FAO Liaison Office in New York

 

World Pulses Day is observed every year on 10 February.

In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) under resolution A/RES/68/231 declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP). Thanks to the efforts of Burkina Faso, who proposed the observance, the UN (A/RES/73/251) designated 10 February of every year as World Pulses Day. This reaffirms the contribution of pulses for sustainable agriculture and achieving the 2030 Agenda. FAO facilitates the observance of this Day in collaboration with Governments, relevant organizations, non-governmental organizations and all other relevant stakeholders.

Why pulses?

Pulses are rich in nutritional value, an important part of a healthy diet, and a good source of protein and micronutrients. Pulses, and legumes in general, play an equally important role in soil health maintenance and improvement.  

Pulses are more than just nutritious seeds – they also contribute to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development. They play a critical role in addressing challenges of poverty, food security, soil health and climate change. These species provide many opportunities for improving the sustainability of agricultural production systems.

The virtual event 

The World Pulses Day celebration in New York will be an opportunity to raise awareness and recognize the contribution of pulses to sustainable food systems and healthy diets. The event will take place virtually on 10 February 2021, 1.00 to 2.30 p.m. (EST).

Register | Agenda |Webstory | Photogallery | Recording 

Speakers' bios

Welcome remarks

 

 

Beth Bechdol, FAO Deputy Director-General

Beth Bechdol, FAO Deputy Director-General

Beth Bechdol is Deputy Director-General at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In this role, she continues her service to food and agriculture – now on a global scale. Ms Bechdol is responsible for FAO’s Partnership and Outreach work, including Partnerships and UN Collaboration, Resource Mobilization and Private Sector Partnerships, South-South and Triangular Cooperation. She also leads programmes in the area of Plant Production and Protection and oversees FAO’s main technical advisory committee on agriculture, the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) as well as the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat.

Before joining FAO, Ms Bechdol was President and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana, the Midwestern state’s economic development initiative focused on advancing the agbioscience sector and developing 21st century talent. Prior to her leadership of AgriNovus, Ms Bechdol was Director of agribusiness strategies at Indianapolis-based law firm Ice Miller LLP where she helped build the firm’s dedicated legal practice to food and agribusiness clients. She also was the former Deputy Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

Ms Bechdol’s dedication to public service in agriculture and her extensive trade and farm policy experience started in Washington, D.C. where she served in key roles as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and as Economist on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

She began her career in the Washington office of Informa Economics. As the first female Vice President in the firm, she assisted clients in understanding critical food and agriculture issues such as global trade negotiations, federal farm policy, technology advancements, farm structure, risk management tools, among other major trends. She also provided market information expertise to several international development projects in Egypt, the Republic of North Macedonia and Ukraine.

Read her complete bio here.

Statements

 

 

H.E. Munir Akram, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council and Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations

H.E. Munir Akram, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council and Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations

His Excellency Munir Akram was elected seventy-sixth President of the Economic and Social Council on 23 July 2020. Ambassador Akram is currently the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York. Ambassador Akram assumed his position as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, on November 1, 2019.

Ambassador Munir Akram previously served as Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York for six years between 2002 and 2008, after serving as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva for seven years from 1995 to 2002.

Between 1988 and 1992, Munir Akram was Pakistan’s Ambassador to the European Council, Belgium and Luxemburg.

During his term at the United Nations, Ambassador Munir Akram served twice as President of the Security Council in May 2003 and in May 2004; President of the Economic and Social Council in 2005; Chairman of the Group of 77 and China (developing countries) in 2007, and Facilitator on UN Administrative Reform in 2006.

In recognition of his selfless service and outstanding performance in the field of diplomacy and foreign policy, he was conferred the Award of Hilal-i-Quaid-e-Azam by the President of Pakistan.

