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IICA strengthens commitments to foster the adoption of trade facilitation standards for food products

IICA strengthens commitments to foster the adoption of trade facilitation standards for food products

The Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) met with senior officials of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.

Washington, 6 June 2018 (IICA). The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) will intensify efforts aimed at increasing its member countries’ awareness of and active participation in Codex Alimentarius and other mechanisms that define global trade rules, focusing primarily on relatively less developed countries.

This commitment is one of the outcomes of a meeting between the Director General of the Institute, Manuel Otero, and Ted McKinney, U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, in Washington D.C.

During the meeting, Otero and the U.S. official reviewed the topics addressed by the joint work agenda of IICA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which prioritizes matters related to food health and safety, as well as trade and biotechnology.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture recognized the work carried out by IICA to foster a participatory attitude among officers in relatively less developed countries, who must adopt joint decisions within the framework of forums for the negotiation of global trade rules. Otero stated that IICA, an international organization that fosters agricultural and rural development, was committed to “strengthening lines of work geared toward complying with multilateral trade standards as well as boosting the participation of member countries in Codex Alimentarius and other mechanisms in which these rules are defined.”

Codex Alimentarius is a collection of food standards and related texts aimed at protecting consumers’ health and ensuring the application of fair practices to facilitate trade in food.

During his second day of work in Washington, before traveling to New York, Otero met with Juan Pablo Bonilla, Manager of the Climate Change and Sustainable Development Sector (CSD) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). During the meeting, it was agreed that, in the upcoming months, a mission of the multilateral credit agency would visit IICA Headquarters in San Jose, Costa Rica, to define a road map for the implementation of joint activities by both institutions, for the benefit of agricultural and rural development.

IICA and IDB will also strengthen joint work related to FONTAGRO, a funding mechanism for innovative projects related to family farming in Latin America, the Caribbean and Spain, which is sponsored by both institutions.

Otero also met with the Vice President of the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), Víctor Rico, with whom he laid the foundation for a partnership between IICA and the development bank.

In New York, Otero will hold meetings with members of the Clinton Foundation to discuss potential joint initiatives in the Caribbean. Additionally, as part of a work agenda with the United Nations (UN), the Director General of IICA will meet with Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs of the UN; Yannick Glemarec, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women; Martín García Moritán, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the UN; and with heads of UN missions in Latin America.

About IICA

IICA is the specialized international agency for agriculture of the Inter-American System.  Its mission is to stimulate, promote and support the efforts of its 34 Member States to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through first-class international technical cooperation. 

More information:

José Alfredo Alpízar, Press and Outreach Coordinator at IICA

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