ASHGABAT HOSTED A FORUM ON FOOD SECURITY IN THE FACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE
On March 9-10, 2023, at the initiative of the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov, an international conference "Partnership in the field of food security in the face of climate change" was held in Ashgabat, organized by the Government of Turkmenistan jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the support of the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan.
The conference was attended by high-ranking representatives of the countries of Central Asia, Iran, Turkey, the United Nations, experts from international organizations and financial institutions - the World Bank, USAID, GIZ and others. Among the invitees were representatives of international and regional organizations accredited in Turkmenistan, the diplomatic corps of foreign states, relevant ministries and departments of Turkmenistan, faculty and students, representatives of the media of Turkmenistan and foreign states.
The international forum opened with a plenary session, then continued with thematic sessions. Particular attention was paid to the relationship between climate change and its direct impact on the agricultural system and ensuring food security in the countries of Central Asia and Iran, and regional aspects of cooperation in this direction were considered. A separate session was devoted to discussing the implementation of Turkmenistan's initiative to open a Regional Climate Technology Center for Central Asia under the auspices of the UN in Ashgabat.
As emphasized during the speeches, the Ashgabat Forum has become an open platform for discussing regional and global cooperation in such an important area as ensuring food security. In the light of modern realities, the addition of efforts to solve the problems in this area is an integral factor in overall stability and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Representatives of the countries of Central Asia and Iran gave an overview of the policies and measures taken in their countries aimed at adapting their food systems to climate change and ensuring food security. At the same time, noting that for the countries of Central Asia, climate impacts on ecosystems are of a transboundary nature, especially in relation to water resources and land degradation, the participants expressed a common opinion on the need to take coordinated measures and develop multisectoral cooperation, in particular between the Ministries of Agriculture and environmental protection.
Along with this, a special role is assigned to the FAO in intensifying its further joint work with the states of Central Asia.
In this context, it is important to note that Turkmenistan is consistently developing fruitful cooperation with the United Nations and its specialized agencies, including the FAO. One of the important results of close cooperation was the holding of an international forum in Ashgabat and a number of events aimed at stimulating regional and international partnerships in the food sector.
Also on the sidelines of the Forum, a meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture of the Central Asian states was held. The meeting, held in a hybrid format, was attended by FAO Sub-regional Coordinator for Central Asia Viorel Gutu, FAO Deputy Director General, Regional Representative of this organization for Europe and Central Asia Vladimir Rakhmanin, heads of relevant ministries of Turkmenistan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan, representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
During the meeting, topical issues of food security in the context of climate change, including the tasks of strengthening food systems, were discussed in detail.