Civil society organizations (CSOs) from Asia and the Pacific have concluded a two-day virtual meeting in preparation for their participation in a major multilateral conference aimed at charting a course for the transformation of food security and agrifood systems in the region.
The participation of CSOs in 36th Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (#APRC36) aims to focus positions among civil society organizations in anticipation of their contributions to discussions at the APRC – a biennial gathering of some 46 FAO member countries from across the region.
At the same time, an online consultation between private sector entities is ongoing. Representatives of the private sector will sit for the second time at the session of the regional governing body of FAO. APRC-36 will meet in hybrid mode in Dhaka, Bangladesh from March 8-11, 2022.
While the APRC is a formal meeting of FAO member countries in Asia and the Pacific, CSOs and private sector representatives participate as observers and are invited to make interventions during the Conference. The CSO consultation process in the Asia-Pacific region has evolved since 2010 with broad support from the regional civil society community and FAO. Innovative consultation and participation of the private sector was encouraged by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, who was elected to this position in August 2019, and this decision was considered very successful during #APRC35, there two years old.
Collective wisdom for the Asia-Pacific conference
“Based on the experience gained together, I am convinced that taking into account the views of civil society stakeholders in this region will strengthen and broaden the decision-making power of FAO member countries,” said Jong- Jin Kim, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, during his opening remarks at the CSO meeting. “I am confident that your collective wisdom will contribute and enrich the discussion which should contribute to sound conclusions and recommendations for endorsement by the distinguished Ministers and Heads of Delegation.”
Adding the voices of the private sector, as well as those of CSOs, will help FAO Members and their decision-makers better define the actions needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, especially those related to eradicating hunger and poverty, Kim added. .
The CSO meeting brought together 47 participants representing various groups, including small-scale producers, fishers, pastoralists, indigenous peoples and landless organizations, rural and agricultural workers, women’s and youth organizations, and NGOs.