On 23 March 2022, the Delegation of the Islamic Organization of Food Security (IOFS), led by His Excellency Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet, its Director General, witnessed the Closing Ceremony of the 48th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Islamabad, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which adopted all draft resolutions, including the one on IOFS activities and programmes for the upcoming year, as well as the holding of the 49th CFM in the Republic of Mauritania in 2023.
The 48th CFM however initiated with the proceedings of the Ministerial Brainstorming Session on “Role of Islamic World in Fostering Peace, Justice & Harmony” in which Member States conveyed their observations and recommendations on how the OIC needed to act to ensure the Muslim world would be united on that front. The Meeting also listened to the Report by Ambassador Tarig Bakheet, OIC Special Envoy on Afghanistan, on implementation of Resolution adopted by the 17th Extraordinary CFM on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan, held at the same venue on 18-19 December 2021, where he also highlighted the important role being played by the IOFS in relation to “Afghanistan Food Security Programme” (AFSP).
The IOFS Director General had the opportunity to address the CFM Plenary to highlight relevant programmes the Organization is implementing within its Strategic Framework, as well as the steps so far taken in materializing the mandate entrusted to IOFS in establishing the AFSP in line with the Resolution of the aforesaid Extraordinary CFM.
Additionally, the Director General continued holding several bilateral meetings with IOFS Member States, including with H.E. Mr. Geoffrey Jideofor Kwusike Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a country with which several initiatives are on pipeline for being jointly implemented, including the establishment of Center of Excellency for Cassava therein. Another meeting was with H.E. Dr.Morissanda Kouyaté, Guinean Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Guineans Abroad, with whom he agreed that he would lead an IOFS Team to officially visit Conakry to have an inter-ministerial meeting with Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Fisheries and Fish Farming, and Ministry of Energy and Water so as to agree on a number of projects to be implemented in the country that witnessed the IOFS birth on 11 December 2013. Finally, he met with the Head of Delegation of the Republic of Cameroon, H.E. Ambassador Iya Tidjani, Permanent Representant of Cameroon to OIC, with whom a number of ideas on how to strengthen bilateral cooperation were discussed. It is to be noted that with all of them it was discussed the idea of convening an appropriate program/activity within the framework of celebrating 2022 as “IOFS Year of Africa”.
Other meetings of Director General included with H.E. Mr. Elnur Israfil Mammadov, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and H.E. Dato’ Kamarudin Bin Jaffar, Deputy Foreign Minister of Malaysia, with whom notes were exchanged of their respective countries to consider joining the IOFS membership and define agriculture and food security-related areas of common interest.
During the work of the Closing Session, the IOFS Director General has conducted also short discussion on related important points with OIC Assistants of Secretary General Dr. Ahmad Kawesa Sengendo, Ambassador Askar Mussinov and Ambassador Tarig Bakheet.
A special consultation meeting was held with the participating delegation from Afghanistan, led by Mr. Ghuncha Gul Arman, United Nations & International Conference Department at their Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with whom the IOFS Director General assured of the Organization’s commitment in supporting the country in the difficult humanitarian they are facing, and agreed, in principle, that an official visit is to take place in mid-April next for furthering consultations for appropriate project implementation within the framework of the aforementioned AFSP.
It should be mentioned here that throughout the proceedings of the 48th CFM and other related functions, the IOFS Director General was assisted by Mr. Nursalim Suleimenov, Director of Cabinet, and Mr. Abdula Manafi Mutualo, Senior Liaison Officer.