FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Speakers and Panelists

Day 1, 30 August 2021

Opening and High Level Leaders Segment

Inaugural Session

QU Dongyu, Director-General of FAO

Qu Dongyu has been the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations since August 2019. Born in 1963, Qu studied horticultural science at Hunan Agricultural University and then plant breeding and genetics at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He earned his PhD at Wageningen University, in the Netherlands.

Qu had also served as China’s Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs as well as the Vice Governor of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

Qu has for 30 years been involved in international exchanges and orchestrated major events including the World Potato Congress, the International Rice Congress and the International Conference on Plant Protection, and participated in multilateral initiatives such as the World Trade Organization and the G20 as well as numerous bilateral initiatives involving Asia, Africa and Latin America. His motto is “Simple life, but not simple work”. He is married, and has one daughter.

H.E. Josaia V. Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji  

Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama is the twice democratically-elected Prime Minister of Fiji. Under his leadership, Fiji has undergone a broad program of social, economic, environmental, electoral, and constitutional reforms, which led up to the restoration of Parliamentary Democracy in 2014.

A lifelong seaman and former naval commander, Prime Minister Bainimarama served as President of COP23 and co-Chair of the first UN Conference on Oceans. Given the dual nature of the oceans and climate crises, he has remained a fierce advocate for global recognition of the oceans-climate nexus. He is also passionate about strengthening nutrition security in the face of a changing climate.

The Prime Minister assumed his position after a successful career as Commander of the Royal Fiji Military Forces. The Prime Minister was born in Suva and was educated at Marist Brothers High School. He is married to Maria Makitalena and they have six children and 19 grandchildren. He is a fan of rugby union, he is an avid reader of military history and he is dedicated to leaving the planet better than we found it. The Prime Minister of Fiji and Minister for iTaukei Affairs, Sugar Industry, Foreign Affairs and Forestry.

H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, President, 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly   

Abdulla Shahid is an exceptional politician and a seasoned diplomat. He is the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Maldives.  Mr. Shahid began his professional career as a foreign service officer in 1983 and rose through the ranks rapidly. In 1993, he was promoted to the post of Director, International Affairs. In 1995, he was appointed Executive Secretary (Chief of Staff) to the President in the President’s Office.

In 2005, Mr. Shahid was appointed Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and, in 2007, Minister for Foreign Affairs for the first time. Mr. Shahid holds a master’s degree in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and completed his undergraduate degree in Political Science and Government at the University of Canberra. Mr. Shahid is an accomplished poet and has a keen interest in astronomy. A sportsman from a young age, he enjoys badminton, cricket and football. Born in Malé in May 1962, Mr. Shahid is married to Aishath Suiza. They have a daughter and two sons.

Achim Steiner, Administrator of UNDP 

Achim Steiner has been the UNDP Administrator since June 2017. Mr. Steiner is also the Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group. 

Achim Steiner has been a global leader on sustainable development, climate resilience and international cooperation. Prior to joining UNDP, he was Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford. Mr Steiner has served across the United Nations system, looking at global challenges from both a humanitarian and a development perspective. 

Achim Steiner previously held other notable positions including Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams.

Achim Steiner has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and the United States. He graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (MA) from Worcester College, Oxford University and holds an MA from the University of London/School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

H.E. Dr. Walton Webson, Chair of AOSIS, HE Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda

H.E Dr Walton a Webson is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations. H.E. Dr. Walton Webson holds a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Science in Management of Non-Profit Organizations, a post graduate diploma in Organizational Development from the New School for Social Research, and a DBA in Management from Case Western Reserve University. He worked for several international nongovernment organizations. Dr. Webson has served as the Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York of Antigua and Barbuda since 2014.  Ambassador Webson is an innovator and a leader, the founded of the Friends of Vision at the United Nations. Ambassador Webson is currently the President of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He is the current co-Chair of the UN steering committee on the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and has had the honor to lead the CARICOM Caucus at two General Assemblies over his first four years at the UN. Ambassador Webson is married with three children.

Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU

Houlin Zhao is the ITU Secretary-General. As an information and communication technology (ICT) engineer, he has served in a variety of senior management positions at ITU, including the ITU Deputy Secretary-General. 

Before joining ITU, Mr Zhao served as an engineer in the Designing Institute of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of China. He contributed important articles to a number of prestigious Chinese technical publications, and in 1985 was awarded a prize for his achievements in science and technology within the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

Born in 1950 in Jiangsu, China, Mr Zhao graduated from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, and holds an MSc in Telematics from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. He is married with one son and two grandchildren, and is fluent in three official ITU languages: English, French and Chinese.

Mr. Zhao is committed to further streamlining ITU's efficiency, strengthening its membership base through greater involvement of the academic community and of small- and medium-sized enterprises, and to broadening multi-stakeholder participation in ITU's work.

Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director General, FAO -- Facilitator

Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, is an economist and politician from Cape Verde. With over thirty years’ experience in public service, she is a recognized expert in global development issues. She has helped shape a new global narrative where sustainable agriculture is prominently recognized as a solution in addressing increasingly complex issues – from transforming agri-food systems to dealing with climate change and biodiversity loss to promoting gender equity. 

Leading to deliver, Semedo fosters an integrated, inclusive approach, resulting in stronger cross-sectoral engagement and strategic partnerships, better positioning FAO in its role to promote a transition to sustainable food and agriculture systems. Part of the FAO Core Leadership Team, Semedo works to develop impactful results such as the FAO Green Cities Initiative and the corporate strategy for mainstreaming biodiversity across agricultural sectors, cultivating multi-stakeholder dialogues that optimize the Organization’s 75+ years of technical expertise and experience, its global reach and innovative approaches, all contributing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Before taking up her current duties in 2013, Ms Semedo gained valuable experience and insight in Africa, first as FAO Representative in Niger (2003-2008), then as Deputy Regional Representative for Africa and Sub-regional Coordinator for West Africa (2008-2009) and Regional Representative for Africa (2009-2013). Prior to her international career, she worked as an economist for the Cabo Verde Ministry of Planning and Cooperation before becoming Secretary of State for Fisheries, then in 1993 Minister for Fisheries, Agriculture and Rural Affairs – the first-ever woman Minister in her country. After serving as Minister for Tourism, Transportation and Marine Affairs from 1995-1998, she became Member of Parliament, a position she held until 2003.

SESSION 1: The SIDS Solution Platform

QU Dongyu, Director-General of FAO  -- please see above entry

Jong-Jin Kim, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific

Mr Kim, a national of the Republic of Korea, has a long and distinguished career in public service. He joined FAO in 2013 as Director of South-South Cooperation and Resource Mobilization Division (TCS) and immediately prior to his present appointment, he had been serving as FAO’s Deputy Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Mr Kim has served as Secretary-General of the Presidential Commission for Agriculture and Rural Policies and, Minister-Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was responsible for the World Trade Organization (WTO) agricultural affairs. In 2008, Mr Kim was appointed Director-General of the International Cooperation Bureau at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). 

Mr Kim was awarded a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Oklahoma State University in the United States, and holds a Bachelor of Economics from Korea University.

Maximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist, FAO

Mr. Maximo Torero Cullen is the Chief Economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He joined the Organization in January 2019 as Assistant Director-General for the Economic and Social Development Department. Prior to joining FAO, he was the World Bank Group Executive Director for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay since November 2016 and before the Bank Mr. Torero led the Division of the Markets, Trade, and Institutions at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). His major research work lies mostly in analyzing poverty, inequality, importance of geography and assets (private or public) in explaining poverty, and in policies oriented towards poverty alleviation based on the role played by infrastructure, institutions, and on how technological breakthroughs (or discontinuities) can improve the welfare of households and small farmers. His experience encompasses Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia.

Mr. Torero, a national of Peru, holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of the Pacific, Lima, Peru. He is a professor on leave at the University of the Pacific, Perú, and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at University of Bonn, Germany, and has also published in top journals (QJE, Econometric Theory, AER-Applied Microeconomics, RSTAT, Labor Economics and many other top journals).

