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Asia-Europe meeting closes with declaration on food

By RJ Whitehead , 05-Oct-2012

The seventh edition of the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting closed in Laos’s capital with a declaration that emphasised the concern of the countries involved in “ensuring food security in the current situation of global climate change.”

This was the first of the three main pillars of the declaration, the other being the strengthening the Asia-Europe partnership in public debt for sustainable development and promoting partnership between the two continents in disaster management.

At the closing session of the meeting, Lao president Pany Yathotou said: "these topics are all urgent and challenging issues to the security, socio-economic stability as well as the sustainable development of the world community."

Governments need to intensify efforts

Food security was identified as a complex sustainable development issue, linked to health through malnutrition, environment and trade. Parliamentarians at the meeting used the declaration to encourage Asian and European governments, international institutions and the private sector to intensify their efforts in increasing food production and productivity.

The declaration also noted the recent unpredictable and difficult periods for the world economic environment, while at the same time markets in Asia and Europe had become more interdependent and integrated.

China issues challenge

In earlier session, China has issued a five-point plan for global action on food security, as FoodNavigator-Asia reported yesterday. 

It called on governments to see the issue as a global challenge, to adopt development-based strategies, to give emerging countries a bigger say, to develop greater governance and to integrate energy sustainability and food security.

What is most important is that all countries show commitment and work actively and effectively to co-ordinate policies and actions in the larger interest of human survival and development,” said Zhang Xiaoshan, a member of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress.

The meeting, which began on Wednesday, was attended by 47 members, including 16 countries in Asia, 28 in Europe, two in Oceania and the European Parliament.

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