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North South Ministerial Council Agriculture Sectoral Format Joint Communiqué

1. The twelfth North South Ministerial Council meeting in Agriculture sectoral format was held in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Dublin on 18 November 2009. The meeting was attended by Brendan Smith, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Michelle Gildernew, MP, MLA, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Robin Newton, MLA, Junior Minister, Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister. Minister Smith chaired the meeting. 


2. Ministers noted the on-going progress on the delivery of the draft All-Island Animal Health and Welfare Strategy and that work is in hand to finalise arrangements for a cross-border stakeholder consultation event in the early part of 2010. They noted the revised Working Group arrangements and looked forward to receiving a further progress report at the next NSMC meeting in the Agriculture sector format.


3. Ministers welcomed a presentation by the Plant Health and Pesticides Steering Group of its comprehensive report on a joint strategic approach to plant health and pesticides. They noted that the report has identified a significant number of areas of mutual interest that would benefit from an agreed framework for co-ordination and delivery. They agreed that, without prejudice to the need for final approval, that the Steering Group should develop a work programme for consideration at a future NSMC meeting in Agriculture sectoral format.


4. Ministers noted developments on implementation of the CAP Health Check Agreement, the future of the CAP and WTO, the challenges facing the agriculture sector, in particular in relation to greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and the current situation of the dairy industry. They  requested officials to remain in close contact on these issues and report developments to a future NSMC meeting in Agriculture sectoral format.


5. The Council agreed that its next meeting in Agriculture sectoral format would take place in Spring 2010.

Joint Secretariat
18 November 2009

Minister Smith At North South Ministerial Council

Date Released: 18 November 2009