Hosted by the SEAFDEC/TD, the 37th Meeting of the Program Committee of SEAFDEC was organized on 1-3 December 2014 in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand to review the progress and achievements of implementation of SEAFDEC projects in 2014 and those proposed for 2015. It was noted that the results from the review of the progress and achievements of the projects in 2014 and recommendations on the proposed programs for 2015 would be submitted for consideration and endorsement by the higher authorities of the ASEAN and SEAFDEC. More specifically, results of the program scrutiny and the recommendations were submitted to the 17th Meeting of the Fisheries Consultative Group (FCG) of the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Strategic Partnership Meeting convened immediately after the Program Committee Meeting.
The Program Committee also discussed the Draft Master Plan for SEAFDEC Strategic Plan of Operation for 2015 to 2020 which was a major output of the consultations organized by SEAFDEC to ensure that the requirements and priorities of Member Countries are considered in the respective programs and activities of the Departments, as well as for the better management of SEAFDEC. This Master Plan emanated from the discussions made by SEAFDEC with the Member Countries as means of identifying their requirements and priorities, which in turn had been used by SEAFDEC as basis for program formulation and in making adjustments of its programs and activities to ensure efficient and effective management of the Center. It was noted that the Master Plan would be used as basis for the subsequent formulation and/or revision of the Departments’ Plans of Operation and Programs of Work as required by the SEAFDEC Council of Directors. Another important issue raised during the Program Committee was on Monitoring and Evaluation of SEAFDEC Programs for 2015 and onwards, as required also by the SEAFDEC Council. Results of the discussions together with the recommendations of the Program Committee would be submitted for consideration of the SEAFDEC Council during its forthcoming 47th Meeting in 2015.
Immediately after the 37th Meeting of the Program Committee, SEAFDEC convened the 17th Meeting of the Fisheries Consultative Group of the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Strategic Partnership (FCG/ASSP) on 4-5 December 2014 also in Ubon Ratchathani. Co-chaired by the representative from Malaysia on behalf of the current Chairperson of ASWGFi and the Secretary-General of SEAFDEC, the Meeting discussed the follow-up actions undertaken by SEAFDEC to the directives given at the 46th Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council and also those of the meetings of ASEAN bodies related to fisheries. The Meeting highlighted on the need for enhanced collective efforts of the ASEAN Member States in addressing issues at international fora so that the region’s unified voices could be heard by the global community in various relevant fora. The results and recommendations of the 17th FCG/ASSP Meeting as well as progress in the development of several fisheries policy-related documents would be further submitted to the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries (ASWGFi) for endorsement to the subsequent meetings of the ASEAN on fisheries as appropriate. Nevertheless, the Meeting reiterated its request for the ASEAN Secretariat to be present at the future meetings of the FCG/ASSP to ensure that important fisheries issues discussed during these meetings could be appropriately addressed through the ASEAN mechanism.