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Release – Seventeen high-level authorities from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), participated today in the event “Integration and exchange of experiences to advance food security and nutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
The meeting was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which currently holds the pro tempore presidency of CELAC. At the meeting, the countries exchanged good practices and experiences adopted to promote economic recovery and improve food security and nutrition to eradicate hunger and other forms of malnutrition. They also discussed ways to strengthen regional governance spaces and strategies within the framework of CELAC’s multilateral mechanism to promote a common political dialogue to transform food systems and ensure food and nutrition security in the region.
Foreign Minister of Argentina, Santiago Cafiero; Assistant Director General and Regional Representative of FAO, Mario Lubetkin; National Coordinator of the Argentine PPT of CELAC, Gustavo Martinez Pandiani; and Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero and Ambassador Ramiro Ordoqui, Undersecretary for Economic, Multilateral and Bilateral Negotiations held the meeting.
“CELAC, FAO, and IICA constitute a single bloc working on profound problems that we must continue to address; this is done through Integration, intelligence, and multilateralism based on solidarity. This implies working together and developing fairer and fuller societies and narrowing the gaps in production and accessibility that often leave large populations of our territory behind,” said Chancellor Cafiero.
Lubetkin pointed out that “between 2019 and 2021, the number of people suffering from hunger in LAC increased from 43.3 million to 56.5 million, which means an increase of 30%. This situation is a paradox, considering that the region produces food for more than 1.3 billion people, twice its population.”
He added: “We must listen to the voices of producers, rural women, and young people to advance in the process of the social and economic recovery of the region. There is an opportunity for transformation there. But we must act quickly and united. FAO offers the technical and operational capacity to work with countries to create conditions that guarantee food and nutritional security, favor sustainable development, generate jobs and decent livelihoods, help to reduce poverty and inequality, and address the effects of climate change and the loss of biodiversity.
Mr. Otero said: “there is a long tradition of collaboration between our countries in agriculture and food. And much progress has been made in recent decades. We congratulate CELAC, currently chaired by Argentina, for having decided to update these efforts considering the new and difficult circumstances. This will be the subject of joint analysis and learning and, hopefully, of subsequent collective action by the countries involved,” he concluded.”