The Aid and International Development Forum (AIDF) Food Security Summit – Asia 2013 has been hailed a success amidst unrelenting protests in the heart of Bangkok.
Held at the United Nations Conference Centre on 26 and 27 November, while many local roads became blocked and congested, the event attracted more than 200 hundred delegates from more than 20 countries.
Attending delegates said the Summit provided a platform not only for discussion but for collaboration to the future on the issues surrounding food security, including subject matter around nutrition and agriculture.
Representing the Ministry of Environment for Cambodia, Mr Srun Darith said he hoped dialogue established at the Summit will advocate a better way of thinking and better approaches to improve child and maternal nutrition.
“The key to the success to improve child and maternal nutrition is to strengthen the collaborations among stakeholders; namely the government, the developing panel and civil society,” he said.
“At the same time public-private partnership is also the key so we cannot exclude private sectors in these approaches.
“You can see here everyone from private sector, UN agencies, developing panel, NGO and government coming together to discuss how we can find a better way to improve child and maternal nutrition.”
Commercial Director of Asia Pacific at Glanbia Nutritionals, Bruno Kistner said it was a great summit which brought together private and public partnerships, providing a voice for everyone including business.
“It was excellent that there was also a representative of an infant food producer which wasn’t the case in the past.
“These people have a lot to contribute, a lot of knowledge, a lot of science and they shouldn’t be excluded.”
Deputy Regional Director of Asia at Micronutrient Initiative, Deppika Nayar Chaudhery said the Summit attracted a diverse set of stakeholders, the interesting mix providing a good backdrop for discussions.
“Even with a diverse audience we were able to focus on the core issues and the content and in terms of what should be the basic interventions, what needs to be done in parallel and what needs to be done in other sectors,” she said.
“It is very clear, that even some of the basic actions in the part of the world that we live in yet need to be done.
“It is not only about innovations but doing the right actions at the right time.
“Needless to say, this is a great forum to make connections not just with partners but with people from countries that we don’t normally interact with in terms of our work and scope.
A number of countries found their voice at the Summit including Indonesia, Cambodia and Myanmar.
Chairman of local Myanmar NGO, Social Vision Services, Su Tin said for the future he foresees numerous connections and partnerships being driven from the Summit.
“I get a lot of information and knowledge from this event and can introduce a lot of colleagues from these participating countries – it is very interesting.”
Australian agriculture businessman and Managing Director of Managed Growth, Tim Bennett also said the Summit had been interesting, strong individual networks uniting together in one room.
“What has to happen now is the cross-fertilisation of those networks to create a result.”
To be held in March 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand, the next AIDF Summit will explore water security.
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