Mr. Torero has received in 2000 the Georg Foster Research Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, won the Award for Outstanding Research on Development given by the Global Development Network, twice, in 2000 and in 2002, and received the Chevalier de l'Ordre du Mérite Agricole in 2014.

SESSION 2: HIGH LEVEL LEADERS SEGMENT Statements by the Heads of Government and Ministers

Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum,  Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Civil Service and Communications, Fiji 

Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is Fiji’s Attorney-General, Minister for Economy, Civil Service, and Communications, and also serves the Minister responsible for climate change.

As the Minister for Communications, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has overseen a massive expansion in access to mobile services, extending coverage to 95 per cent of the country. Fiji has also experienced a boom in access to high speed internet services and Free-to-Air digital television, which is now available all throughout the geographically-remote nation. 

Chief amongst the Attorney-General’s reforms of the communications sector – which have garnered international acclaim – has been the establishment of community “telecentres,” an initiative that has already exceeded expectations, providing free Internet access to more than 800,000 Fijians, including 8,000 schoolchildren.

To position Fiji as the IT leader in the region and as a preferred hub for data processing services, the Attorney-General is overseeing the digitalisation of Government services. Fiji has already made remarkable progress over the past five years to improve its telecommunications and ICT regulatory environment, resulting in Fiji receiving the ICTs in Sustainable Development Award from the International Telecommunications Union. Under his leadership, Fiji was also named Chair of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation.

He lives in Suva with his wife, Ela, and their three children –– Ibrahim, Idris, and Imaan. 

Sridhar Dharmapuri, Senior Food Safety and Nutrition Office, FAO -- Facilitator

Sridhar Dharmapuri is Group Leader and Module Leader of the Agriculture and Food Systems Stream (AFSS)at the FAO Regional Office for the Asia-Pacific in Bangkok. As the Senior Food Safety and Nutrition Officer for the region, he is leading FAO’s work in this area strong emphasis on strengthening core elements of national food safety systems that safeguard public health and enhance trade in food commodities through safe value chains. Supporting nutrition sensitive agriculture and urban and rural food systems for healthy diets is a key aspect of his nutrition portfolio. He provides technical advice on developing vitally required physical and knowledge-based infrastructure, scientific capabilities, food standards and technical documents including guidelines, manuals and codes of practice that provide a sound basis for the modernization of food control systems. Sridhar has co-ordinated multiple projects in Asia and Africa in various capacities with FAO in Rome and earlier the IAEA in Vienna. His current research interests include mainstreaming safety and nutrition through the food chain. He has a doctorate in Life Sciences from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India and an MBA from Kansas University, USA.

H.E. Mr. Taneti Maamau, President of the Republic of Kiribati

His Excellency Taneti Maamau is the 5th President of Kiribati currently serving his second term of administration. His leadership steered Kiribati onto the first ever long-term vision of the country known as the Kiribati Vision for 20 years (2016 – 2036). The ambitious vision would enable Kiribati to become wealthy, healthy, peaceful and resilient.

Whist in office, President Maamau had been instrumental in delivering a broad range of social and economic reforms to enhance sustainable growth. Notable achievements under his initial four-year administration are the recognition of Kiribati as Champion against corruption by UN PRAC and a champion under the Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Group for Sustainable Coastal Fisheries.

Hailed from the Island of Onotoa in the Southern Kiribati His Excellency led his, Tobwaan Kiribati Party, to victory in the 2016 election. President Maamau graduated with a Master in Economics Studies from the University of Queensland and had a successful career history in various Government Ministries. He is married to Teiraeng Tentoa and they have 3 Children and 4 grandchildren. 

H.E. Mr. David Kabua, President of the Republic of Marshall Islands

President David Kabua is the ninth President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. President Kabua has been representing Wotho Atoll since his first appointment in 2008. In his second term, he was given the portfolio as the Minister of Health and then later as the Minister of Internal Affairs. President Kabua had worked in several Public Service positions as a teacher aid in the Headstart Program for two years, a student liaison officer, General Manager for the Marshall Islands Development Authority (MIDA) under the Ministry of Resources and Development, 1996, and four years as the Consul General in Orange Country, California.

President Kabua was born in Majuro and is the son of the first President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands Amata Kabua and First Lady Emlain Kabua. Upon completion of his studies at Xavier High School, 1971, in Chuuk, Federated States of Microneisa, President Kabua furthered his education at Hilo College and at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Together with his wife, First Lady Ginger Shoniber Kabua, they have three children and one granddaughter.

H.E. Mr. Surangel S.Whipps, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau

Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. is the 10th President of the Republic of Palau. He served in the 8th and 9th Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK, Palau National Congress) from 2009 through 2016,. Whipps’ Senate report card maintains his reputable record in policy making to promote and protect the best interests of Palauans. Whipps’ slogan – “A Kot a Rechad er Belau” (Palauan People First) actually originated from his father, who was active in the Save Palau movement to protect Palau’s marine resources, and who ran for congress many times before being elected. His experience is combined with his formal background earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in economics from Andrews University in Michigan and an MBA from Anderson Graduate School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Whipps is the eldest of the four children of Rekemesik Surangel and Marilyn Whipps. A Seventh-day Adventist, he is married to Valerie Esang Remengesau and they have three daughters and a son.

H.E. Mr. Mark Brown, Prime Minister of Cook Islands

As the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands; Honorable Mark Brown is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration; Finance and Economic Management; Attorney General; Public Service Commission; Police; Cook Islands Investment Corporation; Seabed Mineral Authority; and the Office of the Prime Minister. The Hon. Mark Brown born and raised in Cook Islands on Rarotonga is a businessmen and property developer with over 10 years engagement in politics. He was previously the Deputy Prime Minister since 2018, who accepted the role of Prime Minister of the Cook Islands in September 2020.

Further, to his career in the Private Sector and Politics, he has served in the Public Sector as a Policy Advisor and the Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, has held leadership roles on the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce and the Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee. 

H.E. Mr. Josaia V. Bainimarama, Prime  Minister of Fiji -- see above entry

H.E. Ms. Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa,  Prime Minister of Samoa

Fiame Naomi Mataafa is the first woman Prime Minister of Samoa. She led the Faatuatua I Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) Party to victory in the 2021 election.

She first entered Parliament in 1985 as the Member for Lotofaga for the HRPP, the party now the opposition. She was the first woman to be appointed to Cabinet (1991) and the first woman to be Deputy Prime Minister.

Fiame’s political career has included six years as a back bencher serving on various Parliamentary Committees and 30 years in Cabinet holding various portfolios. These included Education, Youth Sports and Culture; Labour; Women, Communities and Social Development, Justice; Electoral Office; Natural Resources and the Environment; Fire and Emergency Service Authority.

Through her Cabinet offices, she represented Samoa on multiple international and regional fora such as UNESCO, Commonwealth of Learning, University of the South Pacific (member and Chair of Council) and Task Force to develop the Vulnerability Index for Small Island States;

Within the UN, represented Samoa at Multiple Conferences of the Parties (COPs) on a wide range of issues including women, human rights, climate change, environment, biodiversity, oceans, reporting on the progress of SDGs. 

Nationally; established the National University of Samoa Campus and amalgamated postsecondary government institutions under one roof through a series of mergers. 

Her other civic responsibilities include leading established non governmental institutions for women for promoting leadership among women including support networks for women running for national elections. Fiame is a deacon of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (CCCS/EFKS) in Lotofaga and a member of the National CCCS/EFKS Finance Committee. As the ranking chief of her extended family and her electoral district of Lotofaga, Fiame has multiple responsibilities, obligations and engagements central to her social interactions inclusive of political representation.

H.E. John Simon, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Agriculture and Livestock was first elected to the PNG Parliament in 2012. He has been a member of various Parliamentary Committees including Assistant Speaker and Parliamentary Chairman Position and was elected Deputy Speaker in 2016.

Prior to entering politics, he worked for the Bank of South Pacific for more than 20 years. He holds an MBA from James Cook University, Australia.

H.E. Mrs. Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Timor-Leste

Mrs. Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno (or Adaljiza Magno) is a politician and since June 2020, serving as the first female foreign Minister of Timor-Leste. She is well known as a gender advocate and human rights activist.

