San Jose, Costa Rica, April 18, 2012 (IICA). The call to increase investment in innovation in order to reduce poverty and improve food security, which was issued by the Ministers of Agriculture of the hemisphere in October last year in San Jose, Costa Rica, was echoed at the recently concluded VI Summit of the Americas.
One of the five mandates of the Summit, which ended on Sunday, April 15 in Cartagena, Colombia, was aimed at promoting greater investment in and access to research and technological innovation.
In the words of Victor M. Villalobos, Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), “In October of last year, the Meeting of Ministers of the Americas 2011, recognized the need to promote agricultural innovation and its importance in reducing poverty and inequality among the countries. This call received significant political approval from the Heads of State and Government who were in attendance at the Cartagena Summit”.
Dr. Villalobos headed the delegation of IICA to the VI Summit
The Mandates of the VI Summit of the Americas, in the section relating to Poverty, inequality and inequity, call for the “[promotion] of greater investment in, and access to, research, technological innovation and capacity-building in order to strengthen and ensure a sustainable, comprehensive, inclusive and competitive agro-food sector, that would contribute to food security and the reduction of poverty and inequity, particularly in marginalized rural and urban areas”.
Point 9 of the Mandate on Poverty, inequality and inequity, embodies the spirit of the San Jose Declaration of Ministers of Agriculture 2011. The Meeting of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas 2011, which was organized by the Government of Costa Rica and IICA, brought together the heads of the agriculture portfolio for three days.
According to the President of the host country, Juan Manuel Santos, the Mandate on Poverty, inequality and inequity is the most important of those issued in Cartagena.
“Generating inclusive social policies that promote decent, dignified and productive employment will be the priority of the region”, affirmed the Colombian President in his closing speech.
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