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 to 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 International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), this organization has highlighted the importance of protecting the environment and adopting smart climate practices in order to ensure a sustainable and strong rural transformation. IFAD also underlined its commitment to agricultural and rural development so that it can improve not only the lives of small agricultural owners but also that of urban population.

In the 38th Session of the Council of Governors held on 16-17/02/2015, it was stated that rural transformation is key to sustainable development. Specific attention has been given to supporting and enhancing the role of women in agriculture – promoting a concept of social diversity that provides equal opportunities for both sexes – and that of small farmers, encouraging their contribution to the agricultural development process.

During the 39th Session of the Council of 17-18/02/2016, IFAD President Kanayo Nwanze underlined the fundamental role that rural development plays in the stability of societies as well as in the reduction of migration and conflicts, saying that “with the elimination of poverty and hunger, we can avoid the desperation that leads to emergencies and disasters for the humanity”. The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, who attended the meeting, wished to add that “The saving of human lives which derives from helping people who flee from wars or misery is the duty of any society that may be considered free, democratic, and respectful of human rights”.

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