OIC Food Security Organisation Holds First General Assembly In Astana, Kazakhstan

KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 (Bernama) — The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS), held its first General Assembly in Astana, Kazakhstan on Thursday, the OIC said in a statement.

It said that Kazakhstan Prime Minister, Karim Massimov, who delivered the welcome address on behalf of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, stressed that the IOFS will make contributions and carry an impact on food security at a time when the world was facing ubiquitous famine and diseases.

He pointed out that the establishment of the IOFS embodies the initiative tabled during the 38th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held in Astana in 2011, which was initially slated to set up a fund of food security for the OIC 57-Member States.

He also said that Kazakhstan will use its resources to support the IOFS and was confident that all OIC member states will join the organisation.

Meanwhile, OIC Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani, said that the inauguration of the IOFS was a historical milestone that enhanced collective efforts intended to improve socio-economic cooperation among the member states.

The IOFS is expected to implement resolutions related to the fields of agriculture, rural development and food security.

Madani urged the IOFS to carry out agricultural micro-finance projects, conduct a study on early warning and information systems in the OIC member states and implement a programme to boost capacities and limit post-harvest wastage.

In the meantime, Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group President Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali, indicated that the IDB will cooperate with IOFS in a bid to engage farmers in the process of development by enhancing their access to improved seeds and fertilisers, among others.

There was also a need to focus on technical assistance programmes in order to facilitate the transfer of agricultural knowledge-based expertise and the set up of concessional lending programmes, he said in his remarks at the inaugural General Assembly.

The IDB president said that it was also important to enhance market accessibility by improving infrastructure and developing the energy sector in order to maximise food production.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan was elected Chairman of the IFOS General Assembly, while Cote d’Ivoire and Palestine were elected vice-chairmen.

The IOFS executive council was also set up for a three-year term comprising among others Bangladesh, Burkina-Faso, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Kazakhstan and Niger.

The General Assembly elected Yarzehan Jalmokhanov from Kazakhstan as Director-General of IOFS while Director-General of Saudi Arabia’s International Cooperation and Agricultural Overseas Investments in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Saad Al-Khaleel Eissa, was elected Chairman of the Executive Council.

The General Assembly also adopted the IOFS’s budget, together with its Rules of Procedure, Financial Regulations, Personnel Regulations, and a Five-year Plan of Action, OIC said.

Reports said that 29 OIC members have joined the IOFS, which will have its headquarters in Astana.

The office of the international organisation will provide the expertise and technical know-how to member states on various aspects of effective development of agriculture, rural areas, food security and the development of biotechnology. according to reports.

— BERNAMA

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