On 8-9 June 2022 the Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS) hosted a High-level Forum on Food security in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The hybrid event was jointly organised by IOFS and Kazakh National Agrarian Research University and brought together representatives of more than 20 countries and attracted more than 1000 participants. The Forum created a dynamic platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue to explore food security game-changing innovations and high-impact solutions also to engage in policy dialogue and knowledge sharing on food security and nutrition both globally and in targeted OIC geographic areas.
The opening ceremony was inaugurated with video-recorded welcoming speech of UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, H.E. Mrs. Mariam Almheiri, keynote remarks by Minister of Municipality and Environment of the State of Qatar, H.E. Mr. Abdulla bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie, Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Niger, Director General of the High Authority for Waqf, H.E. Mrs. Khadijah Diallo, Senior Special Assistant to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Mr. Muhammed Sani Zorro, Executive Director of Women Development Organization, H.E. Dr. Afnan Alshouaiby and Director-General, Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS), H.E. Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet. During the session speakers noted about suffering of many developing countries of extreme food shortages and malnutrition challenges that should be given a stronger voice as well as requires identifying duty bearers and right holders to adopt a systems approach, which considers the interlinked and social determinants of malnutrition.
Furthermore, participants of the plenary session dedicated to the Challenges and Perspectives of the Food Security stressed that agroecology, which is grounded in human rights and encompasses food, equity, and human and planetary health, is key to improving food security and should be central to the self-sufficient food supply chains. Acting Director General, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Dr. Tarifa Al Zaabi during her presentation emphasized the importance of development of individual and institutional capacities for sustainable livelihoods and food security in marginal environments. Whereas multiple participants stressed the necessity to address the private sector’s influence on nutrition governance by critically reviewing trade regimes, public-private partnerships and multi stakeholder platforms and adopting rigorous principles of engagement in policy making. Nigerian representative Mr. Muhammed Sani Zorro in his turn highlighted the importance of quality health and education for children, supporting women and vulnerable communities in eradicating food insecurity. Several participants also stressed that regulatory rather than voluntary measures should be implemented to improve nutrition issues in OIC developing countries.
IOFS Director General HE Yerlan A. Baidaulet presented on the first session, where he provided an overview of the key value proposition of IOFS and remarked that as young and ambitious institution IOFS is striving to realise the IOFS 10 years Strategic Vision 2031 adopted by all OIC Member States to developing human capital for sustainable food security, supporting smallholder farmers through extension, strengthening the role of universities, and raising awareness of food and nutrition security principles from an early age among member countries of OIC.
The session of the Forum was wrapped up by signing several documents between IOFS and International Conformity Assessment body of Sultanate of Oman - Atyab International Services (AIS), Kazakh National Agrarian Research University and Memorandum of understanding on IOFS Integrated Water Plan for the Sahel Region to 2030 that aimed to enable sustainable provision of water resources to the countries of the Sahel region for the period up to 2030 and building the Climate-Smart Agricultural and Food Systems in the Sahel Region.