The ceremony will be held on Monday, January 17, at the Headquarters of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in Costa Rica. Given the current health situation, it will be held virtually. Manuel Otero, a veterinarian and expert in development issues, will lead the organization, which specializes in agriculture and rural development, until 2026.
San Jose, 14 January 2022 (IICA) -- Argentinean veterinarian Manuel Otero will officially begin his second term as head of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) on Monday, January 17, during an event that will be attended virtually by ministers of Agriculture of Latin America and the Caribbean and international officials. An unprecedented dialogue with Africa, on agricultural and rural development issues, will also be carried out.
Julián Domínguez, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Argentina; Tereza Cristina, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil, and Chair of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA), IICA’s highest governing body; Mustapha Zulfikar, Minister of Agriculture of Guyana; Víctor Villalobos, Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mexico; Santiago Bertoni, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Paraguay; and Saboto Caesar, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labor of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, will participate in the ceremony.
Also in attendance virtually will be Javier Manzanares, Deputy Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund, and Hipólito Mejía, former President and former Minister of Agriculture of the Dominican Republic, who is also an IICA Goodwill Ambassador.
The ministers of Foreign Affairs and of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica, Rodolfo Solano and Renato Alvarado, respectively, will be present as special guests at the ceremony at the Institute’s headquarters, which will comply with all biosafety regulations.
The ceremony will take place at 9:00 a.m. Costa Rica time (GMT-6).
Within the framework of the swearing-in ceremony, awards will be presented to Maris Llorens, a Swiss-born livestock businesswoman and philanthropist who became a naturalized citizen of Paraguay; and to Argentinean biochemist Raquel Chan and Mexican researcher Gabriela Olmedo.
Manuel Otero was re-elected as Director General of IICA on September 1, 2021 by the IABA, a governing body comprised of the ministers and secretaries of Agriculture of IICA’s 34 member countries.
His continuity in the position, which he first assumed in 2018, until 2021, was proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina last year and approved by the rest of the American countries. The Argentinean veterinarian was subsequently re-elected by acclamation during the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas 2021, in recognition of his innovative management.
“I am committed to strengthening IICA as the organization that provides first-class technical cooperation in service to the countries, and am confident that the future of our people depends on sustainable agricultural transformation”, stated Otero, who holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Development from the University of London and a Master’s degree in Animal Production from the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE).
As part of the activities associated with the event, the First High-level Roundtable between Africa and the Americas: “Building Bridges for Future Cooperation in Agrifood Systems” will be held on January 18 at 8:00 a.m. Costa Rica time (GMT-6).
This meeting will bring together ministers of Agriculture from Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean to explore practical options for generating South-South and international cooperation between African countries and countries of the Americas in matters related to the transformation of rural areas and agrifood systems.
Agnes Kalibata and the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Dessalegn, will also participate, representing the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), which is organizing the event together with IICA.
The swearing-in ceremony will be broadcast live on Facebook Live IICAnoticias (Spanish) and IICA’s official YouTube channels in English (@IICAnews), Portuguese (@IICAnoticiaspt) and French (@IICA Learning).
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