Minister Magno was a member of the Constituent Assembly (later the National Parliament) of Timor-Leste from 2001 to 2005. In the end of her tenure, in 2005, she was appointed as the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation for the I, II and III Constitutional Government. In January 2016, she was appointed as Timor-Leste’s Ambassador to Singapore and from October 2017–June 2018, she was re-appointed to Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation for the VII Constitutional Government.

Minister Magno finished her first degree in Economic with major in Management from Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Ekonomi Atma Bhakti under the Sebelas Maret Foundation in Solo, Indonesia. She then pursued a Master’s Degree in Public Management from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.

Minister Magno is married to Mr. Rosentino Amado Hei and they have two children.

H. E. Mr. Lord Tuilakepa, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forests, Tonga delivering remarks on behalf of H. E. Mr. Pōhiva Tuʻiʻonetoa, Prime Minister of Tonga

Lord Tuilakepa, is a Tongan noble, politician, and Member of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga. He worked as a civil servant for the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources before entering politics. He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly as a noble representative for Vavaʻu in the 1993 election, serving for one term. He was re-elected in 2005, and subsequently in 2008 and 2010.

In April 2008, he was appointed Speaker of the Tongan Legislative Assembly by King George Tupou V.

In September 2019, after the death of the incumbent PM, he was appointed Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries

Xiangjun Yao, Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Pacific, FAO -- Facilitator

Ms Xiangjun Yao oversees FAO’s work in providing technical support to its 14 member countries to improve food security, income earning opportunities in agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and increasing resilience of small farmers and producers in the Pacific. 

She joined FAO Headquarters in June 2011 and has held leading roles within the agency. She assumed the role of Sub regional Coordinator of the Pacific Islands in September 2020. 

Ms Yao began her career at the Institute of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Engineering, in the area of renewable energy and rural environment protection in 1983. She was Director of the institute from 1998 to 2004. 

From June to September 2004, she served as Deputy Director-General of the Centre of International Cooperation Service, Ministry of Agriculture, China. Before her appointment to FAO, Ms Yao was Deputy Director-General, Department of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Agriculture, China. She was also a Guest Professor at the University of International Business and Economics, China, as well as a Council Member of the China Energy Research Society and Evaluation Expert for Engineering Construction Projects authorized by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. 

Ms Yao joined FAO Headquarters in June 2011 as Director, Office of Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension. From October 2012 to September 2014, she served as Director of the Climate Energy and Tenure Division (NRC). She was transferred in August 2014 to Geneva, Switzerland as Director, Liaison Office with the United Nations (LOG) in Geneva, a position she held until her transfer to FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok.

H.E. Mr. Indar Weir, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Barbados

Indar Anthony Weir is a Barbadian businessman, politician, and current Minister of Agriculture. He is the holder of the Executive Masters Business Administration (EMBA) degree from the Cave Hill School of Business of the University of the West Indies; he has also earned certification in psychometric testing, training and conversational German.

H.E. Mr. Saboto Scofield Caesar, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation and Industry, St. Vincent and Grenadines

Mr Sabotoholds a Master of Laws degree (specialization in Banking and Finance Law) from the University of London; a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the West Indies and a Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School. 

His wide-ranging professional experience was garnered from his work as a Community Worker, Teacher, Lawyer Government Senator and Minister.

He has worked with numerous sporting and cultural groups and maintains an active interest in Football, Basketball, Cricket and Netball. His work with the farming community, primary, secondary and tertiary level students have been exemplary.

He has served as Junior Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Minister of Housing, Lands and Survey, Physical Planning, Informal Human Settlement and Local Government, Minister of Tourism and Industry and currently he is the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural transformation, Industry and Labour.

Renata Clarke, Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean, FAO -- Facilitator

Dr. Renata Clarke has worked at the FAO Headquarters in the area of Food Safety for the past 20 years. She was Head of FAO Food Safety and Quality Unit from 2011 to 2019, when she assumed the position of FAO Sub-regional Coordinator for the Caribbean.

In her capacity as Head of the FAO Food Safety and Quality Unit, she led FAO programmes for developing the capacities of countries to assure the safety of food supplies. She also provided strategic oversight to the FAO Programme for the Provision of Food Safety Scientific Advice, which undertakes the risk assessments that underpin Codex standard setting and food safety policy in many countries.

In her current role, she oversees the FAO Programme of work across the 13 English speaking countries of the Caribbean. She is responsible for the strategic visioning for the FAO programmes, for ensuring effective collaboration with regional bodies and for managing a Multi-Disciplinary Team of Experts that supports programme implementation.

She holds a PhD in Food Science and Technology from the Technical University of Nova Scotia and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of the West Indies

H.E. Mr. Fransisco Martins dos Ramos, Minister of Agriculture, Sao Tome and Principe

Hon. Fransisco Martins dos Ramos is the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development of São Tomé and Príncipe. An agronomist trained in Russia, (ex-USSR), he is one of the senior cadres of the ministry in question and now with the mission of continuing the policy of relaunching this sector still considered the basis of the economy of São Tomé and Príncipe.

H.E. Mr. Flavien Joubert, Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Seychelles

Flavien P Joubert was born in 1972 and was educated in Seychelles up to secondary level. He successfully completed and HND and graduate studies at the Manchester Metropolitan University the United Kingdom and Masters studies York university in Canada. Since 1996, he has worked in the Ministry of Environment. He has held and served in several key posts including Director General for Wildlife Enforcement and Permits, CEO of the Seychelles National Parks Authority and CEO of the Landscape and Waste Management Authority. 

Through his university studies, he re-discovered one of the rarest bat species in the country, and has, throughout his time at the ministry promoted research and conservation on the bat species. 

On the international arena, Minister Joubert has represented Seychelles in many fora related to chemicals and waste and was focal points for the Basel, and Stockholm Conventions. He also led the organization of the Nairobi Convention 8th conference of Parties meeting in 2015, for which UNEP congratulated Seychelles for the level of organization.

Mr Joubert was appointed Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Energy and on 4th November 2020.  Minister Joubert is married and has two children.

Mbuli Charles Boliko, FAO Representative to Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles -- Facilitator

Mr Boliko, a national of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, holds a Doctor of Philosophy in International Development from Nagoya University in Japan, and a Master of Science in Industrial Psychology as well as a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also holds a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Strategic Management of Human Capital from the University of Geneva in Switzerland.   

He started his career in 1988 as Assistant and Lecturer in the areas of Management and Administrative Law at the Institut Supérieur de Commerce in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).  While teaching at the Institute, he also worked as Chief of the General Assembly Secretariat within the  Conseil consultatif permanent pour le développement, a public institution, and, at a later stage, as Advisor and Chargé de Mission in the Office of the Minister of Youth and Sports in DR Congo.  

Mr Boliko joined FAO headquarters in 1997 as Personnel Officer in the Human Resources Division. From 1998 to 2003, he served as Liaison Officer in the FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations in New York (LON), where he was in charge of macro-economic policy questions, humanitarian assistance, and human resource management. In 2003, he was transferred to the Office of the Director-General as Attaché de Cabinet, and, subsequently, became Senior Attaché de Cabinet in 2008. From 2009 to 2013, he was Chief of the Recruitment and Staffing Branch in the Human Resources Division at FAO headquarters. In 2013, he was appointed Director of the FAO Liaison Office in Japan (LOJ) in Yokohama, where he has significantly contributed to improving FAO’s visibility as well as collaboration with public, private and non-State actors. 

H.E. Mr. Ma Youxiang, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, China

Mr. Ma Youxiang is a Han Chinese born in June 1964 in Huojia County, Henan Province, China. He joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in November 1983.

Having started his career in August 1984, Mr. Ma served as Deputy Director General of the Department of Development Planning of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), and Deputy Director General of the General Office of the MOA before being promoted to Director General of the Agricultural Trade Promotion Center of the MOA. Later, he was appointed the Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture. 

In August 2018, he was appointed Chief Animal Husbandry Officer and Director General of the Bureau of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) of China, before he was relieved of the latter in April 2019. In May 2021, he became Vice Minister of MARA.

Mr. Ma is a Senior Economist with a doctorate in management.

