Qatar has announced that it will host the 6th General Assembly of the Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS) from October 2-3 in conjunction with the opening of the Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha.
It was also announced that the organisation would host the second high-level forum in Kazakhstan from June 6-8 under the chairmanship of Qatar.
This came during the press conference held on Sunday by Director of the Food Security Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Chairman of the Executive Council of IOFS Dr Masoud Jarallah Al Marri and HE Director General of IOFS Yerlan Baidaulet.
Dr Masoud Jarallah Al Marri affirmed that this hosting comes within Qatar's interaction with the IOFS and its various arms, especially as it took the initiative to join and ratify the statute of the IOFS in 2016 and chairs its Executive Council represented by the Ministry of Municipality.
This membership reflects the Islamic states' trust in the significant role played by the State of Qatar in the Islamic world and its interaction with its issues.
He added that Doha's meetings would witness the launch of a fund for projects finance to enable member states to use their capabilities, enhance and rationalize the management of their resources, coordinate among states at the level of government, facilitate the process of communication between them, and overcoming difficulties and helping the fields of food security to face challenges and emergencies.
He indicated that global food security faces several challenges, whether environmental or geopolitical, which require coordinating the efforts and setting programs and strategies that would lead to an Islamic Organization that is capable of addressing all crises and conditions.
He pointed out that the International Islamic Food Processing Association (IFPA) is one of the leading programs of the Organization, which it relies on to achieve food security by promoting Islamic products and increasing Intra-industry trade through developing its system and providing consultation for the products' owners to compete with other products from outside the Organization, thus creating job opportunities and income for business owners and allowing them to compete.
Dr Al Marri reviewed the arrangements related to hosting that event and the importance of the organization's role to improve the situation of food security in the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
He noted that the General Assembly of the IOFS would be attended by Ministers of Agriculture and specialists in food security issues from 57 Islamic countries, in addition to more than 25 international organizations specialized in food security.
The number of participants is expected to exceed 250 as the Organization's General Assembly is seen as a platform for exchanging and coordinating joint efforts among Islamic countries to strengthen food security.
For his part, IOFS Director General Prof Yerlan Baidaulet affirmed the great role of Qatar in the activities of the organization, especially in the fields of agriculture and animal production and its contributions to resolving many issues facing the region and the world, pointing out that the organization deals with 57 member states of the organization, which are mostly concerned with achieving food security, while 28 of which face the risks of hunger, malnutrition and natural disasters, which affect their food situation and security.
He added that the Islamic market is large and expanding day by day, and that 80 percent of Halal food is imported from non-Islamic countries, therefore, the organization is working to develop supply chains, strengthen the capabilities of farmers, support small farms with consultations, and the provision of cheap and effective technology to face water scarcity and climate changes.
He stated that the Sixth General Assembly of the IOFS will discuss a number of important issues, including the challenges of food security, support of businessmen and governments to deal with social and economic conditions, implementation of animal farm projects, provision of bread, development of supply chains, provision of agricultural technology and attraction of international companies and centers specialized in the fields of food security, reviewing the status quo and implementing the ten-year strategy, supporting the private sector, and reviewing the organization's annual report.
During the press conference, it was also announced that the organization will host the second high-level forum, which will be held from 6 to 8 June 2023 in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, under the chairmanship of the State of Qatar and with the participation of representatives of more than 23 member states and more than 1,000 participants, and the second edition of the forum will be an opportunity to confirm FAO's commitment to assisting Member States in ensuring sustainable food systems.
The forum aims to create a unique, dynamic and unprecedented platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue, with a focus on exchanging advanced agricultural technologies, advancing science and research in order to adapt agriculture to marginal environments, promoting the concept of smart agriculture, transforming food supplies and value chains, and facilitating strategic partnerships for business opportunities.
investments in agriculture, and youth empowerment for sustainable food systems. On June 6, 2023, IOFS will hold a Youth Biotechnology Forum titled "Biotechnology for Food Security and Climate Resilience" where future food security experts, agro-entrepreneurs, farmers, IT professionals and students from the agriculture sector will hold working sessions and discussions on pressing challenges in agriculture from a modern perspective.
Young people's interest in this economic sector will, in the long term, will help in strengthening rural development and national and regional food systems. The main part of the IOFS High-level Forum on Food Security will be held on June 7, 2023, and will focus on three main sectors: food safety, advanced technologies and innovations, the important part of the forum on trade and investment will also be held within the Astana International Forum from June 8 to 9.
It will serve as a platform for eminent delegates from governments, international organizations, businesses and academia, and will address four major global challenges including foreign policy, security, sustainability, energy, climate, economics and finance.
During the meetings of the Fifth General Assembly of the Islamic Organization for Food Security on October 11, 2022, the State of Qatar, represented by the Ministry of Municipality, was elected as Chair of the Executive Council of the organization due to the great role it plays in the framework of joint work with the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to advance the issues of the Islamic nation, as the State of Qatar is making efforts Qatar has made great efforts in the field of achieving food security, within the realization of the Qatar National Vision, to achieve sustainable development as part of the National Program for Food Security, which contributes to making the Qatar National Vision a reality.
These efforts have contributed to the State of Qatar's advanced ranks in recent years in the global index of food security, which confirms that work in implementing the national strategy for food security is progressing according to plan and hope.
The Islamic Organization for Food Security is a specialized institution affiliated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation which was established in 2013 and the first meeting of the General Assembly was held in 2016.
The organization attaches importance to food security for all countries of the Islamic world and its reflection on the social, economic and political aspects.
The main objectives of the organization include providing expertise and technical knowledge to member countries in various aspects of sustainable agriculture, rural development, food security and biotechnology, assessing and monitoring the food security situation in member countries to be able to identify emergency situations, providing social safety nets and humanitarian assistance through food security reserves through coordinating, formulating and implementing common agricultural policies such as sharing and transferring appropriate technology and public food management systems, addressing problems such as desertification, deforestation, erosion and salinity, and mobilizing and managing financial and agricultural resources to enhance food security.