 

 

H.E. Eric Y. Tiare, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Burkina Faso to the United Nations

H.E. Eric Y. Tiare, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Burkina Faso to the United Nations

Ambassador Tiaré is a senior career Burkinabe diplomat with extensive multilateral experience. Since joining the Ministry of foreign affairs in 1988, he has represented Burkina Faso’s interests in various capacities, promoting friendly ties across the globe.

Prior to his appointment, he was Burkina Faso’s Ambassador to France, Spain, Monaco, Portugal and the Holy See since 2013. Concurrently, he served as Ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Personal Representative to the President of Burkina Faso to the International Organisation of La Francophonie since 2013.

Ambassador Tiaré held several posts at Burkina Faso’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, including as its Secretary-General from 2011 to 2013, and Director-General for Legal and Consular Affairs from 2008 to 2011. He also served as Minister Counsellor in Burkina Faso’s Embassy in South Africa from 2007 to 2008, and its Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire from 2003 to 2007.

Ambassador Tiaré was a sessional instructor in Development International Law at the National School of Administration and Magistracy in Ouagadougou from 2001 to 2003, and in Public Relations at the Université Libre du Burkina from 2002 to 2003. He holds a Master of Arts in Public Administration, with a concentration in international management, and a postgraduate degree in international administration from the University of Quebec.

Ambassador Tiaré is married with three children.

 

 

H.E. Carolyn Rodrigues Birkett, Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations

H.E. Carolyn Rodrigues Birkett, Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations

Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett has amassed over 20 years of experience in the public sector working with some of the most vulnerable communities in Guyana, and in the international arena. From 1995 to 2001, she managed a programme for Indigenous communities with the Social Impact Amelioration Programme (SIMAP), of the Government of Guyana. In April 2001, Ms. Rodrigues-Birkett, was appointed as Minister of Amerindian (Indigenous Peoples) Affairs, a position she held from 2001 to 2008. From 2008-2015 (May) she served as Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. She also served as Member of Parliament from 2008-2015. In September 2015, Ms. Rodrigues-Birkett joined the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, ending her stint with the organization as the Director of the FAO Liaison Office in Geneva. In October 2020, President Irfaan Ali appointed her as Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations.

 

 

H.E. Perks Master Clemency Ligoya, Permanent Representative of Malawi to the United Nations

H.E. Perks Master Clemency Ligoya, Permanent Representative of Malawi to the United Nations

Dr. Perks M. Ligoya is a macroeconomist holding four university degrees, including a doctorate degree in Economic Policy Management obtained from CERDI, Clermont Ferrand, France, in 1998. He is fluent in both English and French. He was Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, (September 2009 to April 2012). He served as Senior Economist at the International Monetary Fund. He served as Malawi’s High Commissioner to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya and also accredited to Uganda, Central Africa Republic and Somalia. At the UN Office in Nairobi, Kenya he was the Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and to UN-Habitat. Under a World Bank funded project (Financial Management and Transparency Project (FIMTAP) he was hired as a consultant to serve as Director of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance and Treasury Economic Advisor to the Minister of Finance. In 2001 he was a visiting lecturer at Yokohama State University, Japan, where he gave summer lectures in macroeconomic modelling. He was one of the founding members and President of the Economics Association of Malawi. After a stint serving as Chairman of the Board for the Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (MEDEF), he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM) from April 2017. He was appointed by the State President of the Republic of Malawi to serve as the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malawi to the United Nations with effect from 1st April 2018. He arrived in New York on 11th August 2018 to take up that position. Currently, he is Chairman of the Coordination Bureau of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Panel

 

 

Jean-Philippe Azoulay, Head of Pea & New Proteins Business Line for Roquette

Jean-Philippe Azoulay, Head of Pea & New Proteins Business Line for Roquette

Jean-Philippe Azoulay is the Head of Roquette’s Pea and New Proteins Business Line. He has vast international experience of leading different businesses in various sectors, including plant health and food ingredients.

