Declaration of the 8th East Asia Summit on Food Security

10 October 2013, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

WE, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Australia, People's Republic of China, Republic of India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russian Federation and the United States of America on the occasion of the 8th East Asia Summit (EAS);

RECALLING the 2012 Phnom Penh Declaration on the East Asia Summit Development Initiative encouraging EAS countries to cooperate in promoting food security and nutrition;

RECALLING the commonly accepted definition of food security adopted at the 1996 World Food Summit; nutrition as well as the four food security pillars of access, availability, utilisation, and stability are intrinsic to this definition;

ACKNOWLEDGING that food security is essential for ensuring the broader security of the people of our region;

RECOGNISING that key priority areas of the EAS intersect with a range of food security issues, such as the environment, diversifying and developing new sources of energy, global health and nutrition, ASEAN connectivity, as well as the global challenge of adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change;

RECOGNISING that millions of people in the region rely on the resources and services provided by terrestrial, marine and freshwater aquatic ecosystems for their sustenance, livelihoods and well-being;

RECOGNISING that biodiversity conservation and sustainable management are crucial for maintaining healthy terrestrial, marine and freshwater aquatic ecosystems which underlie food security;

RECOGNISING that extreme climatic events, such as drought and flooding, undermine agricultural productivity;

RECOGNISING the necessity to increase sustainable agricultural production and productivity;

RECOGNISING that unequal access to natural resources, technology and markets create additional challenges in reducing the number of poor and hungry people;

RECOGNISING that agricultural investment in a responsible manner that respects rights, livelihoods and resources plays an important role in promoting agricultural development and enhancing food security and nutrition;

RECOGNISING that post-harvest losses along food supply chains and post-consumer food waste significantly undermine food security;

RECOGNISING that eradicating poverty and building the resilience of our people through adequate social protection measures, economic growth promotion, and positive income generation are effective ways of improving food security;

RECOGNISING the critical role of smallholder and women farmers and fishers in sustaining agricultural and fishery production and ensuring household food security;

REAFFIRMING our commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals on hunger and poverty, noting that EAS participating countries have made steady progress toward the Goals but that more work needs to be done to realise them by 2015;

REAFFIRMING our collective commitment to conclude the Doha Development Agenda negotiations of the World Trade Organization which seek to ensure fair and equitable benefits of multilateral trade for all countries, including the developing world, and particularly
Least Developed Countries;

RECOGNISING that open food markets are critical to sustainable access to nutritionally diverse food resources and that protectionist measures may result in excessive food price volatility and hinder regional food security;

RECOGNISING that transparent information about the status of regional and global food markets and food derivative markets, including supply and demand forecasts and the state of food stocks, will help increase food market certainty and reduce excessive food price volatility;

RECOGNISING that food security is a complex and multifaceted issue requiring multiple, integrated approaches; and

ACKNOWLEDGING the work on food security already being done by other regional and global organisations, including the ASEAN Plus Three, APEC, FAO, CFS, OECD, OIC and the G8 and G20, and recognising the imperative not to duplicate these efforts with limited resources;

DO HEREBY DECLARE TO:

  1. Increase the level of food security cooperation in the EAS by:
    1. increasing food security information sharing to ensure consistency and transparency among various agricultural market information systems, as well as drawing on private sector and academic expertise and input, and encouraging private and public sector stakeholders to make agricultural and other relevant data open and accessible to the public;
    2. integrating existing regional and global food-security frameworks to develop best practices on improving collective food security in the EAS;
    3. encouraging the inclusive consultation process with all stakeholders including the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to promote responsible agricultural investment, that respects rights, livelihoods and resources;
    4. drawing on existing agricultural capacity-building initiatives regionally and sharing best practices to improve agricultural production and productivity, and dietary diversity, in the EAS;
    5. better integrating smallholder and women farmers and fishers into global supply chains and efforts to achieve food security;
    6. expanding marine and agricultural science-and-technology research, including biotechnology and development investment and cooperation to promote sustainable food production and food safety, with due consideration for national poverty eradication and food security priorities;
    7. expanding regional fisheries management cooperation, including encouraging the future work of the EAS Track II Study Group on Enhancing Food Security through Sustainable Fisheries Management and Marine Environmental Conservation;
    8. promoting cooperation, sustainable use, and management of water resources;
    9. identifying possible cooperation in forest conservation and management;
    10. encouraging the protection of natural eco-systems and the preservation of biodiversity and varieties of plant genetics and agricultural production systems;
    11. exploring ways to reduce regional food supply chain loss and demand side loss, including post-consumer food waste due to unsustainable consumption patterns, with due consideration of the work done on regional connectivity;
    12. encouraging greater efforts to build resilience to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change which will have an ongoing and significant impact on the ability to ensure stable and sustainable food production; and
    13. supporting integrated approaches to improved nutrition;
  2. Encourage removal of existing protectionist measures and restraint on introducing new measures that are inconsistent with WTO agreements and that may hinder food trade, as well as promoting better trade facilitation, in accordance with national laws and regulations to promote food security.
  3. Task EAS relevant Ministers to hold an informal consultation with relevant government sectors and private and public stakeholders to explore ways to realise these undertakings.

ADOPTED by the Heads of State/Government of the participating countries of the 8th East Asia Summit on 10 October 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam.