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Saint Lucia's agriculture minister to participate in most important meeting on agriculture in the Americas

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Friday,  July 10, 2009 –  Delegations from more than 16 States will come together on July 14-16—under the motto “Building Capacity for Enhancing Food Security and Rural Life in the Americas”— to  participate in the annual meeting of the Executive Committee of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), in preparation for the most important meeting for agriculture and rural life in the Americas, to be held in Jamaica in October.


The Committee, one of the Institute’s governing bodies, will comprise representatives of 12 of its Member States: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United States of America.  Other Member States and Permanent Observers are also expected to attend.


The Director General of IICA, Chelston Brathwaite, will present a report on the most important accomplishment of his administration. Dr. Brathwaite, from Barbados, was elected to the post of Director General in 2002, and re-elected for a second term that will end in 2010.


In Jamaica, the IABA will elect the new Director General for 2010-2014. The three candidates for the post (Hector Hernandez from Honduras, Mariano Olazabal from Peru, and Victor Villalobos from Mexico,) will present their visions for the future of the institute to the Executive Committee.


The meeting of the Executive Committee will help move forward with preparations for the “Week of Agriculture and Rural Life of the Americas” (Jamaica 2009), which will provide the backdrop for the Fifth Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Rural Life in the context of the Summit of the Americas process and the Fifteenth Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA), the highest governing body of the Institute.


During the Week,  the ministers must promote the implementation of the agreements reached at the Fifth Summit related to improving food security in our countries, and which are a clear and strong mandate for the Fifth Ministerial Meeting.


The Executive Committee will discuss topics of great importance for the life and future of IICA, such as:  (i) the definition of a Strategic Framework for the work of the Institute in the medium term; (ii) the upgrading of technical expertise at the Institute in order to strengthen and expand cooperation to the Member States; and (iii) the current financial situation of the Institute and the proposed Program Budget for 2010-2011.


The Executive Committee will also take cognizance of a report on the IICA strategy for addressing the issue of food security, which was requested in a resolution approved by the Committee last year. At the time, IICA was instructed to provide its Member States with support, advice and technical cooperation in the area of food security.


They will also receive the report of the external auditors, and reports on progress in joint IICA-IDB efforts and the actions undertaken with CATIE.


The annual meeting of IICA’s Executive Committee will be a forerunner of the Week of Agriculture and Rural Life of the Americas, to be held in Jamaica in October.


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