The Regional Forum on Agro-Industries for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been held in Beirut, Lebanon during the period 15-18 November 2011. The Forum is organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – Regional Office for the Near East (FAO), in collaboration with UNIDO and other partner organizations.
The Forum for the MENA Region is one of a series of Forums held as a follow-up to the Global Agro-Industries Forum held in India in 2008. The previous regional forums are held in Peru, China and Nigeria in 2009 and 2010. Around 150 participants including senior level government officials, food industry leaders and agro-industry specialists from MENA countries, UN agency officials, as well as interested people from developmental organizations, multi-lateral and bilateral agencies, civil society organization and the public and private sectors attended the Forum. The SESRIC was represented thereat by Dr. Kenan Bagci, researcher at the Centre.
The aim of the Forum was to raise awareness on the role of the agro-industries in achieving sustainable and inclusive development in the MENA region. The Forum facilitated information exchange and dialogue on strategies and practical actions that promote the contribution of agro-industries in achieving food security, employment generation and sustainable economic development in the region. The Forum also contributed to clarifying priorities in the assistance provided by FAO along with other UN organizations and developmental partners to support agro-industries at regional and national levels.
The programme of the Forum comprised plenary papers presentations, parallel roundtable discussions as well as thematic and sub-regional workshops. A total of four parallel roundtables are organized in order to provide an opportunity for invited experts and agro-industry stakeholders to discuss a core set of issues. The 8 priority issues in the roundtables are clustered under two overarching themes: increasing investment and improving operations. At the end of the Forum, “Beirut Declaration on Development of Agro-business in the Middle East and North Africa Region” was to be agreed.
Proceedings of the Forum and a reference book are expected to be published at the official website of the Forum. All related documents and further information can be found at the Forum’s web site: http://raif-mena.faorne.net/index.htm
Agenda (English) (Arabic) (French)