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Events - March 2004

Information on FAO Regional Conferences to be held in 2004

FAO Regional Conferences are held every two years in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Near East. These conferences are held during the years in which the Conference does not meet in regular session.

The regional conferences' goal is to hold high level consultations, identify specific problems of the region and priority areas to be taken into account in the preparation of the programme of work and budget for the next biennium. The Conference also undertakes consultations regarding the means required by countries of the region to improve food security and sustainable development.

Each Regional Conference can make recommendations on priority subjects to member Nations in the Region, to FAO Conference and Council, to the FAO regional Office and FAO technical departments.

The themes to be tackled at each Regional Conference are as follows:

Twenty-Third Regional Conference for Africa (ARC): 1 - 5 March, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) of NEPAD
  • Integrated Water resource Management (IWRM) for Food Security in Africa
  • Follow-up to the WFS and the WFS: fyl, regional dimension
The Technical Committee during the Conference for Africa will also discuss various information items: HIV/AIDS and the food crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa, FAO strategic framework for bridging the rural digital divide and the International Year of Rice 2004, among others. A general debate on the food and agriculture situation in the region will also be held with statements to be made by each country representation.

Twenty-Seventh Regional Conference for the Near East (NERC): 13 - 17 March, Doha, Qatar
  • Follow-up to the WFS and the WFS: fyl, regional dimensions
  • Towards Improved Water Demand Management in the Near East
  • Food Safety and International Trade in the Near East Region
  • Establishment of Animal Health Commission for the Near East and North Africa (AHCNENA)
Two side events have been scheduled to take place during the regional conference for the Near East: a round table on Financing Agriculture and a debate on Sub-regional Strategy for Food Security in North Africa.

Twenty-Eighth Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean (LARC): 26 - 30 April, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Agriculture ministers of the 33 Latin American and Caribbean member countries will gather in Guatemala to review the activities undertaken in 2002-2003 and to make recommendations and suggestions to FAO and member countries. To read the agenda and documents related to the meeting, soon to be published, please click here.

Twenty-Fourth Regional Conference for Europe (ERC): 5 - 7 May, Montpellier, France

  • Follow-up to the WFS and WFS: fyl: regional dimensions
  • Food Safety and Quality in Europe
  • Agricultural Research: its role and contribution to sustainable rural development
  • Review of the State of Food and Agriculture in the Region: Focus on Rural Poverty
Other information items to be discussed include: International Year of Rice, Programme for bridging the rural digital divide to reduce food insecurity and poverty and the Initiative to review and update national agricultural, rural development and food security strategies and policies.

Twenty-Seventh Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC): 17 - 21 May, Beijing, China

Ministers of agriculture from 40 countries in Asia and the Pacific are invited to attend the conference to be held in Beijing. During the plenary session of this conference, senior government officers will be able to hold in-depth discussions on a range of issues central to food security and rural poverty alleviation in Asia-Pacific countries. To read the agenda and documents related to the meeting, soon to be published, please click here.

In order to guarantee increased participation of NGOs and civil society, FAO has fostered since 1999 an active involvement of these organizations in its regional conferences.

In this sense, NGOs/CSOs underlined, during the regional consultations, the particular importance they attach to building policy dialogue with FAO and its member countries at the regional level. These consultations were held in conjunction with and reported to FAO's Regional Conferences. Similar activities are being prepared for this year also.

To read the Guidelines for the NGOs/CSOs regional consultation, please click here.

For more information on the FAO Regional Conferences 2004, please click here.