The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and the Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Victor Villalobos, today signed, at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, a cooperation agreement between the two organizations.
Following the initialing of the agreement, Secretary General Insulza said the document "will allow us to move towards a more fluid dialogue, a more coordinated exchange of experiences and information and the development of the synergies necessary to achieve our goals."
"Many times when we speak of agriculture, we speak of commodities," said Secretary General Insulza. "I would say that agricultural products require much greater economic development, much greater competitiveness, greater production with higher quality, and continuous improvement in nutritional status, and therefore we have a tremendous task ahead of us," added the leader of the hemispheric organization.
The future of agriculture in the region, said the Secretary General, depends in large part on improving conditions "in technology, irrigation, information, marketing, increasing our productivity and competitiveness and improving living conditions in rural areas." "Those are the challenges," concluded Secretary General Insulza," and I am very pleased with this agreement."
For his part, Director General Villalobos said that the agreement "strengthens this already close and complementary relationship with our mother organization.” He highlighted the commitment of IICA "to continue working in our trench, which is agriculture, the basis of nutrition." He indicated that agriculture "is part of the most important activity undertaken by human beings."
"I would like to thank the OAS, on behalf of all farmers and the staff of IICA and myself, for this relationship, and for this welcome which has made IICA what it is today, after 70 years," concluded Director General Villalobos.
Also present at the signing ceremony were the Vice Chair of the OAS Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda, Deborah-Mae Lovell; the Secretary of External Relations of the OAS, Alfonso Quiñonez; the IICA Representative in the United States, David Hatch; and representatives of several Member States of the OAS.
A gallery of photos of the event is available here.
The B-roll of the event is available here.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.