San Jose, 31 August 2021 (IICA). Agnes Kalibata, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the Food Systems Summit, will participate on 1 September in the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas, in which the ministers of 33 countries will discuss the Hemisphere’s consensus ahead of the upcoming global forum, the emergence of new pests and diseases that threaten agricultural trade, and the sector’s strategic role in post-Covid-19 economic recovery.
This will be the second contact in just a few short weeks between the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the Food Systems Summit and the ministers of Agriculture of the Americas, who met with the top official last month in Rome on the occasion of the Food Systems Pre-Summit.
At the first encounter, the ministers and Special Envoy discussed the future of agri-food systems and the development of the global forum scheduled to take place on 23 September in New York. Kalibata is a renowned scientist and former Minister of Agriculture of Rwanda.
Her participation in the Conference of Ministers, this year titled “Sustainable Agri-Food Systems: The engine of development in the Americas”, will take place following the opening ceremony, which will be attended by the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado.
In the framework of the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas, the Inter-American Board of Agriculture, the highest governing body of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), will also hold its regular meeting.
It is expected that during her presentation to the ministers of Agriculture of the Americas, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy will report on the course of the Food Systems Summit, for which the countries of the Americas—mobilized with the support of IICA—reached a common position.
Moreover, during the Conference, Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA, will report to the ministers on his term as director of the hemispheric organization specialized in rural and agricultural development and will refer to the new challenges facing the sector and the tools made available by technical cooperation to tackle them.
According to the program shared by IICA on the Ministerial Conference’s website, the top-ranking officials will also discuss the situation surrounding the detection of African swine fever (ASF) in the Americas, which was recently detected by the Dominican Republic.
The environmental, social and economic challenges facing food systems in the Americas will also be a topic of discussion.
The Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas 2021 and the Twenty-First Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA) will take place over two days (1-2 September) and will be held virtually due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Institutional Communication Division.