First Global Forum of Food Safety Regulators was jointly organized by FAO and WHO in Morocco under the theme "Improving Efficiency and Transparency in Food Safety Systems - Sharing Experiences". The First Global Forum unanimously agreed that another Global Forum should be held in 2004, with as its main theme, "Building Effective Food Safety Systems".
The FAO Council held in June 2003, in Rome, Italy, endorsed the convening of the Second Global Forum of Food Safety Regulators and welcomed with appreciation the offer of the Government of Thailand to host the Conference.
I am very proud to inform you that there are more than 500 people from 104 countries representing government and non-government as well as international organizations participating in the Second Forum.
I am pleased to state that FAO and WHO have started with an excellent initiative for the cooperation among countries to build an effective food safety system. It is my belief that by the end of this three days discussion, better and closer inter-country relationships will be created for safety systems for global populations.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As the host, we would like to assure you that we consider it is our duty to assist whatever you need. Should you have any matter that we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our staff. If you have some free time after the Conference, do not forget to spend your time for sightseeing around the amazing city of Bangkok. There are a lot of interesting things to offer.
Finally, I would like to thank FAO and WHO for their kind support and make this Conference possible. I would like also to wish all delegates a successful and productive discussion as well as a pleasant stay in Thailand.