The Fifty-second Meeting of the Council of SEAFDEC, hosted by the Government of Japan and originally scheduled to be convened in Fukuoka, Japan in April 2020, had been postponed due to the current crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, the urgency of some agenda items for this Meeting necessitated the SEAFDEC Council’s immediate consideration and approval to enable SEAFDEC to proceed with the corresponding activities in 2020. The SEAFDEC Secretariat therefore facilitated the conduct of the Teleconference Session of the 52nd Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council on 19 May 2020.
In attendance at the Teleconference Session were the Council Directors and delegations from the SEAFDEC Member Countries, namely: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam, as well as officials of the SEAFDEC Secretariat and Departments. The Session unanimously elected the Council Director for Japan, Mr. Shingo Ota as the Chairperson of the SEAFDEC Council for the Year 2020-2021, succeeding, Mr. Nilanto Perbowo, SEAFDEC Council Director for Indonesia who served as the Chairperson of the SEAFDEC Council for the Year 2019-2020.
After taking note of the progress and achievements of SEAFDEC in 2019, the Council also approved the proposed program of activities to be undertaken by SEAFDEC in 2020. The Council also endorsed the latest version of the 5th Draft of Resolution and Plan of Action on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security for the ASEAN Region Towards 2030 for submission to the ASEAN mechanism.
While the Teleconference Session initially focused on the agenda items that require urgent consideration of the Council, there are still remaining agenda items for the 52nd Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council that would need ad referendum directives from the SEAFDEC Council. In this regard, the SEAFDEC Secretariat would communicate with the Council to obtain their views and consideration on such agenda items. Moreover, the Meeting also agreed that SEAFDEC would organize another Teleconference Session for the Special Meeting of SEAFDEC Council at a later date, for the SEAFDEC Secretary-General and Head Delegates from the SEAFDEC Member Countries to discuss the future direction of SEAFDEC and other priority emerging issues that might arise.
At the closing of the Fifty-second Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council, the Council extended the appreciation to the Chairperson for the excellent management of the Teleconference Session of the 52nd SEAFDEC Council Meeting. The Council then announced that the Fifty-third Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council in 2021 would be hosted by the Government of Laos People’s Democratic Republic.