Minister Indar Weir, of Barbados, is the new Chair of IICA’s Executive Committee, following the tenure of Laura Suazo, of Honduras. Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA, highlighted Suazo’s leadership and welcomed minister Weir.
San Jose, 19 July 2023 (IICA) – The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Security of Barbados, Indar Weir, was elected on Wednesday as the new Chair of the Executive Committee of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), succeeding Laura Suazo, Secretary of Agriculture and Livestock of Honduras, who completed her one-year mandate at the helm of the governing body of the specialized agency for agricultural and rural development.
The twelve Member States on the IICA Executive Committee serve for two-year terms and are chosen according to the principles of partial rotation and equitable geographic distribution. However, the agenda of the body’s meetings will deal with issues that are vital for the overall hemispheric agricultural agenda, such as water security. Thus, the participation of the other 13 member countries was requested.
At the start of the meeting, Minister Weir was unanimously elected as Committee Chair, further to a nomination by the Minister of Agriculture of Trinidad and Tobago, Avinash G. Singh, which was seconded by his colleague from Grenada, Adrian Thomas.
“We are living at a time in which food security plays a strategic role in global agendas. I must stress the importance of this and other related issues, such as international agricultural trade, for Barbados and our Caribbean region. This IICA Executive Committee meeting provides an excellent opportunity to address and thoroughly examine these issues”, said Weir.
Furthermore, he pointed out that, “At this time, given the climate crisis, ministries of Agriculture have acquired greater importance and it is incumbent on us to rely on research, so that we can move towards food security in this context in a targeted way. Climate change is an enormous poblem and we have no choice but to adapt to it. I am also speaking on behalf of land-locked countries, with development problems, and of the least developed countries that require support”.
In turn, the Secretary of Agriculture of Honduras, the first woman to serve in that capacity, thanked IICA for her experience as Chair of the Executive Committee and noted that “Latin America and the Caribbean is positioning itself as a producer, but paradoxically, hunger and production costs are rising in the absence of adequate funding. In this regard, IICA has a necessary and major role to play in turning the world’s gaze towards our region and increasing recognition of the work carried out by producers. We appreciate the trust that IICA has placed in us, which is mutual. We must all work together for the benefit of agriculture”.
The Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero, underscored “the leadership displayed by the outgoing Chair of the Executive Committee, Secretary Laura Suazo, who is one of four female ministers of agriculture who are giving greater prominence to our region. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome the new Chair, Indar Weir”.
IICA’s Executive Committee meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica, brought together 14 ministers of agriculture and other senior agricultural officials of 25 countries in the Americas. Among other issues, the participants will seek to build consensus on tools for tackling the water crisis that is affecting a significant part of the region, which is key for global food security.
IICA is the specialized agency for agriculture in the Inter-American system, with a mission to encourage, promote and support its 34 Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.
Institutional Communication Division.
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