PGMA, 9 ASEAN leaders cite need for rice reserve
Manila (27 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the nine other ASEAN leaders want to set up a permanent regional emergency rice reserve due to the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters that hit the region.
ASEAN and Chian, Japan and South Korea, or ASEAN Plus 3, discussed the issue at the 12th ASEAN Plus 3 Summit Saturday at the Dusit Thai Hotel in Cha-am, Hua Hin, Thailand.
The ASEAN leaders noted that the East Asia Emergency Rice Reserve (EAERR) Pilot Project is due to expire in February 2010. It is thus necessary to transform the project into a permanent aid mechanism under the ASEAN Plus 3 Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR).
They urged their respective agriculture and foreign ministers, who will meet in Brunei Darussalam next month to work closely towards the early realization of APTERR in order to ensure the continuation of regional food security mechanism after the expiration of the EARR Pilot Project.
They reaffirmed their commitment to ensure food and energy security as high on their priority in accordance with the Cha-am Hua Hin Statement on ASEAN Plus 3 Cooperation Food Security and Bio-energy Development adopted at this summit.
The ASEAN Plus 3 leaders likewise expressed their openness to initiatives and activities to promote cooperation on civilian nuclear energy as they noted the convening of the 2nd ASEAN Plus 3 Forum on Nuclear Energy Safety in China last June as well as Korea's proposal for cooperation on civilian nuclear energy.
The leaders pointed out that progress have been made in the field of energy cooperation especially the development of the Oil Stockpiling Roadmap, the finalization of the 2nd ASEAN Plus 3 Energy Outlook, the reactivation of the ASEAN Plus 3 Energy Communication System and the enhancement of the Joint Oil Data Initiative. (PIA) [top]