Arab Economic & Social Council calls for investment in sustainable food systems

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Arab Economic & Social Council on sustainable food investment
Image Courtesy: Akil Mazumder/Pexels

The Arab Economic and Social Council has called for expanding investment in agriculture, adopting policies and laws to decrease food waste, continuing work on transitioning to sustainable food systems, and building partnerships with the private sector.

During its 111th session at the ministerial level, the council further welcomed a Jordanian proposal to address the food security challenges caused by the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and tasked the Secretariat General of the Arab League with examining the proposal and attaching recommendations with the concerned Arab organisations to see into adding them, as part of the joint Arab Food Security Strategy, to the agenda of the upcoming 5th Arab Economic and Social Summit.

The council requested a study of a proposal to launch a funding agency for food imports to the most vulnerable Arab states, emphasising the need to provide the institutional and legislative environment as well as work with the international community and UN organizations.

In addition, the council urged Arab agriculture companies to benefit from the Arab Digital Gate for the export of food commodities as well as to utilize the services it provides to build networks with stakeholders and improve their exporting competitiveness.

The session reviewed the agenda of the upcoming 31st Arab League Council Summit, which will be held in Riyadh in 2023, including the requirements for the establishment of an Arab trade zone and customs union, bilateral tourism agreements, a telecommunications strategy, and the Arab digital agenda.

The council also welcomed the membership of Somalia in the greater Arab free-trade zone and welcomed an initiative by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to establish a platform to address the obstacles to the greater Arab free-trade zone.

Furthermore, Arab countries were asked to provide technical support for the establishment of a logistics zone in the state of Palestine as well as investments in Jerusalem in support of the Palestinian economy.

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