Networking / Partnership
The Sixth General Council of UNAPCAEM Held in Bangkok, Thailand
The 6th General Council (6th GC) of the United Nations Asian and Pacific Centre for Agricultural Engineering and Machinery (UNAPCAEM) was held at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) in Bangkok, Thailand on February 10, 2011. Present in the meeting were council members coming from six member states of the Council (out of nine in total), namely China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, their companions, officials working with Program Management Office as well as Trade and Investment Office of ESCAP, along with personnel in charge of the UNAPCAEM headquarter. Authorized by the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), CAE Member Wang Maohua participated in the meeting as the Council Member on the China side, who went to Bangkok on February 9, and then met with leaders working with relevant departments of ESCAP, UNAPCEAM leaders as well as other participating Council Members representatives for information exchanges both prior to and after the General Council.
Mr. Ravi Ratnayake, Director of the Trade and Investment Office of Asia-Pacific Economic and Social Council (ESCAP) attended the meeting and gave welcoming remarks at the opening ceremony on behalf of the Secretary-General of ESCAP. In his speech, he first of all thanked all Member States for their consistent commitments and efforts made to achieve the development and growth of UNAPCAEM along the way, esp. the Thailand Government and the Thai Ministry of Agricultural Cooperation for their great efforts to sponsor this council. He also stressed on the great reliance of the Center on all Member States. Mr. Ravi Ratnayake also said that, under the conditions of limited natural resources, the consequences of the ever-increasing world population as well as climate change may well indicate the significance of agricultural engineering and machinery in the transformation of the pattern of agricultural production development and the promotion of agricultural productivity, which can also play a significant role in the promotion of South-South Cooperation, the improvement of agricultural science and technology innovation, technical cooperation as well as technical transfer, hence making important contributions for regional agriculture and rural development.
Placed on the agenda of the council were as follows: 1) To hear and examine the annual work report as well as the administrative and financial report of the Center for year 2010 presented by Mr.LeRoy Holenbeck, Chairman of UNAPCAEM, and Ms. Ai Yuxin, Senior Expert of the Center. 2) To hear the report on the 6th Session of Technical Committee TC (held in December 2010, Malaysia), discuss and review the draft strategic plan for UNAPCAEM for the coming five years. 3) To discuss and examine the UNAPCAEM working plan for year 2011, as well as the working planning outline for years 2012 to 2013, and matters related to campaigns aiming at raising funds 2011 through 2013. 4) To discuss and review the draft annual work report which ought to be submitted by UNAPCAEM to the 67th Annual Conference of ESCAP (2011). The 6th GC of UNAPCAEM has successfully covered all issues placed on the agenda and approved the UNAPCAEM annual work report for year 2010.
Due to Chinese government’s efforts at the beginning of this century, the originally Bangkok-based RNAM (Regional Network on Agricultural Machinery), which sits under UNESCAP, was moved to Beijing and changed name into UNAPCAEM (The United Nations Asian and Pacific Centre for Agricultural Engineering and Machinery) in November 2003. In accordance with the agreement reached by the United Nations and the Chinese Government about UNAPCAEM being set in Beijing, UNAPCAEM will serve the 62 full and alternate member states of ESCAP, as the very first formal China-based subsidiary organization of the United Nations.
UNAPCAEM has seen steady development in infrastructure and professional work since November 2003, thanks partially to the substantial support given by the Chinese government. The Center has held annual Technical Committee Meeting as well as General Council Meeting regularly, discussing and reviewing work progress in the past year and ideas for development for the coming year. A number of international forums have been organized by the Center as well. Commissioned by the State Council, CAE is responsible for contacting this international organization, which has made significant contributions over the time.
(By CAE Member Wang Maohua, Han Yuqin, May 2011; translated by Liu Chang)