150th Meeting of the CIHEAM GB: Call for reinforced solidarity and cooperation in a serious context of crises
CIHEAM Chania Conference Center, Greece (18-19 July 2022)
Chaired by Mr. Mohamed Sadiki, current Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, and Water and Forests in Morocco, the 150th CIHEAM Governing Board Meeting was held in Greece in the CIHEAM Chania Conference Center, from July 18 to 19, 2022, as part of the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the CIHEAM and in a Mediterranean context marked by a succession of crises (COVID19, Russian-Ukrainian war, severe droughts). Crises that weigh on food and nutritional security and that have a strong impact on the living conditions of the most fragile populations. An emergency context that, as recalled by the President and the delegations present, calls for greater food sovereignty of countries, Mediterranean solidarity, and strengthened cooperation for sustainable, inclusive and resilient food systems.
Chaired by Mr. Mohamed Sadiki, current Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, and Water and Forests in Morocco, the CIHEAM Governing Board met for two days to discuss the many projects carried out and future directions in a Mediterranean context impacted by numerous crises.
Pictures: President of the Governing Board, Mr Mohammed Sadiki; CIHEAM Legal Cousellor Mr Terry Olson, CIHEAM Secretary General Mr Plácido PLAZA, GB Vice-President and Delegate for France Mrs Valérie Baduel, CIHEAM Advisory Board President Mrs Lamiae Ghaouti ; CIHEAM Chania Director Mr George Baourakis, CIHEAM Montpellier Director Mr Thierry Dupeuble; CIHEAM Bari Director Mr Maurizio Raeli and CIHEAM Zaragoza Director Mr Raul Compés; Delegates for Spain Mrs María José Hernández Mendoza and for Morocco Mr Bilal Hajjouji with the team of the CIHEAM General Secretariat.
The General Secretariat, the CIHEAM Institutes of Bari, Chania, Montpellier and Zaragoza presented their new training, research and cooperation activities aimed at meeting the agro-food challenges of the region.
Discussions also focused on the activities developed in the priority themes of the CIHEAM, namely empowerment and socio-economic inclusion of women and youth, support to sustainable food systems, sustainable management of coastal areas and fisheries as well as Mediterranean forests recently ravaged by violent fires.
These areas are considered priorities by all the Member States present and are in line with the priorities of the international organizations invited such as the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) and the International Olive Oil Council (IOC). These convergences highlight the importance of science diplomacy in the service of necessary agricultural transitions and the need to pool and optimize resources for greater impact.
Pictures: Mr. Alvaro ALBACETE, UfM Deputy Secretary General in charge of water, environment, and blue economy; Mr. Abdellatif GHEDIRA, IOC Executive Director; Mr. Pau ROCA, OIV Director General, Mrs. Ismahane ELOUAFI, FAO Chief Researcher and CIHEAM et al. group picture.
To close this important moment of dialogue and regional cooperation, the guests inaugurated the "Garden of Peace" hosted by the CIHEAM Chania Institute in the presence of Mrs. Dora BAKOYANNIS, Member of Parliament and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Panayotis SIMANDIRAKIS, Mayor of Chania, Mr. Nikos KALOGERIS, Vice-Governor of the Region of Crete and Mr. Vasilis DIGALAKIS, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Education. Composed of a collection of olive trees from Mediterranean countries, this garden is a symbol of peace and dialogue between people. A message that the Secretary General of CIHEAM, Plácido PLAZA wished to pass on by describing it as a beacon for the region and future generations.
Picture: Opening of the "Garden of Peace" at the CIHEAM Institute of Chania by Mrs. Dora BAKOYANNIS, Member of the Parliament and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and CIHEAM Secretary General Mr. Plácido PLAZA.
According to the Secretary-General, this garden, which carries within it thousands of years of collective history, should remind us that what unites us will always be stronger than what separates us. Moreover, at a time when hunger and food insecurity are resurfacing globally, the nourishing symbolism of the olive tree is a salutary reminder that agriculture is of vital importance and that more sustainable agro-food systems are essential conditions for prosperity and peace.
View photos and videos of the inauguration here on the Greek website Flashnews.gr.