TEHRAN (Iran News) – The Kazakh former Islamic Development Bank Acting Governor and the current Director General of the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) believes a bright future is on the way of the IOFS and its programs and the organization expects the number of its members to increase.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with IRAN NEWS in Nur-Sultan, the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Yerlan Baidaulet highlighted the performance of the IOFS in the past and its future programs, and reiterated that the organization is determined to act more positively in helping its member states and even other countries.
He said he has been many times in Iran and in November he is to visit Tehran for the meeting with Iranian officials on the IOFS programs. He then termed Iran a beautiful country with a good history especially in architecture and engineering, adding that he has seen many great architects in Iran and he has had good cooperation and friends in Iran.
He further briefed about the establishment of the IOFS, its goals and programs and noted that the initiative for launching the organization was first raised by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2011 and during the OIC CFM meeting. He noted he was working with the IDB and he was in charge of adding the text of Kazakh President’s speech on this issue before Mr. Nazarbayev expressed the idea.
He reiterated that the President’s initiative had been inspired by success of the Jeddah Food Security Declaration for Africa realised by the Islamic Development Bank in 2009-2011. He reiterated the IOFS as a specialized entity of OIC is nearly a young organization in the small scale of the similar UN body but with a focus on deeper and more result-oriented programs for certain areas.
Yerlan Baidaulet then said that finally in April 2016 and for the first time the General assembly of the IOFS convened. He added that so far the organization has 36 member countries who have signed the Statute and 16 of them have ratified it. He added that between 2018 and 2019, Kazakhstan for two years had voluntary aids to the organization.
In May 2019 he joined the IOFS as the Director General and since then the organization entered its active era, so he officially started his work from the second General Assembly which was held in August 2019 in Saudi Arabia. He noted that the IOFS has actually commenced its programming activities thereafter although the President’s initiative was raised in June 2011.
He added that during his first year in charge, the organization developed 9 program concepts and seven more added during his second year. He reiterated that since he joined the organization 3 more countries entered its membership and the number is increasing every year. He went on to say that Jordan and Lebanon also have recently announced readiness to join the wagon.
Director General went on to say that OIC nowadays has 56 members and he hopes more countries to join the organization. He said helping the poor people is under food humanitarian programs of the organization as in September, the ten-year strategy of the organization was set, reiterating that during the 3rd General Assembly of the IOFS in Ankara in December 2020, 16 strategic programs of the organization were approved.
He added that that strategic framework of the IOFS as of 2020 consisted of five pillars embracing the whole scope of OIC-related food security matters:
1: Plan of Action for strategic commodities
2: Food Security Reserves
3: Science, Technology and Innovation Agenda 2026
4: Private sector driven agro-food trade and investment promotion
5: Food humanitarian programs.
As per the IOFS Vision 2031 Strategy, new programs on bio & agritech, on climate change and on talent development are going to be launched soon.
In conclusion, he noted about the intention to visit Iran in November. The primary objective of this working trip to one of founding member countries is to develop bilatetal cooperation and future engagement opportunities, with a specific focus on the country interests in developing agriculture and sustaining food security.