APEC Policy Partnership on Food Security Meeting
13 May 2015, Boracay, Philippines
Undersecretary for Fisheries Asis Perez
Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
Good morning everyone. To our distinguished delegates, the private sector, my co-chairs, the Hon. Carmen del Rocio, Minister and Sub-director for APEC. Also with us is Mr. Tony Nowell, Vice Chair, coming from the private sector, the ABAC. Of course, Chair of last year’s PPFS Meeting and current Vice Chair Dr. Han Ji Shi, State Administration of Grain.
My name is Asis D. Perez, currently the director of Bureau of Fisheries and Undesecretary OIC for the DA, Republic of the Philippines.
I am very pleased to welcome you all here in one of the world’s premier summer destinations. You know Boracay is not a very big place, it’s a small island and some of us have already been here for a couple or more days to participate in the previous APEC meetings have seen part of Boracay. Some others, I believe, have just arrived, in time for today’s meeting, the Policy Partnership on Food Security. In any case, I pray that aside from having productive and meaningful three days of PPFS meeting, we will also have a pleasurable stay here on the island.
Four days ago, we jumpstarted the series of APEC meetings with a workshop on climate change impact on oceans and fisheries resources, which was a success owing to the active participation of the economies. We are also pleased with the turn out of the OFWG senior officials meeting, which concluded only yesterday. Both events provide us with helpful knowledge and comprehensive guidelines on how to move forward to a better and more sustainable APEC region while we carry out appropriate conservation measures for our marine environments.
Today, our presence reflects our respective economies’ commitment to take part in addressing the issue of food security in the APEC region. As we gather in the dialogue table, I trust that each of us is ready to share insights and information that will further strengthen the working framework of the PPFS forum.
While the two events are considered separate APEC forums, the OFWG and the PPFS are somewhat interrelated. Together with other delegates, we express this belief in the hope of urging each of us to look for synergies that would bind these issues together. These forums are equally important in pushing forth policies and management measures that will help us attain inclusive growth of APEC economies.
This is not my first time in the PPFS meeting. I had a pleasure of attending the one hosted by my good friend, Dr. Hans in Beijing but this is probably the first time that a Fisheries person not a Grains person will be chairing a PPFS meeting. And therefore I have to admit that on the onset, the Chair would be looking forward to your guidance and experience as we move forward with the agenda for today. As you might have noticed, the agenda is somewhat very very APEC. As far as I can remember, we were trying as much as we can to generate inputs from member-economies and also from ABAC on how to move forward with the development of the agenda. Although we have the fourth version of the agenda, the Chair has the inclination to encourage every member-economy to provide useful comments on how best we can further develop the agenda. The Chair is very much willing to continue to solicit from the member-economies on how best we can further develop the agenda and the program of PPFS.
The thematic areas that were presented to us and what were approved last year in Beijiing should serve as useful guide in the further development of PPFS. We hope that the economies will be guided by the declaration of our ministers in the work that we’re supposed to do in the next three days and in the following three days later. So we still have a lot of time beginning to day until the end of 2015 to work on the priorities that were envisioned by our economies.
For that matter, again, I thank everyone for being here. Welcome to the Philippines and welcome to Boracay.