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FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO and Civil Society Organizations consult on priority activities in NENA region

The consultation is in preparation of the 34th session of the FAO Regional Conference for the Near East

CSOs help FAO members in decision-making regarding regional priorities and action plans for food and agriculture. ©FAO/Ami Vitale

19 February 2018, Beirut, Lebanon – In preparation for the 34th session of the Regional Conference for the Near East (NERC 34), the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) participated in a Consultation meeting with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that is being held in Beirut, Lebanon from 19 to 21 February 2018.

The consultation, self-organized by CSOs’ representatives from the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region, is attended by representatives from FAO Regional Office for the NENA and FAO Representative in Lebanon.

Discussions of the consultation focus on FAO regional priorities and the CSOs’ input in relation to the topics in the agenda of the regional conference. The consultation aims at selecting a number of CSO spokespersons to participate in NERC’s senior officers and ministerial segments in order to benefit from their analysis of the region’s challenges linked to FAO’s strategic objectives.

FAO Representative in Lebanon, Maurice Saade, stressed during his participation, that FAO recognizes the critical role played by CSOs in the fight against hunger given their technical expertise, their proximity to and representation of the hungry and underprivileged, and their increasing presence in the field. 

“We must work at the national and regional levels, profit from the experience and expertise of CSOs and NGOs, and gain their input from the beginning in the development of policies and activity programmes,” Saade said.

Speaking at the consultation, Kayan Jaff, FAO Senior Policy Officer for NENA highlighted that in pervious conferences, CSOs have been found to enrich the debate for FAO members decision-making regarding regional priorities and action plans.

“FAO highly recommends that CSO spokespersons that are elected ensure a variety of representatives of farmers, indigenous peoples, fishers, women, youth, consumers, pastoralists/herders, forest dwellers, agricultural workers, and NGOs,” Jaff added.

NERC34 will be held from 23 to 27 April 2018. It will discuss  a variety of topics of high importance to the region, including climate change in semi-arid areas for sustainable agricultural development, youth employment and migration, and transboundary plant, animal and fish diseases.


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