APN participated in the High-level Arab Forum on Sustainable Development held in Amman during the period April 2nd – 4th, 2014 organized by UN ESCWA, the Arab League and UN Department of economic and social affairs in collaboration with Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and Ministry of Environment.
The meeting is part of a series of national and regional consultative meetings, workshops and seminars organized to review achievements of Arab States on Millennium Development Goals so far, and to crystallize a unified Arab perspective to post 2015 era in relationship with priorities of the region.
Representatives of various government economic, social and environmental institutions, civil society and UN organizations who are members of the regional mechanism attended the Forum meeting as well as experts and representatives of international and regional organizations.
Manager and representative of APN at the Forum meeting, Mariam Al-Jaajaa drafted the speech of Arab Civil Society on agriculture, food security and nutrition.
The speech focused on concepts of sovereignty over food that includes the right of states and communities to identify appropriate agriculture and food – related policies. The speech stressed the need to assist local farmers and producers; in particular small ones, to access resources and be able to improve productivity and added value.
APN showed that investment in agriculture and food production is crucial not only for food security and nutrition but for poverty eradication and job creation as well as developing other sectors such as industry.Al-jaajaa urged the panel to build regional strategies to ensure food security based on the increase of joint investments, building strategic food reserves to face crises, creating a unified mechanism for trade especially for import as the Arab region relies heavily on import.
A unified mechanism will give Arabs a greater bargaining power while negotiating trade deals. The Forum concluded with a set of recommendations that were submitted to the Arab Council of Ministers responsible for environment affairs and Arab Council of Ministers of Social Affairs to be approved and sent to the next Arab Socio-Economic Development Summit (January 2015) and to the UN ESCWA 28th Ministerial Committee meeting (May 2014).
The Forum report shall also be sent to the Secretariat of UN Social and Economical Council (July 2014) as a regional contribution for the year 2014.