Upon instructions of His Excellency Dr. Masoud Al-Marri, the Caretaker Director General of the Islamic Organization of Food Security (IOFS), an IOFS delegation (Mr. Abdula Manafi Mutualo, Advisor at the Coordination & Cooperation Department, and Mr. Emre Yuksek, Humanitarian Affairs Manager) headed to Ankara, Republic of Türkiye to attend the 21st Meeting of the COMCEC Agriculture Working Group, to be on 12-13 October 2023.
Before the start of the COMCEC event, the IOFS delegation, on 11 October 2023, visited the headquarters of relevant partners, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Türkiye, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC).
At the Ministry, the delegation was received by Ms. Özge İmamoğlu, Head of Department of International Organizations, to which a brief on the recently held 6th IOFS General Assembly (03 October 2023, Doha, State of Qatar), was provided, highlighting the change of guard in the IOFS Secretariat’s leadership, the Strategy on Ensuring Food Security in Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and establishment of Association of Agricultural Academies (AAA). The Delegation while appreciating the unwavering support Türkiye provides to the IOFS, it requests that such support be materialized with further engagements, for instance, through closer involvement of different Research Centers active in the field of food security and agricultural development, particularly in the AAA establishment process. The host took note of the proposals with the understanding that those needed to be studied by relevant Departments at the Ministry before a decision would be made.
The host at TIKA was Uğur Tanyeli, Head of External Affairs & Partnerships Department, with whom discussions centered on how to advance bilateral cooperation, particularly in relation to potential joint projects within the frameworks of Afghanistan Food Security Program (AFSP) and Africa Food Security Initiative (AFSI).
Finally, at SESRIC, the hybrid meeting (some IOFS Staff followed online from Astana) was chaired with its Assistant Director General, Mr. Fadi Abdullah Farasin, with participation of relevant Departments to explore best modalities to implement the Joint Action Plan signed last May, as well as to review joint mandates issued by the 9th Ministerial Conference on Food Security & Agricultural Development, held on 01-02 October 2023 in Doha, State of Qatar. The OIC two sister-Institutions agreed on a working framework that would allow more bilateral engagements on matters of mutual interest, particularly the consolidation of Strategy on Ensuring Food Security in OIC Member States to which the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is an active partner.
It should be mentioned that all hosts were unanimous in recognizing the important work undertaken by the previous IOFS Director General, Prof. Yerlan Baidaulet, and they all wholeheartedly welcomed the new Director General, His Excellency Ambassador Askar Mussinov, and extended their best wishes for his continued success in his noble mission.