28 February 2014
FAO Regional Conference for the Near East
Your Excellency Izzeddin Abdullah Aldola, Minister for Agriculture of Iraq, Chairperson of the 32nd Session of the Regional Conference for the Near East
Mr Yousef Jhail, Permanent Representative of Kuwait, Chairperson of the Near East Group,
Distinguished Ambassadors, Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This has been a busy and productive week.
You have reviewed the state of food insecurity and the major challenges that the Near East and North Africa region faces – from water scarcity to the blue economy potential.
You have confirmed your support to the transformational changes implemented in FAO, including decentralization and the merging of emergency and development programs.
You have endorsed the FAO priorities of work for the region. And have noted how they are aligned to our global Revised Strategic Framework and respond to the needs identified at the national and regional levels.
You have supported the three regional initiatives presented.
You have noted the challenge to adequately finance our work in the region.
We will increase our resource mobilization efforts as you have requested. And we also welcome your willingness to support these efforts.
As we discussed in our side event yesterday on Yemen, in today’s globalized world, we cannot have food security in one country alone. And a country is not secure if it is not food secure.
We need to work together. That commitment, from all of us, is there. And that is the foundation we need to build a food-secure world.
You have given us very clear recommendations and guidance. And now it is up to your Secretariat to act upon them. As I said yesterday, we are now completely focused on in delivering the approved program of work.
We are taking the first steps of an important process. And I count on your continued support on the road ahead.
We will continue to work hard to consolidate the transformation in FAO and to meet the goals we have set.
We will continue to work with you to ensure that food security and sustainable development are a reality for every country and every citizen in the Near East and North Africa.
I look forward to seeing you again in October for our Third Ministerial Meeting on International Food Prices. And also at the International Conference on Nutrition, that will take in November. Inshallah.
I wish you a safe trip home.
Thank you for your attention.