ORGANIZATION FOR NUTRITION AND AGRICULTURE
Dra. Mai Alkaila, Ambassador of the State of Palestine in Italy, has been appointed Permanent Representative of the State of Palestine to the three United Nations Organizations based in Rome, FAO, IFAD and WFP on 30 March 2015.
The three UN organizations, in their congresses and official meetings, face various issues of interest in Palestine, such as: food security, malnutrition, food waste, droughts and water shortages, prolonged crises in Arab and neighbouring countries, civil wars after the “Arab Spring”, natural disasters, family farming, climate change, and archaeological heritage.
With regards to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Embassy, together with the Near East Group, other bordering countries, and the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature, supported the battle for including the words “under occupation” to better describe, in the documents of this Organization, starting with the discussion of 18-22/ 05/2015 on the Action Plan for Food Security and Nutrition in Prolonged Crises, the conditions of those, like Palestinian people, who require special forms of protection – under Humanitarian Law – in order to access natural resources and food aid.
This was explicitly reiterated by the Palestinian Ambassador at the 39th FAO Conference Session, held on 6-13/ 06/2015 in the presence of 194 countries and 130 ministers, pointing out that employment is the most serious barrier to food supply and security.
At the 42nd Session of the Commission on World Food Security on 12-15/ 10/2015, the Near East Group, which includes the State of Palestine, submitted a document on food security not only in conflicting countries (Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Palestine) where causes of anthropic origin prevail (occupations, terrorism, wars), but also in countries where climate change and natural disasters are manifested.
The goals which need to be achieved for a sustainable development have been at the heart of the 153rd FAO Council Session, held from 30/11 to 4/12/2015.
At the Meeting of the Committee for Conformity (CoC) of the General Commission for Fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea of 19-20/ 01/2016, the Palestine Embassy presented a study on fishing and the socio-economic benefits that it brings to the Gaza Strip, illustrating the restrictions imposed by the State of Israel, which put the population in serious trouble. That is why the Ambassador appealed to the United Nations to work together to regain control over Palestine’s natural and national resources, guaranteeing freedom of navigation and fishing in territorial waters, which is needed for the sustainment of the Palestinian population.