On 16 October 2021, the Director General of IOFS, H.E. Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet attended the World Food Day celebration at EXPO 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), organized by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, EXPO 2020 Dubai and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO).
This site-wide celebration brought together various of stakeholders represented at EXPO 2020 and visitors to call for global solidarity in rethinking and reshaping food security and food systems in ways that ensure healthy lives and sustain people and the planet. The event’s theme has been “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and composed of three sessions: “Specialist closed door event”, “Public facing flagship event” and “Youth circle”.
The Director General delivered a speech at the plenary session by highlighting the importance of institutionalizing the Inter-Regional Platform of South-South Cooperation within the OIC region and the role of IOFS in facilitating on constant collaboration and transfer of experience among member states, as well as the exchange of best global practices and respective innovations in the domain of sustainable food security and agricultural development. In particular, it has been shared with the event participants about the IOFS’s experience on the successful organization in coordination with the OIC General Secretariat and United Nations Food Systems Summit (UN FSS), the International Conference titled “Best Practices for Building Sustainable Food Systems in the OIC Region” on 14 July 2021, under the framework of UN World Food Systems Summit 2021 as an Inter-Regional Dialogue of the South-South cooperation (https://summitdialogues.org/dialogue/30445/).
In the margins of the World Food Day, the Director General also has working meeting with Dr. Agnes Kalibata, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit, H.E. Mr. Aly Abousabaa, Director General of International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, H.E. Mr. Abdul Hakim Elwaer, Assistant Director General UN FAO and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa, H.E. Mrs. Gerda Verburg, Coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement and UN Assistant Secretary-General and Dr. Tarifa Al Zaabi, Acting Director of International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA).
In the same day, the Director General of IOFS conducted the bilateral meeting with H.E. Mrs. Mariam Almheiri, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment & Minister of State for Food and Water Security of United Arab Emirates. Both sides discussed the aspects of implementation of Memorandum of Understanding between IOFS and UAE Government concluded in June 2021, particularly the involvement of UAE experts in regional workshops in Food Security Governance planned for 2022, joint work in establishing OIC Food Security Index and organization of Food Security Education Forum in May 2022.
Also, considering the recent appointment of H.E. Mrs Mariam Almheiri as the UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, both parties explored new opportunities of partnership and agreed to extend the cooperation in the fields of food safety, conservation and use of plant and animal genetic resources, water management in agriculture and the use of technology and innovations in agriculture. In addition, the Director General presented the IOFS Livestock Ecosystem by putting the emphasis on the systemic implementation of IOFS programs with the Concept “From Gene to Fork” modality and strengthening the livestock sector across OIC countries.
In the following day, the visit will be continued with meetings in Abu Dhabi.