Most recently he was the Managing Director of the ECPA (European Crop Protection Association). A Mechanical Engineer by training, with an MBA obtained in 1988, he spent 26 years working for DuPont in various senior roles, latterly as the Global Director of DuPont’s Nutrition business. His work has required him to lead regional and global business teams in both Europe and North America.

Having lived in numerous countries around the world, Jean-Philippe has a global view of the challenges facing the future of food and agriculture and is passionate about the role private industry can play in providing innovative solutions to society’s biggest challenges

 

 

Chef Ron Pickarski, President Eco-Cuisine, Inc.

Chef Ron Pickarski, President Eco-Cuisine, Inc.

Chef Pickarski is 45 years a professional chef and 42 years a plant-based vegetarian chef specializing in plant based proteins. He founded Eco-Cuisine in 1992 as the first vegetarian foodservice company in the US. The company develops plant-based protein dry mixes designed to utilize and elevate beans to entrée status and he won numerous medals (Gold, Silver, and bronze at the International Culinary Olympics for his plant based vegetarian cuisine. He was chosen by the UN FAO as the 2016 International Year of the Pulse Chef for North America, and wrote a vegetarian cookbook “The Classical Vegetarian Cookbook for Professional Chefs and Inspired Cooks” using beans in numerous recipes as entrees. The Colorado Dry Bean Council has and continues to support the Plant-Based Non-Profit American Natural Foods, founded by Ron, and Eco-Cuisine’s work to promote beans in the professional culinary arena as the perfect Protein for human consumption. In 2019 Chef Ron created and executed the first ever Professional Vegan Pulse competition in Denver Colorado. The Colorado Dry Bean Council, ANF, and Eco-Cuisine were the major sponsors of the competition in which Gold, Silver, Bronze Medals, and certificates of participation. This will be an annual competition. In March of 2021 I will begin teaching as an adjunct instructor at the Vegan Fusion Culinary Academy in Boulder, Colorado teaching the culinary integration of Pulses into center plate entrees. With science validating nutrition and sustainability culinary innovation is the final act to inspire consumer acceptance.

 

 

Chef Femi Rodney Frazer, Collective Fare

Chef Femi Rodney Frazer, Collective Fare

Executive Chef and COO of Collective Fare, Femi Rodney Frazer has over 27 years of experience in the culinary industry as an entrepreneur, consultant, culinary instructor, and restaurateur. In 2003, with an entrepreneurial drive and mission to create better opportunities for his community, Rodney established Montego Bay Restaurant and The Vine Catering Company. Along with local farmers and other chefs such as Jay Pierce of Rock Salt, he developed a sustainable practice with “farm-to-table” concepts. Chef Femi and his partner LaToya combined talents in 2010 when they partnered with the Melting Pot Foundation to build the Brownsville Community Culinary Center. Through this initiative, they wrote a 10-week intensive culinary training program which would be implemented into the 40-week workforce development program at The BCCC geared towards rehabilitating previously incarcerated individuals. During its 3-year run Chef Rodney taught over 150 students that passed through the doors as well as ran the Catering Program which was implemented by Chef Femi Rodney and his team provided additional training and offsite service experience for the participants. A few months after establishing their independent culinary education and catering business, Collective Fare, the impending COVID19 Crisis catapulted them into challenging another important cause: food access. Collective Fare developed a scalable initiative - MEALS FOR ALL BK, to stay ahead of the crisis from a "meals perspective." To date, they have served over 500,000 fresh healthy meals and distributed over 30,000 lbs of fresh produce and shelf stable food items to help close the food gap in Brownsville, BKLYN. LaToya and Chef Femi strive to continue this initiative in addition to relaunching their catering and education courses. They aspire to bring their Sierra Leone and Southern American backgrounds to transform food accessibility in our communities.

