148TH CIHEAM GOVERNING BOARD MEETING
CONGRATULATIONS AND TRIBUTES
The CIHEAM Governing Board met on Friday 17 December 2021 for its 148th meeting under the presidency of Mohammed SADIKI, Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests of Morocco, by videoconference from Rabat. Before opening the discussions on the activities and progress regarding the CIHEAM accreditation procedure for delegated cooperation with the European Commission, the President welcomed the Board members and then congratulated the Delegate of Tunisia to the CIHEAM, Mr Mahmoud Elies Hamza for his appointment as Minister of Agriculture. He also congratulated the new Delegate of Albania, Mr Enio Civici, Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture as well as Mr Thierry Dupeuple, new Director of the CIHEAM Montpellier.
On the occasion of this meeting, the Governing Board wished to recall the precious vision and the important commitment of the late Cosimo Lacirignola, Director of the CIHEAM Bari then Secretary General of the CIHEAM and adopted a decision to name the campus of the CIHEAM Bari in his honour. A tribute was also paid to the late Raymond Février (Secretary General of CIHEAM between 1985-1991). He was a significant figure in the agricultural world. He has contributed to strengthening the role of research for agricultural development and to opening up new prospects for collaboration between the countries of both Mediterranean shores.
CONTINUITY OF SERVICES AND FUTURE PROJECTIONS
The President of GB and the Delegations of the Member States welcomed the important advances despite a health context, which unfortunately complicates and limits work on the ground. As such, the investment of the executive to ensure the continuity and efficiency of services (training, research, partnerships) - which have resulted in an increase in the number of students and a richer range of training courses - and for developing new international initiatives was welcomed. These successes have been possible especially thanks to the anticipation and permanent adaptation of the teams to health constraints.
The Delegations welcomed the commitment of the CIHEAM for the continuity of strategic activities (innovation, climate change, organic farming sectors, etc.), the strengthening of existing partnerships (FAO, UfM, EFI, IOC, Arab Water Council, etc.) and for new initiatives including a wide variety of stakeholders (academies, business clubs, civil society organisations, etc.). The recent programmatic directions in the fields of sustainable management of water and watersheds have been observed and they will be particularly presented at the World Water Forum in Dakar (March 2022) where the CIHEAM will be present.
In view of the increased requirements of the European Union in terms of management and governance standards, the Delegations have praised the progress made by the CIHEAM with regard to the accreditation procedure to become a delegated operator of the European Commission as well as for the development of inclusive corporate policies (namely, gender equality plans, gender mainstreaming in research, etc.).
CELEBRATIONS OF THE CIHEAM’S 60th ANNIVERSARY IN 2022
In addition, this 148th Governing Board meeting was an opportunity to discuss the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the CIHEAM (in 2022). New projects, events and conferences will mark a year of celebrations in member countries and Institutes. These celebrations are future orientated, in relation with the emerging challenges and for which the solutions developed by the Mediterranean youth must be supported. Quality training courses adapted to emerging challenges, including the impacts of COVID-19, as well as a better socio-professional integration of young people in a changing Mediterranean are essential success factors.
THE AGRICULTURAL AND FARMING WORLD: OUR MOST PRECIOUS RESOURCE
At the end of the meeting, President Mohammed SADIKI praised the women and men of rural and agricultural worlds who, over this historic period, thanks to their work and devotion, have enabled the preservation of our food security. He recalled that in the emerging new world order, their place is fundamental and must be strengthened. “The sustainable and secure supply of food markets are the conditions for peace and these people are the guarantors. Food sovereignty must be discussed with them, especially in the context of the promising momentum of the social and solidarity economy” he concluded.