November 13, 2023, Santiago de Chile – The regional office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for Latin America and the Caribbean hosted a technical meeting on Social protection systems and food security and nutrition: implementation challenges within the framework of the CELAC FNS Plan.
The meeting’s objective was facilitating consultations and promoting technical dialogue to strengthen the pillars and lines of action for updating the Food Security, Nutrition, and Hunger Eradication Plan of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). This is in line with the provisions of the Presidential Declaration of Buenos Aires of January 2023.
The opening of the meeting was attended by Saboto Caesar, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labor of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the country holding the Pro Tempore Presidency of CELAC; Laura Elena Suazo Torres, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Honduras, the next Pro Tempore President of CELAC; Esteban Valenzuela, Minister of Agriculture of Chile; and Mario Lubetkin, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Other participants included officials from 20 countries of the region; from regional blocs such as CARICOM, SICA, and SISCA; representatives of parliaments, academia, civil society, and the private sector; financial institutions committed to development; and international agencies such as ECLAC, ALADI, IICA, and WFP.
The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labor of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Saboto Caesar, at the opening of the session, said: “We are here to represent the needs of the people, and we must remember at all times that the work we do is not for ourselves but for the populations of Latin America and the Caribbean and the world population.”
“In a difficult global context, in which humanity and the planet face enormous challenges to achieve sustainable development, due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on food supply chains and prices, the climate crisis, persistent inequalities and armed conflicts, Latin America and the Caribbean has a fundamental role and remarkable capacities to advance in the process of transformation of its agri-food systems and contribute to food security and nutrition, reduction of inequalities and peace,” mentioned at the meeting, Mario Lubetkin.
He added: “We are here, precisely, to create a space for the exchange of experiences and consultations among multiple actors and experts that can enrich the debate on the pillars and lines of action proposed in the process of updating the CELAC SAN Plan between 2024 and 2030”.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines coordinated the meeting, the country that in 2023 assumed the Pro Tempore Presidency (PPT) of CELAC with technical assistance from FAO to generate a dialogue and exchange that will contribute to the process of updating the CELAC FNS Plan and the proposal of a regional roadmap for the eradication of hunger, poverty, and malnutrition in all its forms in the region.
FAO, as a global technical assistance agency, and in coordination with ECLAC, IICA, and ALADI, has worked closely with the Pro-Tempore Presidency and the representatives of the 33 CELAC member countries in this process, promoting the generation of evidence and recommendations for the implementation of policies and good practices related to the fight against hunger, food insecurity, poverty reduction, and inequalities.
During the meeting, those present discussed the pillars and lines of action of the CELAC FNS Plan in the area of social protection to promote integrated approaches, such as those related to rural development, economic inclusion, gender equality, adaptation to climate change, among others, to advance sustainable development.
The conclusions from this meeting will be part of the proposal for the new food plan. It will be presented at the next meeting of Ministers of Agriculture of the CELAC countries to be held at the FAO offices in Chile in early 2024, where the ministers will approve the update of the food security, nutrition, and hunger eradication plan for Latin America and the Caribbean towards 2030 and submit the document to the CELAC Presidential Summit.