H.E. Mr. Colm Brophy, T.D.,  Minister of State with responsibility for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Ireland

Colm Brophy was appointed Minister of State with responsibility for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora on July 1st, 2020. He is a Fine Gael TD representing Dublin South-West. He was first elected to the Dáil in 2016. During the 32nd Dáil he served as Chairman of the Budgetary Oversight Committee which was established in 2016 to enhance the role of the Oireachtas in the budgetary formation process. He was also a Member of the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality and the Joint Committee on European Union Affairs. Member of South Dublin County Council 2008 – 2016. Colm is a former member of the Board of the Housing Finance Agency. Colm is also the former President of the Association of Irish Local Government.

Woochong Um, Managing Director General, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Mr. Um is ADB’s Managing Director General. He assumed the position on 22 February 2021.

Mr. Um reports to the ADB President and is responsible for supporting bank-wide coherence on key initiatives and issues. He provides oversight to ADB’s Department of Communications, the Office of Professional Conduct, and the Office of the Ombudsperson.

Mr. Um joined ADB in 1993. He served most recently as Director General and concurrently Chief Compliance Officer of ADB’s Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, leading knowledge management and innovation work in all thematic and sector operational areas. He served as ADB Secretary from 2014 to 2018.

Prior to joining ADB, he worked for Pfizer Inc. in New York and Pitney Bowes Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, United States. 

Mr. Um holds an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business and a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from Boston College.

Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary General, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)

As the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. LIU guides UN Secretariat support for the follow-up processes of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. He also oversees the substantive services to many intergovernmental processes, including the annual meetings of the Second and Third Committees of the General Assembly, the meetings of the Economic and Social Council, including its Development Cooperation Forum, and the work of the subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC. In his role as Secretary-General of the SIDS intergovernmental processes, Mr. LIU oversees the follow up and monitoring of the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and SIDS partnership commitments and pledges. In this regard, the outcome of the Mid-term review of the SAMOA Pathway, held in September 2019, and the Annual SIDS Global Partnership Dialogues are key initiatives under his purview. Born in August 1955, Mr. LIU, who is Chinese, holds a Master of Laws from the Law School of Peking University.

Courtenay Rattray, High Representative, Office for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS)

The High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States began his tenure in July 2021.  A thought leader in development financing, Mr Rattray has decades of experience championing and advocating on behalf of countries in special situations, especially Small Island Developing States.  Mr. Rattray joined OHRLLS from his role as Jamaica’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. He also served as Co-chair of the Group of Friends of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Financing; Children and the SDGs; as well as the Group of Friends of Decent Work.  Mr. Rattray holds a Master of Arts degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the United States, a Master of Arts in International Business from the London South Bank University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from West Virginia Wesleyan College in the United States.  He was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) by West Virginia Wesleyan College. 

Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary, Economic and Social Commission for the Asia and Pacific (ESCAP)

Armida took office on 1 November 2018. Ms. Alisjahbana was Professor of Economics at Universitas Padjadjaran and was Minister of National Development Planning and the Head of the National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS), Indonesia from 2009 to 2014. In 2016, Ms. Alisjahbana was a member of the High-Level Independent Team of Advisors to support the ECOSOC Dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations for the 2030 Agenda. Ms. Alisjahbana obtained her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Washington, USA.

Mr. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, Secretary General, Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS)

Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti has devoted almost 30 years of his professional career to diplomacy and international relations, in a particularly complex and difficult global environment for Angola.  His action, know-how, unwavering commitment, and dedication have significantly impacted democracy in Angola and led to the international recognition of Angola as a major player in the achievement of political stability in Africa and the world.  His leadership is acknowledged at national and international levels. 

He has served as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Angola to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and Head of Mission to the European Union as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Angola. He holds a Master’s degree in Geography – from the University of Abidjan – Côte d’Ivoire and a Bachelor’s degree in History and Geography from the University of Abidjan – Côte d’Ivoire. 

Mr. Chikoti speaks Portuguese, French and English fluently, and has a good understanding of Spanish and Swahili. His hobbies include football, reading, arts, and culture.

Closing of the high level segment

Preeti Sinha, Executive Secretary, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)

Ms. Sinha is a globally experienced investment and development banker with a 30-year track record associated with raising and managing institutional public and private development capital. She served as CEO & President of FFD Financing for Development LLC, a specialist development finance firm focused on financing the UN SDGs.

Ms. Sinha managed the YES Global Institute, a practicing think-tank for socio-economic devel- opment and SDGs in New Delhi. She served in senior resource mobilization roles at the African Development Bank including managing the ADF-13 Replenishment. She was a pioneering Global Leadership Fellow at the World Economic Forum bringing public and private capital together. She was an investment banker at HSBC, Rabobank, Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan in London, Hong Kong, Mumbai and New York.

Ms. Sinha is a Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Education alumna in Public Financial Management. She has a Masters in Global Leadership from the World Economic Forum and a Masters in Public and Private Management (MPPM)/MBA from the Yale School of Management (SOM). She graduat- ed from Dartmouth College with Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Computer Science.

H.E. Mr. Josaia V. Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, please see above entry

QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO please see above entry

Laurent Thomas, Deputy Director General, FAO -- Facilitator

Laurent Thomas is Deputy Director-General at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He is responsible for FAO’s operations and the management of its business practices to achieve the highest level of efficiency possible within the Organization. In this role, he oversees the work of FAO’s Assistant Directors-General-Regional Representatives and the heads of Liaisons offices, the Organization’s Office of Communications, the Information Technology Division, the Human Resources Division, the Governing Bodies Servicing Division, the Finance Division and the Logistics Services Division. He has responsibility for Business Continuity Management, and safety and security of FAO employees worldwide. As Designated Official ad interim, he supports the Director-General in managing security and safety of UN Personnel in Italy. 

Laurent Thomas oversees the work of the Office of Emergency and Resilience, and acts as alternate (B role) to relevant members of the Director-General’s Leadership Team for overseeing FAO’s Investment Centre, the Division for Partnerships and UN Collaboration, and the Project Support Division.

Prior to this role, for the past three years he was Deputy Director-General in charge of FAO operations and before this, FAO Assistant Director-General leading the Organization’s Technical Cooperation and Programme Management Department for over six years. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing the Senior Directors’ team in charge of Strategic Programmes Leadership; programming investment in food security, agriculture and rural development; preparing for and responding to food and agriculture threats and crisis; mobilizing resources including through South-South cooperation partnerships; and administrating FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme.

He is an agro-economist by training and has over 35 years of experience in development and humanitarian assistance issues. Throughout his career, he has worked on the challenges of food and agriculture systems transformation. Before joining FAO headquarters, he worked for over a decade in developing countries on farming systems research and agriculture extension. With FAO for 30 years, he has held positions of increasing managerial responsibility in technical advisory services, investment programming, oversight of the Organization’s Decentralized Offices’ network and the management of programmes to help contribute to eliminating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; make agriculture forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable; reduce rural poverty; enable inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems; and increase the resilience of livelihoods to disasters.

SESSION 3. Innovations and digitalization at work in the agriculture, food, nutrition, environment and health sectors in the SIDS

 This session will see the presentation of exciting and emerging innovations and digital technologies for food and agriculture from the SIDS. It will highlight the role the enabling environment – technological and institutional - for the start-up economy and facilitating entrepreneurs to ideate, innovate and attract capital will be discussed.

Honourable Minister Timothy Masiu, Minister for Communications & Information Technology, Independent State of Papua New Guinea

Re-elected to the 10th National Parliament for the South Bougainville Open seat as a National Alliance Party Candidate in the 2017 General Elections, then joined the PANGU Pati on 24/08/2021. Moved to join the Marape led Government on 10th September 2019, appointed as Minister for Communications & Information Technology following a cabinet reshuffle on 08/11/19, 2nd term in this Parliament.

He was first elected to 9th National Parliament in July 2016 in a by-election for the South Bougainville Open electorate as a People's Progress Party candidate following the passing of then member, Steven Pirika Kamma. Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Inter- Governmental Relations & Bougainville Affairs in the Pruaitch led Opposition from August 2017-09/09/ 2019. A Committee member of Pensions and Retirement Benefits Parliamentary Committee from June 2019-2019 September 2019 under the Marape-Steven Government. A member of the National Alliance Party since entering politics until sometime in mid-August 2021.

