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APEC First Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1) Discussion on Sustainability in SOM1’s Sub-fora Meetings


         APEC First Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1) began on 14 February 2022. During the first two days, the Thai delegation discussed and exchanged views with other APEC delegates in eight APEC working groups, covering important issues such as food security; fisheries and marine resources; intellectual property; customs procedures and investment promotion.


          Sustainability was one of the main topics of discussion as APEC working groups looked for ways to promote economic activities that also foster balanced and sustainable economic development. The Ocean Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) Meeting, discussed various initiatives on combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) and marine debris reduction, including Thailand’s proposal on sharing of knowledge and experience on small-scale fisheries data management for sustainable development and a technical workshop on marine debris to help drive the OFWG’s agenda this year. The Experts’ Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT) Meeting discussed impact of COVID-19 on illegal logging and mitigating measures, and promoting legal timber trades through innovations. Thailand briefed the EGILAT on the preparation of the 5th APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry, to be hosted by Thailand in August this year to put forward the important agenda on sustainable forestry such as legal timber trade facilitation and sustainable forest resources management using innovation, based on the BCG model.


          The Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS), under the chairmanship of Thailand, also discussed the development of the APEC Food Security Roadmap Towards 2030 implementation plan and food security declaration which will be an outcome of the Ministerial Meeting on Food Security in August. The Ministerial Meeting will put an emphasis on integrating the BCG concepts and the 3S (Security, Safety, Sustainability) approach in APEC’s work on enhancing food security in the region.


          Promoting balanced, inclusive and sustainable development is one of Thailand’s key priorities as host of APEC2022. Throughout this year, Thailand will focus our efforts to chart the region towards post-COVID-19 economic recovery by embracing the principles of the BCG model to achieve a balance between economic and environmental objectives. The working group meetings during SOM1 are part of an important first step towards achieving the key deliverables, which are to be endorsed by APEC leaders in November this year.