Sat, 08 Oct 1994

NAM to synchronize plans with FAO

JAKARTA (JP): Senior Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) officials yesterday suggested the group synchronize members' food security programs with the existing programs of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

"By supporting the United Nations food body, NAM members need not set up another food security institution," vice chairman of the Indonesian delegation for NAM's two-day senior officials meeting, Beddu Amang, said in Denpasar yesterday.

NAM members can establish regional cooperation instead, like that introduced by the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In this way they can take common measures to overcome any problems caused by temporary shortages of food in a given region.

Beddu argued that establishing a food security institution for NAM members would most likely lead to the overlapping of various programs which have been introduced by the FAO.

Regional food security cooperation among NAM members which are geographically close to each other will be more efficient and helpful in overcoming any food supply problems, Beddu, who is also vice chairman of the National Logistics Agency, was quoted as saying by Antara news agency.

Minister of Agriculture Sjarifudin Baharsjah said earlier that establishing a new food security body would bring no advantages to NAM's 111 members because they are separated by large distances.

Sjarifudin and Beddu are in Denpasar to host the NAM's senior officials meeting, to be followed by a two-day NAM ministerial conference on food and agriculture, which will be opened by President Soeharto on Monday.

The chairman of the organizing committee for the senior officials meeting, Soetatwo Hadiwigeno, said the meeting is to prepare a draft Ministerial Declaration on Food and Agriculture, that is expected to provide guidance for the implementation of future cooperation in food and agriculture.

He said the senior officials, at the meeting, which ends today, have also discussed action programs, including food research, food export and import activities, agricultural technology and technical assistance cooperation.

Some 500 participants, including NAM's delegates, observers and experts, are involved in the senior officials meeting. (fhp)