VP U Henry Van Thio opens ASEAN ministers meeting on rural devt, poverty eradication

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VP U Henry Van Thio opens ASEAN ministers meeting on rural devt, poverty eradication

VICE President U Henry Van Thio addressed the opening ceremony of the 11th ASEAN Ministers Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (AMRDPE) and related meetings held at the HorizonLake View Resort Hotel, NayPyi Taw yesterday morning.

In his speech the Vice President said ASEAN member countries alternatively conduct ASEAN and related meetings as well as activities and it was a pleasure and honor to host AMRDPE and related meetings. On behalf of the Myanmar government the Vice President expressed his appreciation towards the ASEAN Secretariat and officials from member countries for their support and assistance towards successfully holding this meeting after the duty of chair for this meeting for 2019 was taken up.

It’s been 52 years since ASEAN was established. It is a regional organization formed to live together in a region where stability, peace, security, sustainable development, co-prosperity and social development prevails, and with the identical wish of developing vital interests of member countries, good examples and aims. The combined force of the three pillars of ASEAN support the establishment of a socially responsible and people centered community that has political equity and economic integration.

Under the heading of the third pillar of ASEAN – ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community – rural development and poverty eradication is included. In addressing issues pertaining to rural development and poverty eradication and in narrowing the development gap in the region, member States are striving together in the spirit of “ASEAN Help-ASEAN.” This would include documenting best practices and challenges of ASEAN member States in implementing their respective policies and programmes on rural development and poverty eradication and to facilitate information sharing among member States. It was for this reason that AMRDPE was held biennially while Senior Officials Meetings were held annually. This was the 11th AMRDPE and 16th SOMRDPE.

It was thankfully found that not only member countries but China, Japan and Korea also support the implementation processes. Conducting ASEAN+3 Village Leaders Exchange Program at Kuala Lumpur in October 2018 was meaningful toward the development of rural community.

Similarly conducting 12th ASEAN-China Forum on Social Development and Poverty Reduction and ASEAN-China-UNDP Symposium on Localization of SDGs and Realization of Poverty Eradication held in 2018 were significant programs toward poverty eradication. In addition to ASEAN+3, rural development and poverty reduction were also conducted through civil society organizations such as Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Asia (AsiaDHRRA). Participation of the private sector in rural development and poverty eradication need to be organized. As government, civil society organizations, private and rural organizations cooperate, work together and exchange experiences, the socio-economic situation of rural people in ASEAN region will develop. ASEAN+3 Senior Officials Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (SOMRDPE+3), 8th ASEAN Public-Private-People Partnership Forum, Gender Mainstreaming Workshop on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication and 4th ASEAN Leadership Award events will be held together in this meeting while a field visit programs has been arranged. Participants in the meeting include not only government representatives of ASEAN member States but also representatives from civil society and private sectors supporting ASEAN’s aim of becoming a people centered community. The theme of these meetings was “Shaping resilient rural communities towards the attainments of SDGs.” Ever since the rural development and poverty eradication sector was implemented under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, it was aimed to support ASEAN’s effort towards achieving United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The theme was established and to be abided by in order to support the efforts of achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. All were urged to discuss, suggest and share successes and experience for member States to achieve rapid rural development and significantly reduce poverty year by year.

The majority of the member States’ citizens lived in rural regions and poverty was high. At the time when member States were required to prioritize raising the people’s living standard and eradicate poverty the outcome of these meetings will bring forth success in these work and let us all strive towards rural development and poverty eradication in all ASEAN member States before 2030, said the Vice President. Next, Union Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Dr Aung Thu and ASEAN Secretariat ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General Mr Kung Phoak delivered messages of greetings.

Afterwards, Vice President U Henry Van Thio and attendees took a commemorative group photo and observed the exhibition booths of ASEAN member countries.

Also present at the occasion were Union Ministers Thura U Aung Ko, Dr Aung Thu, U Ohn Win, U Thein Swe, Dr Win Myat Aye and U Kyaw Tin, Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw, ministers from ASEAN member countries, ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General, diplomats, high ranking officials from ASEAN countries, representatives of ASEAN dialogue partner countries, invited guests and officials.