He also served as First Secretary for the Department of Inter Government Relations before contesting in the by-election.

H.E. Ms. Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown Minister for Health, Justice, Parliamentary Services and Agriculture, Cook Islands

Vainetutai Rose Toki Brown is the Member of Parliament for Teenui/Mapumai of Atiu in the Cook Islands. Alongside her portfolio as the Minister of Agriculture, she is also responsible for Health, Internal Affairs, Parliament Services and Superannuation.

A former student of Enuamanu College, Vainetutai Rose Toki Brown has a strong background in business management having been a successful business owner. She entered Parliament in 2014 where she was elected as Deputy Speaker. She was appointed a Minister of the Crown in 2018 holding the portfolios of Agriculture, Health, Justice and Parliament Services. She us married to George Taoro James Brown.

Mr. Ashish Narayan, Programme Coordinator, ITU Regional Office for Asia and Pacific

Mr. Ashish Narayan is Programme Coordinator in the ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. His work primarily involves implementing human capacity building initiatives undertaken by ITU in the region and is presently the coordinator for the ITU Asia Pacific Centres of Excellence Network. He has been actively involved with policy, regulatory and training assignments under ITU’s programs in Asia-Pacific countries.

Prior to the ITU, Mr. Narayan worked as Deputy Advisor in the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. During his tenure in the TRAI, he worked on key telecom sector reform issues. He began his career with the Tata Telecom, an equipment manufacturer, before moving to the Indian Government Service. He has also worked with the Indian public service broadcaster in the area of broadcast engineering.

Mr. Narayan holds an MBA Degree in International Business and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering.

Kenneth Katafono - Co-founder TraSeable Farms, Fiji

Kenneth Katafono is a Fijian ICT professional, consultant, and entrepreneur with deep experience in digitalisation in Pacific agriculture and fisheries.

He co-founded Traseable Solutions in 2017 with his wife, Shauna, who hails from Samoa and has a background in marine science and fisheries. Together they have led innovative projects and digitisation efforts in the Pacific agriculture and fisheries sectors.

Ken has over 15 years of experience designing, building, and implementing digital systems in the Pacific. He is an authority on the use of blockchain technology in supply chains and co-authored the FAO study, "Blockchain Application in Seafood Value Chains." Ken has consulted for several international agencies and is currently engaged by the FAO as a digital value chain expert.

Ms. Ateca Kama, CDN/NFNC/MoHMS --MyKana app.

Mrs Ateca Kama is the Chief Dietitian and Nutritionist at the National Food and Nutrition Centre, Ministry of Health and Medical Services. Her area of focus is research and policy development in the food and nutrition security space.

Ms. Irene Yee Chief, University of the South Pacific, Fiji -- MyKana app.

Dr Irene Yee Chief is an Instructional Designer at The University of the South Pacific. Her area of focus is on elearning and Lifelong learning in the region. Her area of work is designing e-materials for teaching and learning applications as well as supervising and assessing student thesis in the area of learning technology in the Pacific Region.

Faso’otauloa Sam Saili  - Co-Founder, Chairperson and CEO of SkyEye Pacific

Fa’aso’otauloa Sam Saili was born, raised and educated in Samoa. He has been in the ICT sector for over 20 years with expertise in System Analysis and Design, Data Networks, Databases, Project Management, Mobile Apps, FinTech and Startup scaling. 

He is a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA) and twice selected as one of Samoa Observer’s People of the Year in 2017 and 2019. He has either spoken or participated in various global and regional events such as the Barcelona World Mobile Congress, Global Entrepreneurship Summit, World of Drones Congress, Hong Kong Venture Capital Conference, New Zealand TechWeek, Digital Pacific Conference, LIANZA Conference, Incheon Law & Business Forum to name a few. He is 12th of 13 children so he has been in negotiations all his life. Raised in the Samoan culture of “tautua” or “to serve”, it has been natural that the technology company he co-founded with his siblings embraces serving for the benefit of the Pacific community with company operations in Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Temarama Anguna-Kamana, Secretary of Agriculture, Cook Islands Ministry of Agriculture

Prior to taking on the role of Secretary in October 2018, she was the Human Resources Manager for the Ministry of Health for 12 years.  

Temarama has management qualities in Human Resources management, strategic and business planning, policy development and information management. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Commerce majoring in Public Sector Administration and a Master of Business Administration from the University of the South Pacific.

Temarama is continuously seeking and advocating for innovative solutions for the Agriculture sector.  She believes collaboration and unity with the relevant stakeholders are key to restore agriculture back to its former status as a primary economic sector for the Cook Islands.

Vipin Narendran - PAC farmer, Fiji

Doni Keli – JEDOM Organic Fruits Ltd, Solomon Islands

Mr.  Doni Kelly, is a local of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.  He holds a Bachelor of Theology Degree, works in varies education institutions, as Lecturer and at management levels. 

He has a passion working with poor rural farming communities to improve the standard of living. He is the Co -founder and Manager of Jedom Organic Fruits Ltd, which works with hundreds of food vendors and farmers in remote communities of Solomon Islands on local food value addition technics and research on rural appropriate equipment.

Mani Mua - Plant Health, Fiji

Mani Mua was born and brought up in Rotuma, Fiji. He left the Island after completing Form 6 at Rotuma High School. Being away from his family for the first time, all he had in his possession was their blessings. Mani later graduated with a Master of Agriculture at the University of the South Pacific while volunteering for Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and related NGOs. He worked in the private sector (Goodman Fielder) and then with an Australian Aid project (PARDI) before joining the Pacific Community (SPC) in 2015. 

Much of his involvement was towards seed systems and plant health, at the Land Resources Division (LRD). Mani is also a PestNet moderator and approval committee member of the Participant Guarantee System (PGS), Pacific Organic & Ethical Trade Community (POETCom).

Happily married with two beautiful kids, he now champion Plant Health Clinics (PHC) in Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga under another Australian Aid (ACIAR) project, with the hope of scaling out to the whole region. Currently, he is a research fellow of the John Allwright Fellowship (JAF) and awaiting the Covid-19 situation before travelling over to University of Queensland.

Shelley Burich - Founder of Vaoala Vanilla, Samoa

Shelley is of Samoan, Chinese and English heritage. A mother, nana and currently the sole commercial vanilla farmer in Samoa, she is an Indigenous Entrepreneur and a Food Warrior promoting the organic farm to table social movement.

Shelley started growing vanilla 14 years ago as a hobby, turned it into a part-time entrepreneur business 7 years ago and in June 2020 she resigned from fulltime employment as the CEO for the Samoa Cancer Society, so she could become a fulltime vanilla farmer.  Within the first year of going fulltime with the vanilla business, she expanded Vaoala Vanilla beyond the borders of Samoa through digitization and social media platforms using the Shopify global ecommerce platform, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and have built a strong domestic (local) market for vanilla products – all of this during COVID lockdowns and border closures. 

Aside from her passion for farming, she remains active in the community as a volunteer through her role as the current President for the Samoa Women’s Association of Growers (SWAG) and continues to advocate strongly for improved inclusion of women entrepreneurs in national discussions.

Dr. Michael Nunan - Director, Beyond Essential Systems

Dr. Michael Nunan is a health systems and supply chain specialist who has worked in development for 14 years, across the Pacific, Asia and Africa. Michael spent over five years living and working in Solomon Islands and has since worked extensively across the Pacific, Asia and Africa.  Originally a pharmacist, Michael has an MPH from Sydney University and a PhD from Melbourne University, where he had previously worked as a research fellow at the Centre for International Child Health. Michael is a Director of Beyond Essential Systems and leads the Tupaia project, a data platform used across ten Pacific Island Countries for strengthening health supply chains, disaster response, disease surveillance, environmental health and improving system strengthening.

Michael has also led the development of Tamanu, a free and open-source patient-level electronic medical records system for desktop and mobile. Michael has extensive experience in health systems, supply chain, procurement and eHealth. He has also consulted for the World Food Program, UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO and DFAT.