 

 

Chef Mokgadi Itsweng, South Africa

Chef Mokgadi Itsweng, South Africa

Mokgadi Itsweng has worked in the food industry for more than 17 years. A self-taught chef, she acquired further culinary training in New York City at Peter Kump cooking school and the New School in 2000, upon returning, she worked as a food works chef at Woolworth’s. In 2006 she opened Lotsha Kitchen and Cocktails. As the executive chef at Lotsha, Mokgadi introduced young South Africans to Pan-African cuisine; transforming simple African flavours into gourmet restaurant food. This saw her hosting for VIP’s like the South African first lady Zanele Mbeki and other South African personalities. She now serves as Creative Director and head chef for Lotsha Home foods with a focus on developing food products based on African recipes. Chef Mokgadi has been featured on TV and developed recipes for magazines (Oprah Magazine SA, Food & home, House & Garden). She has participated in food festivals (V&A waterfront winter food fair, Chinese festival, Olive festival & Decorex).

 

 

Angela Frigo, Secretary General, European Food Banks Federation

Angela Frigo, Secretary General, European Food Banks Federation

Since 2010 Angela Frigo has been working in the EU field dealing with food, agriculture, and social affairs. Angela Frigo currently works as Secretary General at European Food Banks Federation (FEBA), a European non-profit organization which works in collaboration with 24 Full Members and 5 Associate Members in European countries. Angela Frigo’s duties include managing the organization, promoting the core mission and the values of FEBA, providing a central point of contact for all stakeholders interested in FEBA, and supporting the development of opportunities for collaboration with international and European institutions and stakeholders. She represents FEBA at meetings of the FEAD (Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived) Network and EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, European Commission. She previously worked as EU and International Liaison Officer at Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus, and had a work experience at the European Parliament.

Closing

 

 

Robynne Anderson, President of Emerging Ag Inc.

Robynne Anderson, President of Emerging Ag Inc.

Robynne Anderson is an international expert in agricultural and food policies. Her engagement reaches throughout the value chain providing support in issues management and strategic development to a broad range of clients ranging from farmers to food processors, academic institutions to governments.

Robynne represents accredited organizations at the United Nations, bringing the voice of agriculture in multi-governmental processes. She distinguished herself in establishing the first Private Sector Mechanism representing agribusinesses at the UN Committee on World Food Security. Her engagement in multilateral fora broke new ground in bringing issues to prominence, such as the role of women in farming, the importance of post-harvest losses and food waste in food security, and the recruitment of youth to agriculture. She led the two-year long negotiations for obtaining the declaration by the UN General Assembly of the International Year of Pulses and then co-ordinated the activities for the year on behalf of the Global Pulse Confederation reaching over 1 billion people on social media. She also represented business in the negotiations that led to the Voluntary Guidelines on the Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests, as well as the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Security.

In the context of her work on outreach to international organizations, Robynne also founded the Farming First coalition in 2007 and her company serves as the Secretariat of the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN), and has coordinated the Farmers Major Group at the Rio+20 process and the Global Business Alliance 4 the Environment (GBA4E).

Moderator

 

 

Cindy Brown, Global Pulse Confederation

Cindy Brown, Global Pulse Confederation

Cindy Doane Brown is co-owner and President of Doane Farm Ltd. & Chippewa Valley Bean, a family-owned agribusiness that grows, processes and markets dark red, light red and white kidney beans. Cindy still lives on the farm her family homesteaded in 1858. Chippewa Valley Bean processes and markets the Doane family’s kidney beans in combination with kidney beans grown by over 100 family farmers in the U.S.A. Chippewa Valley Bean is known globally as the premier supplier of kidney beans, providing their customers with unparalleled quality, service, and food safety.

Cindy has served as a member of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Board for the state of Wisconsin, as President of the US Dry Bean Council and is a founding member of the American Pulse Association. In June 2019, Cindy was unanimously elected President of the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC). The GPC is the sole international confederation for the pulses industry, facilitating free and fair trade and increasing production and consumption of pulse crops worldwide. As President of GPC, Cindy leads an Executive Committee of over 30 international members, 600+ private sector members and 25 national associations.