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FAO regional confce kicks off

Published : 08 Mar 2022 09:42 PM

For the first time in Bangladesh, the 36th Asia and Pacific Regional Conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has started. Agriculture Secretary Md Saidul Islam inaugurated the first two-day session of the conference for senior officials, agriculture secretaries and senior government officials at Hotel Intercontinental in the city on Tuesday. Agriculture Secretary was elected president for this session.

Food Secretary Moshammat Nazmanara Khanum, FAO Assistant Director General Jung-Jin Kim, Conference Secretary Sridhar Dharmapuri and other delegations were present at the inauguration ceremony of the conference.

In his inaugural address, the Agriculture Secretary said, “Hosting Asia and Pacific Regional Conference in Bangladesh in the year of Mujib Centenary would be a milestone in the success of agricultural development of the country. Agriculture in Asia and the Pacific is facing a major challenge of climate change. It will also have a huge impact on agriculture in Bangladesh. In this context, the conference will expand the field of exchange of knowledge, technology and experience among the member countries and enhance mutual cooperation.”

In his remarks, FAO Assistant Director-General Jung-Jin Kim said the conference would focus on four areas for regional cooperation. He 

    said priority would be given to sustainable agri-food system for improved production, improved nutrition, improved environment and improved life, sustainable use of natural resources while conserving biodiversity and building climate-friendly agri-food system.

The four-day conference will end on March 11. The conference is being attended by 43 countries (8 direct and 35 virtual) and 42 delegates at the level of Prime Minister / Minister / State Minister of these countries. In addition, about 900 members from member states, the Director General of the FAO, representatives of various UN bodies, development partners, NGOs and civil society are attending the APRC conference, the highest ever.

The main session of the conference is being held at Hotel Intercontinental and the opening ceremony, cultural program and country showcasing at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC). The first two-day conference of the four-day conference (March 8-9) will be a meeting of senior officials/ agriculture secretaries and senior government officials and the last two days (March 10-11) will be a meeting of ministers/ agriculture ministers.

The inaugural ceremony of the ministerial meeting or conference will be held on Thursday, March 10 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to be present there as the chief guest.

In addition to the main event, country showcasing is going on. Hotel Intercontinental and Bangabandhu International Conference Center have 17 exhibition stalls with the participation of Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Food and Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. On the evening of March 9, there is a cultural programme at Bangabandhu International Conference Center. In addition, the FAO Director General is scheduled to meet the President on March 9 and the Prime Minister on March 13.