Eve Hayden, Chief Executive Officer – CookSafe+, Cook Islands

Andrew Pedrana - PRESS (Plastic Recycling), Samoa

Andrew Pedrana is a small business owner, entrepreneur and passionate advocate for reducing plastic waste in our oceans and environment in and around Samoa.

Andrew was born in Samoa, and raised and educated in Australia, where he graduated Monash University with a Bachelor of Design. After a 15 year career as a marketing manager in the food industry, where he successfully developed a number of innovative and ground breaking products in the highly competitive FMCG market, Andrew decided to move back to Samoa to open a small business, the Coffee Bean Café.

Immediately, the issue of plastic waste, both at the café and across the island, stood out as a key challenge that required an innovative approach. This led to the creation of Plastic Recycling Solutions Samoa (PRESS). PRESS takes plastic waste and turns it into useful, long-lasting products, preventing plastic from entering the environment, while also changing people’s perspective on how we dispose of plastic. 

Joseph Nyemah, Nutrition and Food Systems Officer, FAO -- Facilitator

Joseph Nyemah is primarily an aspirant “ideal husband and parent” to his wife and three children (two sons and a daughter). He is the FAO Nutrition and Food Systems Officer for the Pacific Islands with previous assignments with the United Nations World Food Programme and the One UN. Joseph also worked in the Canadian public service. He began his career with the Paris based humanitarian agency, Action Contre La Faim. A Canadian social scientist, Joseph was trained at St. Francis Xavier, Dalhousie and Mount Saint Vincent Universities. He has published in several peer reviewed journals in Australia and North America.

SESSION 4 Knowledge Exchange and South-South Triangular Co-operation

South-South knowledge exchange has gained prominence among developing countries with the recognition that good practices generated from the Global South have been cost-effective and easily adaptable. This session will discuss how enhanced knowledge sharing across SIDS globally, especially through South-South and triangular cooperation can help recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and build back better to reach the SDGs. This session will demonstrate how knowledge exchange can benefit SIDS that are seeking to replicate and scale up innovative solutions. 

Mr. Joseph Cox, Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Decisive, results-oriented Economist and Management Consultant with in excess of 25 years professional experience, offering expertise in start-ups, project management and managing process improvement initiatives. 

Professional accomplishments include the establishment and/or re organization of several commercial enterprises in Jamaica by way of reducing operating costs and simultaneously increasing efficiency and capabilities coupled with building motivated teams that meet and exceed business objectives. 

Track record of success relating to the initiation, preparation and management of large projects (multilateral and locally financed); policy advocacy in areas such as Economic Policy inclusive of Tax Reform, Real Estate Reform (Strata Legislation), Planning and Community Development (Zoning).

Dr. Stuart Minchin, Director General, Pacific Community (SPC)

Dr. Stuart Minchin is currently the Director-General/CEO of the largest intergovernmental organisation in the Pacific. The Pacific Community (SPC) is a science and technology for development organisation owned by the 26 Member countries and territories in the Pacific region.  Stuart was previously Chief of the Environmental Geoscience Division of Geoscience Australia. He has an extensive background in the management and modelling of environmental data and the online delivery of data, modelling and reporting tools for improved natural resource management. Stuart has represented Australia in key international forums and was Australia’s Principal Delegate to both the UN Global Geospatial Information Management Group of Experts (UNGGIM) and the Intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO). He also currently serves on the Editorial Board of the international Journal “Ecological Indicators”. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Deakin University and a Ph.D in Aquatic Chemistry from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. 

Anping Ye, Director, South-South Cooperation, FAO

Mr Ye Anping is the Director of South-South and Triangular Cooperation Division (PST) at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He leads FAO PST to foster an enabling environment for effective international partnership and cooperation with knowledge networks and platforms, and serve as a hub of knowledge generation and exchange to accelerate and scale-up sustainable agricultural practices, technologies, and innovations to address challenges in agriculture and rural development facing developing countries and eventually contributing to the achievement of SDGs. He first joined in FAO as Senior Advisor to Director-General at Office of Director-General, FAO based in Rome since 2019.

Prior to joining FAO, he worked at Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China in different key positions to manage international affairs, including Department of International Cooperation, and Agricultural Trade Promotion Center. During this period, he also served respectively as the China Executive Director on IFAD Board, WFP Executive Bureau, and CGIAR Fund Council. From 1999 to 2005, Mr. Ye served as First Secretary in China Permanent Representation to UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, Italy.

Mr. Ye holds a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy (Animal Husbandry) from Zhejiang University in China.

Kosi Latu, Director General, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)

Leota Kosi Latu has been the Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) since 2016. The premier intergovernmental agency for the Pacific environment based in Samoa, SPREP has 26 member governments including 21 Pacific island countries and territories and 5 metropolitan members.  From 2008 Mr. Latu served as SPREP Deputy Director General. Prior to SPREP Mr. Latu was the Manager of the United Nations Office for Project Services Financial Compliance Programme at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Fiji. He also served as the Special Legal Adviser, Head of the Legal and Economic Division, and Deputy Director for the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat in the United Kingdom. Mr Latu started his career as a state prosecutor with the Attorney General's Office for the Government of Samoa from 1990 to 1995. Mr. Latu is a graduate of Canterbury University of New Zealand and has expertise in international environmental law, law of the sea and financial compliance.

Dr. Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen, Director General, Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)

Dr Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen is the first woman to be appointed the Director General of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency. She was appointed unanimously by the Fisheries Ministers at the conclusion of the 15th Forum Fisheries Committee Ministerial meeting in Cook Islands in 2018.

Dr Tupou-Roosen has researched and worked in fisheries for over 20 years, including over a decade as the FFA Legal Counsel.

She gained a Masters of Law in 1997 under a New Zealand scholarship, focusing on international fisheries and achieved First Class Honours. She was also awarded a PhD in Law in 2004 under a Commonwealth Scholarship, with a focus on international and regional fisheries compliance.

Kyle Stice, Managing Director, Pacific Islands Farmers Organization Network (PIFON)

Kyle Stice is a tropical horticulture specialist, with over 15 years’ experience in commercial agriculture and agricultural development in the Pacific Island context. 

Kyle is a founding director and manager of the Pacific Island Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON). 

Kyle is currently the coordinator of a new virtual community called Breadfruit People.

Ms. Marsha Boldeau, Programme Manager,Grenada Community Development Agency (TBC)

Amanda is from the island of Grenada. She is the Program Manager at the Grenada Community Development Agency. She has been involved in community Development over 10 years emerging from an environmental and Marine background. She attained her undergraduate at St. George's University Grenada in Marine and Wildlife Biology and is currently pursuing her Masters on Project Management. She is very passionate about conservation,  Climate Change and Agriculture. Ms. Boldeau has implemented many programs in Climate Change and Agriculture and has been instrumental in setting up community groups and committes all geared at mitigating and finding innovative ways to reduce the impact felt on a small vulnerable island. Her organisation who works soley with rural communities has evolved into a new era of creating livelihood job, engaging in smart agricultural practices and marine programs which has been very rewarding and has reaped many success stories. Ms. Boldeau has a strong passion for farming and spends her free time with her animals.

Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist, FAO -- Facilitator

Dr Ismahane Elouafi is the first Chief Scientist of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, a new position created within FAO’s core leadership structure.

She has nearly two decades of experience in agricultural research and development in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. She is internationally known for her work on promoting neglected and underutilized crops, use of non-fresh water in agriculture, and empowerment of women in science.

From 2012 until her appointment at FAO, Dr Elouafi led the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture based in the United Arab Emirates. Previously, she held senior scientific and leadership positions in the Ministry of Agriculture in Canada and at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. She has also worked as a scientist with several international research organizations and served as a board member of several notable organizations and she has received a number of prestigious awards and accolades.

Dr. Elouafi holds a B.Sc. in Agricultural Sciences and an M.Sc. in Genetics and Plant Breeding and a Ph.D. in Genetics. Of dual nationality, Canada and Morocco, Dr Elouafi is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

Jong-Jin Kim, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, FAO

See above entry

Day 2 - 31 August 2021

Technical Sessions: Making it happen – scaling up and ensuring inclusiveness

SESSION 5: Making it happen: Scaling up SIDS Solutions through partnerships and investments

ICT policies, infrastructure, financing, human resources and the role of development partners are critical for the development of the SIDS. It will focus on strategies to attract investments and enhance partnerships to incorporate innovations and technologies to improve livelihoods of smallholders and value chain actors and make SMEs more competitive in the SIDS.

Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum,  Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Civil Service and Communications, Fiji -- see above entry

H. E. Mr. Floyd Green, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Jamaica

Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries has an outstanding academic track record with his foundation being laid at Munro College, then further nurtured at the University of West Indies Mona Campus. At UWI Mona he read for a degree in History and a minor in Political Science.  He embodies the motto of his alma mater, Munro College and in so doing, his light has not been hidden, thus, his service and leadership abilities transcended the Jamaican shores and on to the Barbadian shores where he undertook his studies in the field of law. He was awarded his Bachelor of Law degree with Honours [LLB (Hons)] in 2006.

In February of 2016, he was elected Member of Parliament for South West St. Elizabeth and served as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth & Information with specific responsibility for the Youth Portfolio.

Minister Floyd Green has also served in the capacity of Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries. He is the Member of Parliament for South West St. Elizabeth.

Dina Umali-Deininger, Agriculture Practice Manager,  Pacific region and East Asia, World Bank

Dina Umali-Deininger is the Agriculture and Food Practice Manager for the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank. She manages analytical services and a lending portfolio totaling $3.8 billion, which focus on promoting climate resilient and nutrition sensitive agriculture, linking smallholder farmers to markets, agriculture value chain development, and enhancing rural livelihoods and jobs. She formerly served as the Agriculture Practice Manager in Central and Eastern Africa, Water Practice Manager in Europe and Central Asia, and Country Sector Coordinator in the World Bank New Delhi office, overseeing the World Bank's agriculture and rural development program in India.  She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Stanford University, and a B.A. in Agribusiness Management from the University of the Philippines.

Donal Brown,  Associate Vice-President of the Programme Management Department, IFAD

Donal Brown is the Associate Vice-President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for the Programme Management Department. 

In his role at IFAD, Mr Brown is responsible for developing and managing the operations that the Fund supports through its loans and grants which amounts to approximately US$ 8 billion of IFAD financing.  Brown previously worked at the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development. In 2014-2015, he led UK's Ebola Task Force in Sierra Leone and was awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his efforts to control the crisis.

Brown has more than 25 years of international experience from across Africa, Middle East, Asia and Latin America. He holds a Master’s degree in Tropical Animal Health and Production from the University of Edinburgh, a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Leadership and Management from the University of Warwick and a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science from the University of Bristol, as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Social Justice from the University of Winchester.

Leonard Mizzi, Head, Sustainable Agri-Food Systems and Fisheries Unit, European Union

Decisive, results-oriented Economist and Management Consultant with in excess of 25 years professional experience, offering expertise in start-ups, project management and managing process improvement initiatives. Dr. Leonard Mizzi is Head of Unit at the European Commission, Directorate General (DG) for International Partnerships - Sustainable Agri-Food systems and Fisheries, since 1st of January 2017. Prior to this post he was Head of Unit for 10 years in DG Agriculture and Rural Development, first in charge of agri trade and development issues (2007-2014) and from 2015-2016 leading the inter institutional unit hence relations with the European Parliament, Council and consultative bodies and well as steering the Civil Dialogue Groups.

He is a graduate in Public Administration from the University of Malta (BA Hons First Class); and has degrees from CIHEAM-Montpellier (Master of Science) and a Ph.D in Agricultural economics from the University of Reading (UK). He has been an author of a number of articles and publications on agri food issues and nutrition in the Mediterranean region.

Dr. Mizzi has a broad working experience in the Maltese public administration and the Maltese private sector. He was also visiting lecturer at the Boston University (Brussels campus), Open University and Malta University. He often lectures at the College of Europe in Bruges.

His areas of specialization are global food security governance, agriculture and food and nutrition security, the Mediterranean and Sub Saharan Africa. 

Dr. Qingfeng Zhang, Chief of Rural Development, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

As Chief of Rural Development and Food Security (Agriculture) Thematic Group, Mr. Qingfeng Zhang is leading and overseeing ADB’s overall rural development, natural resources, food security, and agriculture operations by providing relevant and practical technical advice.

During his last 16 years with the Bank, Mr. Zhang processes and administers loan and technical assistance projects in green agricultural value chain, efficient use of natural resources (land, soil, water as well as agricultural wastes), climate resilient agriculture, rural renewable biomass energy, healthy agriculture-ecosystems, food safety, and internet plus agriculture. He published over dozens of knowledge products, Opeds and blogs on agriculture, natural resources and environment. Prior to joining ADB, he was a Director at the State Environmental Protection Administration in Beijing; a Senior Environment Specialist at the World Bank in Washington; and a Research Fellow at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Mr. Zhang is a Chinese national. He holds a doctoral degree in environmental engineering from the Tsinghua University; and a master’s degree in water resources management, and a bachelor’s degree in hydrology from the Sichuan University. He was also trained at the Harvard Business School through its Executive Development Program.

Ms. Simona Marinescu, Resident Co-ordinator of the UN multi-country office, Samoa

Dr. Simona Marinescu is the UN Resident Coordinator for the Cook Islands, Niue Samoa, and Tokelau. She leads a UN Country Team of 15 UN agencies and is based in Apia, Samoa. Dr. Marinescu has over 20 years of experience in international development coordination, economic diversification, green growth, humanitarian and sustainable human development.

The Resident Coordinator Office (RCO) supports the work of the United Nations Resident Coordinator (RC) who heads the UN multi-country office covering Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, and Tokelau.  The UN Resident Coordinator also leads a UN Country Team of 12 UN agencies to ensure the coordination, harmonisation, and simplification of their support to achieve national development goals. Under the leadership of the RC, the UN Country team consults with the governments to define and agree on the UN strategic responses to country development priorities.  

Beth Bechdol, Deputy Director General, FAO Facilitator

Beth Bechdol is Deputy Director-General at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In this role, she continuesher 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 Mobilizationand Private Sector Partnerships, South-South and Triangular Cooperation. She also leads programmes in the area of PlantProduction 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.

Ms Bechdol excels at building unconventional alliances and connecting people. She has had significant roles on boards and commissions, including the National FFA Board of Trustees, the Purdue Research Foundation and the Farm Foundation Round Table.

Ms Bechdol was raised on a multi-generation family grain farm in rural Indiana. She received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in international law and international affairs, and completed her master’s degree at Purdue University in agricultural economics.

SESSION 6: Women and youth for SIDS Solutions

Women and youth play a significant role in agri-food systems in the SIDS and this presents opportunities and challenges for them, both as users and innovators. The gender and the digital divides and the solutions including gender-centric policies and incentives that can bridge them will be discussed in this session.

His Excellency Mr La’auli Leuatea Polataivao Fosi, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Samoa

Honorable La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao Fosi Schmidt is currently the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and also has under his portfolio the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa and the Samoa Trust Estates Corporation. 

La’aulialemalietoa earned his degree in Parliamentary Laws and Procedures from Australia and has worked in the Finance area both in Samoa and in Australia. Before entering politics, he has been a businessman running a diverse range of businesses. 

He first entered the political arena in 2006 and was appointed Deputy Speaker, a position he held for five years. During this time, he served as the Deputy Chairman of Business, Standing Orders, House Committees, Office of Parliament, and Electoral Committee Commonwealth Parliamentary Associations Committee Unions. He held these positions again for a period of four years when he served as Speaker from 2011 – 2016. 

After winning his seat in parliament in 2016, he was appointed Cabinet Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa from 2016 – 2018. During this time, he also served as a Member of the Parliamentary Committee of Economics and a Member of Parliamentary Committee of Infrastructure and Development. 

He was re-elected in the 2021 national elections winning the seat as Member of Parliament for the Gagaifomauga No. 3 constituency. La’auliolemalietoa is the co-founder of Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party and he currently serves as its Chairman and Deputy Leader. He is also a Lay Preacher for the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa.

