The SEAMEO BIOTROP Special Governing Board Meeting was convened by a hybrid mechanism at the SEAMEO BIOTROP headquarters in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia on Monday, 31st July 2023. The meeting saw the active participation of esteemed dignitaries and representatives from various Southeast Asian countries, who gathered virtually to address critical matters affecting the future of the Center. This special governing board meeting was held in response to the new Ministrial Decree of Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology on the host and home-based institutions of SEAMEO Centres in Indonesia.
Among the distinguished attendees were the SEAMEO Secretariat Director and Deputy Director for Program and Development, and representatives from the Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia.
Eight Governing Board members from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam also participated via the Zoom platform. Meanwhile, the Governing Board from Indonesia, the Chairperson, SEAMEO BIOTROP Board of Directors, and staff members attended the meeting in person at SEAMEO BIOTROP, Bogor, West Java, Indonesia.
The opening ceremony witnessed thought-provoking remarks from key figures. SEAMEO BIOTROP Director emphasized the need for dedicated collaboration among all stakeholders during the Center's transition period in response to the recent Ministerial Decree on SEAMEO Center Indonesia. He outlined the imperative to amend the Enabling Instrument of SEAMEO BIOTROP and align it with the new Ministerial Decree and operational guidelines issued by the General Secretary.
Dr. Habibah Abdul Rahim, the Director of SEAMEO Secretariat, welcomed the Special Governing Board Meeting, praising SEAMEO BIOTROP for promptly organizing the event in response to regulation changes in Indonesia. This meeting, a follow-up to the 60th GBM resolution, focused on amendments to the Centre's Enabling Instrument and appointments of directors and deputies.
Professor Arif Satria, Governing Board Member from Indonesia and Chairperson of the Centre's Governing Board, commended Bogor as the perfect headquarters for SEAMEO BIOTROP. He acknowledged Bogor's status as a scientific hub in agriculture, attributing much of the Center's growth and success to this strategic location. He further emphasized the strong collaboration between SEAMEO BIOTROP and IPB University, fostering mutual benefits.
Several important Working Papers were submitted during the meeting, leading to crucial decisions by the Board:
- The establishment of the Secretariat for SEAMEO BIOTROP Governing Board was approved, with the appointment of a SEAMEO BIOTROP staff member as the Secretary of the Board Secretariat.
- Proposed amendments to the Centre's Enabling Instrument were approved, incorporating the new Ministerial Decree and relevant documents. The final amended Enabling Instrument will undergo a referendum for approval by the Board.
- The proposed mechanism for the appointment of the SEAMEO BIOTROP was approved.
- Similar to the Director's appointment, the proposed mechanism for the appointment of the SEAMEO BIOTROP Deputy Director for Administration was approved.
- Additionally, the proposed mechanism for the appointment of the SEAMEO BIOTROP Deputy Director for Program for the period 2024—2026 received approval.
- The Board also decided to hold the 61st SEAMEO BIOTROP Governing Board Meeting from 5-8 October 2023 in Penang, Malaysia, pending fund availability.
Expressing gratitude for the successful meeting, the Governing Board Chair officially adjourned the session, acknowledging the dedication of all stakeholders and the successful conclusion of the agenda items.