Roxas calls for ASEAN Leaders’ Summit on food security

Saturday, April 12, 2008 | posted in , , , , , , , , | 0 comments

Senator Mar Roxas, chairman of the Senate trade and commerce committee, called on the Philippine government to take the lead in calling for an ASEAN Leaders’ Summit to address the rice crisis and ensure food security in the region.

In a press release, Roxas announced that he would file a resolution on Monday expressing the sense of the Senate that the Philippines should take the lead in calling for such a special Leaders’ Summit, to ensure food and rice security in the coming months.
ASEAN has in its membership the world’s two biggest rice exporters and the world’s biggest rice importer. The proposed ASEAN Leaders’ Summit has the opportunity to ease the fear and crisis that is gripping both the producing farmers and consumer families across ASEAN and the region. This kind of crisis is exactly why ASEAN exists. ASEAN must address and intervene in this crisis to prove to the world that it can take the lead in the political and economic integration of its member-nations” the former trade secretary said.
The Filipino leader said the proposed ASEAN leaders’ summit could even include non-ASEAN neighbors as such as Japan, South Korea and China for an ASEAN Plus Three Summit as well as multinational financial institutions, which have a critical interest on both the consumer and producer sides of the current crisis.
At the ASEAN Summit in Singapore last year, an ASEAN Charter was adopted. This document would be meaningless if the leaders of ASEAN cannot get together to ensure solidarity against hunger made worse by soaring rice and food prices,” the former trade and commerce secretary explained.
Roxas said the Philippines can invoke a provision in the ASEAN Charter on Summits that allows its leaders to hold a summit to “address emergency situations affecting ASEAN by taking appropriate actions.”

The president of the Liberal Party also quoted from the ASEAN Charter’s preamble that resolved “to ensure sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations and to place the well-being, livelihood and welfare of the peoples at the centre of the ASEAN community building process.”

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