Ajay Jagannath, Regional Technical Specialist, UNCDF

Ajay is with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) as the Regional Technical Specialist and is responsible for building the Digital Financial Ecosystem in the South Pacific region. 

He has over 10 years of international development, digital finance, retail, mass-market banking, and wealth management experience having served in strategic positions with HSBC and ANZ Banks in India and Singapore. 

Ajay holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Computer science) and is an alumnus of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. He is passionate about harnessing his knowledge of technology, finance, and policy to make human lives better. In his free time, he runs marathons, cycles long distances, cooks three meals a day, and reads anything he can lay his hands on.

Litia Taukäve, Founding Director of Loving Islands

Litia Taukäve is an environmentalist, humanitarian and founder of Loving Islands. She was selected as one of Forbes Under 30 Asian Social Entrepreneurs in 2018.

Her grassroots social enterprise helps to identify sustainable economic development opportunities, such as land in the remote islands of Fiji that has the potential to be farmed organically. She works alongside communities and NGOs to help regenerate natural environments and facilitate the sale of economic output, such as organic produce. Since it was formed less than two years ago, Loving Islands has impacted more than 300 island residents and registered some 5,000 acres under organic land management.

Founded in 2017, Loving Islands’ has grown from a sole-trader business to a not for profit company in Fiji. It deliver services and Projects that support sustainable economic development, such as- community trainings in organic and sustainable agriculture, construction of small-scale community infrastructure, as well as managing an Organic Pasifika farmer group to provide income opportunities to rural farming communities! 

Gia Gaspard Taylor, President, Network of Rural Women Producers Trinidad and Tobago (NRWPTT)

Gia Gaspard Taylor is a national of Trinidad and Tobago, who continues to devote herself tirelessly to national service particularly working with young people, women and the disadvantaged.

She holds a BSc in Social Work from the School of Continuing Studies University of the West Indies; and has had many years of experience in working in both the public and private sector in Trinidad and Tobago as well as within the diplomatic corps.

Gia’s wealth of experience in the areas of education, entrepreneurship, the advancement of women, opportunities for youth development and climate change, bring to bear fruitfully on the numerous committees and associations on which she serves.

She holds a numbers of executive positions on several non governmental organizations including the Federation of UNESCO Clubs, and the Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women.

Menka Goudan, Senior Program Manager, Fiji Women's Fund

Menka Goundan is feminist activist and has worked in research, advocacy and training in women’s human rights in Fiji and the Pacific. 

She has previously worked with the Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding and Fiji Women’s Rights Movement. Menka is the outgoing Secretary for the NGO Coalition on Human Rights in Fiji and is also a member of the Program Advisory Committee of the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW).

Menka has a Bachelor of Commerce in Management and Public Administration; and Tourism Studies from the University of the South Pacific and a Professional Certificate in Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership from the Eastern Mennonite University. She is also an Alumni of the Pacific Research Colloquium at the Australian National University and currently pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Studies at the University of the South Pacific.

Kalau Moses Nambo,  Chairman of POETCom Board

Kalau Moses Nambo, from Vanuatu is a founding member of POETCom established in 2003.  He is also the representative of the Oceania Pasifika Organic Movement , Founding Member and current Board Member, Senior Livestock Officer - Vanuatu IFOAM Oceania Pasifika Region. Nambo is the Principal Livestock Officer in the Department of Livestock under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries & Biosecurity in Vanuatu. Nambo is a firm believer and a convert in paradigm shift from conventional farming practices to traditional farming practices or Organic farming practices. His dream is to see his country of Vanuatu lead in Organics in the Pacific. When not working, Nambo enjoys working with soil, planting he loves serving God from whom his entire being depends on daily.

Phillip Henderson, CEO, Vodafone Cook Islands and Vice President of PITA

Phillip Henderson is a Cook Islands National and the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Telecommunications Company, Vodafone Cook Islands appointed in October 2015.

Phill returned to the Cook Islands to take up the role following 10+ years of Technology Sales and Program Management at Alcatel-Lucent/Nokia NZ. He was a Program Director and Customer Delivery Lead for the Pacific Islands and Wireless vertical Markets Oceania.

Prior to that, Phill was a Branch Engineer for Cable and Wireless Cook Islands for 10 years and became General Manager Telecoms for Telecom Islands Limited for 15 years before moving to New Zealand. He is currently vice President of the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA).

Tonni Ann Brodber, Representative, UN Women Multi-Country Office - Caribbean

Prior to her appointment in August 2020, Ms. Brodber served as Deputy Representative from 2015 -2020 with the MCO Caribbean. Before this Ms. Brodber was the Team Leader for the Advancing Gender Justice in the Pacific programme with the UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office. 

Ms. Brodber served as the Gender Specialist for the United Nations Development Programme in South Africa, as well as briefly with the UN Women South Africa Multi-Country Office and established what is now the UN Women Country Office in Haiti. Ms. Brodber’s work experience also includes lecturing in International Relations and Development Studies at Yanshan University in China, and directing and co-producing, a film on Haiti. 

Ms. Brodber received her first degree from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and has post graduate degrees in Development Studies and Business Administration from the London School of Economics and ESADE Business School in Barcelona. 

Ms. Brodber is raising two sons with her husband.

Session 7: The Way Forward


Closing Session

Honourable Mr Mahendra Reddy, Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment

Dr. Reddy is Fiji’s Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment. He has served as Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts since September, 2014 till July, 2017. In December, 2017, he was re-appointed to Cabinet as Minister for Waterways and in August, 2018 he took on an added portfolio of Environment. In late November 2018, he was re-appointed to Cabinet as Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment.

Prior to joining politics, he served in academia, first at University of the South Pacific as Lecturer in Development Studies, in 1998 rising up to the rank of Associate Professor of Economics, in 2007 Head of School of Economics. In 2008, he joined FIT and later Fiji National University as the Dean of the College of Business, Hospitality and Tourism Studies. He also served as Chair of Fiji Commerce Commission and as a Director in the Board of Reserve Bank of Fiji.

Abebe Haile Gabriel, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa

A national of Ethiopia, Haile-Gabriel joined FAO in 2015 to serve as Deputy Regional Representative for Africa and Representative to Ghana, and since 2017 as the Regional Programme Leader for Africa, during which time he played lead role in refocusing and aligning FAO’s regional initiatives and strategic programmes in Africa with the priorities espoused by key national and regional partners for improved programme delivery. 

Haile-Gabriel ’s career began in 1986 as a faculty member of the then Alemaya (now Haramaya) University in Ethiopia. Between 2005 and 2015, Haile-Gabriel served the African Union, first as Director of Semi-Arid Food Grains Research and Development, based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, then as Head of Rural Economy Division and finally as Director of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa.

Haile-Gabriel  holds a Doctorate and a Masters’ degree in Agricultural and Rural Development from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, the Netherlands, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the Alemaya University in Ethiopia. 

Julio Berdegue, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean

Mr. Berdegué, a national of Mexico, holds a Ph.D. in Social Science from Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and a Master of Science degree in agronomy from the University of California-Davis (USA).

Before his appointment at FAO, he was the Principal Researcher at the Latin American Center for Rural Development (Rimisp) in Santiago, Chile, where he coordinated the Territorial Cohesion Working Group, spearheading research, policy support and capacity development programs addressing issues of territorial inequality and rural development.

Dr. Berdegué has published and worked extensively on different aspects of rural development, such as territorial development, rural non-farm employment, the changing structures of agri-food and rural markets and their impact on small and medium producers and enterprises, and the role of small and medium cities in rural development.

Jong-Jin Kim, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific -- please see above entry

Angelica Jacome, Director, Office of SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs, FAO-- Facilitator

Ms Angélica María Jácome holds a Master of Science in International Development from Tulane University, a Master of Arts in Law from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Tulane University. Prior to joining FAO, she was the Permanent Representative of Panama to the United Nations Rome-based Agencies (RBAs) from 2015 to 2019. She served in other foreign missions of Panama and worked as a consultant for various international organizations, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) on areas related to planning, social and economic policy, and resilience.  She is currently the Director of the Office of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), OSL, and the Executive Chief for both the FAO Women’s and Youth Committees.