FAO Regional Representative ends tour of Latin American countries with emphasis on strengthening food security

Photo: ©FAO/Vanessa Olarte
Santiago de ChileMarch 28, 2023,

The Assistant Director General and Regional Representative of FAO for Latin America, Mario Lubetkin, completed a series of official visits to four Latin American countries. This agenda was focused on strengthening technical cooperation with governments and multilateral entities on food security issues and the management of strategic alliances focused on the transformation of the region’s agri-food systems.

Lubetkin’s trip included visits to Panama, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, where he held meetings with the main local authorities, with whom he discussed the work agenda in the respective countries, as well as possible new areas of joint cooperation.

The tour of the Regional Representative began in Panama, where he held meetings with Vladimir Franco, Foreign Minister (E) and with Yill del Carmen Otero, Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs and International Cooperation with whom he addressed the problem of hunger and malnutrition at the national level from different perspectives. local and regional.

After this, Lubetkin participated in the Annual Assembly of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and held a meeting with the president of the entity, Ilan Goldfajn. In addition, she participated as a panelist in the seminar “Building bridges to promote food security and sustainable energy”, an instance where an important exchange between public and private actors was established to identify common paths and actions in this matter. “This meeting marked a change in quality, a substantial change in the relationship between FAO and the IDB, understood as a complementary work mechanism between a development bank such as the IDB and a technical assistance Organization, such as the FAO, under the mandate to reduce and eliminate hunger and move towards food and nutrition security, but above all moving towards the transformation of agri-food systems”, Lubetkin assured at the end of the meeting.

During his visit to Mexico, the FAO Regional Representative held working meetings with the Secretary of Agriculture, Víctor Villalobos, the Undersecretary of Foreign Relations, Martha Delgado, the Undersecretary of Industry and Commerce, Luis Romero and Alejandro Encinas, Undersecretary of Foreign Trade , with whom he discussed the current regional economic situation and the impact that food price inflation has had on the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, they analyzed the work that is being carried out by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to update the plan on Food and Nutrition Security according to the current reality of the region.

In the Dominican Republic, meanwhile, Mario Lubetkin signed the Country Programming Framework with the national government, whose main objective is to establish the joint actions that will be carried out in the period 2023-2027 with the technical cooperation of FAO in the country.

The agreement was signed by the Ministers of Economy, Planning and Development, Pável Isa Contreras, of Agriculture, Limber Cruz, and the Vice Minister of Environmental Management, Indhira de Jesús. The document addresses the challenges in food security, rural development and adaptation to climate change of agri-food systems in the country.

Subsequently, Lubetkin participated in the XVIII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State, where a strategic resolution was signed to establish a work path to achieve sustainable and inclusive food security in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The next summit will be held on November 29, 2024 in Quito, under the motto “Ibero-American innovation, inclusion and sustainability”, in which food security will continue as a priority of this regional forum.

Mario Lubetkin concluded this tour in Cuba where he held a meeting with President Miguel Díaz Canel and the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez, Foreign Trade, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, and Agriculture, Ydael Pérez Brito, with whom they reviewed the current agenda of cooperation in the country regarding the issues of hunger and malnutrition and possible advances in the future.

“We are strengthening the work of FAO in Latin America and the Caribbean in line with the priorities established by our Member States and in the different regional instances. We have prioritized an open and direct dialogue with the Governments, from their territories, which will allow us to define joint and consistent actions that allow us to advance in the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.” concluded Lubetkin about his official visits.

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