Dodwell in SOM3 Medan - Post 3

June 26, 2013

Walk down the food stalls offering everything from cacao and Indonesian desserts to Kopi Lewak – the most expensive coffee in the world – in Medan’s Santika Hotel, and you passed four huge meeting rooms devoted to the different groups of the Policy Partnership on Food Security. Tucked right in the middle, so unnoticed it could have been 100 kilometres away, was the Ocean Fisheries Working Group. They were like ships passing in the night, despite the obvious common ground they shared.

True, the Ocean Fisheries Working Group focuses on shipping, marine mining and marine tourism and environmental protection as well as fisheries management, but the group devotes a huge share of its agenda to food-related issues. Slightly alarming, then, that when it opened at the weekend, its members seemed genuinely unaware of the intense fisheries-related agenda of the PPFS’s Working Group 2. Nor that the PPFS has been vested with the authority to provide strategic oversight to all food-related initiatives in APEC.

However, by the end of the Ocean Fisheries meeting, and after some fairly blunt nagging from ABAC, the two groups were not only aware of each other: the Chair of PPFS’s Working Group 2 had come to brief Ocean Fisheries members on the PPFS work, and Ocean Fisheries had agreed to create a “Friends of the PPFS WG2” group.

That is one down, but three more to go: in total APEC has four other working groups with a food-related agenda – the Committee on Trade and Investment’s [CTI] subgroup the Food Safety Cooperation Forum [FSCF]; the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group [ATCWG]; the High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology [HPLDAB], and of course the Ocean and Fisheries Working Group [OFWG]. At some point soon they all need to learn about – and align priorities with – the PPFS.

Kopi Lewak - the world's most expensive coffee, for tasting outside the Food Security meetings

With food security high on the weekend agenda and Saturday devoted to Farmer's Day, naturally have
lots of farm promotion

⇒  More blog posts from the SOM3 Medan meetings series.

⇒  Dodwell's other meetings blogs.


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