ASEAN ministers of agriculture and forestry and their counterparts from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea gathered in the capital city Vientiane of Laos on September 28 to discuss measures for ensuring food security for the region.

Addressing the 12th ASEAN +3 Ministers’ Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF+3), Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong said food shortage, poverty, natural disasters, climate change and pandemics remain challenges for the region and the world.

Therefore, every member country should on one hand map out appropriate policies and on the other hand cooperate effectively to preserve natural resources and ensure food security, thus contributing to sustainable economic development in the region, the PM added.

At the meeting, ASEAN and its counterparts reaffirmed strong support of AMAF+3 cooperation in the areas of food, agriculture and forestry in accordance with the 2nd Joint Statement on East Asian Cooperation and ASEAN+3 Cooperation Work Plan in the period of 2007-2017.

They welcomed the implementation of projects under the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Strategy Framework which places focus on food security, biomass energy development, sustainable forest management and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The participating countries also supported the ASEAN+ 3 Emergency Rice Reserve which took effect this July, ASEAN Food Security Information System, South-South Cooperation and other important issues.

The 13th AMAF+3 is scheduled to be held in Malaysia in 2013.-VNA