This year, the United States is the host for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). APEC is a non-binding, consensus-based forum of 21 member economies promoting impactful discourse and coalition-building towards free and open trade, economic and technical cooperation, and sustainable growth in the region. The APEC region currently accounts for roughly 60 percent of global GDP, 71 percent of U.S. agricultural exports, and 62 percent of U.S. agricultural imports. The United States last hosted APEC in 2011. That year, Secretary Vilsack presided over the APEC Food Security Ministerial where a new APEC sub-forum for engaging the public and private sectors to address food security, the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS), was created and endorsed under his guidance.
The primary work focuses on three Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOMs), the first two which took place in Palm Springs, CA and Detroit, MI, and the third taking place in Seattle, WA. The APEC 2023 theme this year is “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All,” and the agriculture sub-theme is “Together Achieving Sustainable, Equitable, and Resilient Agri-food Systems.”
In SOM3, APEC delegates will attend workshops, policy dialogues, field trips, and official APEC meetings on topics including climate change, food security, agricultural biotechnology, sustainable productivity growth, food loss and waste, water security, biodiversity, illegal logging, public-private partnerships, and more. These activities fall under various including sub-fora including Policy Partnerships for Food Security, Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group, the High-Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology, Expert Group on Illegal Logging and Trade, and the Ocean Fisheries Working Group. PPFS plans on developing a “field guide” comprised of the information shared in its workshops; topics including greenhouse gas emissions, water and food security, and more.
Secretary Vilsack will again chair the Food Security Ministerial in SOM 3 and Under-Secretary Taylor will lead the U.S. Delegation. Secretary Vilsack will also be moderating a "Crucial Conversation" between the public and private sector on advancing sustainable approaches to food security.