Tricase, Italy, 3-4 July 2023
The 153rd CIHEAM Governing Board meeting held in Tricase (Italy) from July 3 to 4 was chaired for the first time by Mrs Frida Krifca, Minister of Agriculture of Albania and President of CIHEAM since 1 April 2023. This meeting was also a first for the new CIHEAM Secretary General, Mr. Teodoro Miano.
In addition to the discussions on strategic issues and the adoption of administrative decisions, these two intense days included field visits (Food4Health Lab) and rich exchanges with the local CIHEAM ecosystem (authorities, students, staff, associations, etc.).
A Special Opening Ceremony preceded the meeting in the new premises of the CIHEAM Bari branch entirely dedicated to sustainable fisheries, coastal development, and the blue economy.
President Mrs Frida Krifca wished to thank Mr. Mohammed Sadiki (former President of the CIHEAM Governing Board and current Minister of Agriculture of Morocco), Mr. Plácido Plaza Lopez (former Secretary General of the CIHEAM), and Mrs Lamiae Ghaouti (former President of the CIHEAM Advisory Board) by awarding them an honorary medal as a sign of great recognition for their exceptional contribution to the CIHEAM.
CIHEAM Family Photos
The opening ceremony was hosted by Mrs Frida Krifca, President of the CIHEAM Governing Board and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Albania. She welcomed the CIHEAM Delegates and the local and national representatives brought together for this special occasion. “I am very pleased and honored to host the Special Opening Ceremony of the first CIHEAM Governing Board which I am chairing as its President”, Mrs Krifca said.
From left to right: Mr Antonio De Donno (Mayor of Tricase), Mr Mohammed Sadiki, Mrs Frida Krifca, Mr Teodoro Miano and, Mrs Lamiae Ghaouti.
"The CIHEAM Governing Board meeting is a fundamental occasion to strengthen relationships among the countries' representatives and plan common ground of the sustainability of food systems in the Mediterranean region" recalled on his side, Mr Teodoro Miano, Secretary General of the CIHEAM. Adding that several challenges will be engaging CIHEAM in the next future. The need to reinforce political visibility and international recognition should cope with a continuing effort in promoting human capabilities and communities, providing educational tools and technical assistance in cooperation actions in fields where CIHEAM operates.
The morning was especially marked by the "Medals Ceremony," during which distinguished individuals were honoured for their exceptional service to the CIHEAM. The first honorary medal was awarded to Mr. Mohammed Sadiki, Former President of the Governing Board (2019-2023) and Minister of Agriculture of Morocco, whose visionary leadership played a pivotal role in driving the mission of the CIHEAM forward.
“I thank the CIHEAM for this recognition, which means a lot to me. We need to maintain our efforts to promote Mediterranean cooperation because we are facing multiple crises that are weighing heavily on the region. Through its training, research, cooperation, and political dialogue activities, the CIHEAM can work for a Mediterranean alliance at the service of sustainable food sovereignty based on solidarity” declared Minister Mohammed Sadiki.
Mr. Plácido Plaza Lopez, former CIHEAM Secretary-General (2019-2023), was also rewarded for his tireless efforts in favour of the strengthening of "corporate" dynamics allowing the 4 Institutes of the CIHEAM (Bari, Chania, Montpellier, and Zaragoza) and the General Secretariat to move forward together, each with its specificities and its assets, in the fields of research and the implementation of solutions for the agricultural and rural Mediterranean. Unable to be present at the Ceremony, he asked the Administrator Mrs Yasmine Seghirate El Guerrab to warmly greet the Governing Board and to recall his commitment to CIHEAM, a truly unique organization. A message on his behalf was also shared.
"The young Mediterranean people that we are extremely pleased to train and support are the CIHEAM's most precious wealth and they give the most essential meaning to the missions of the CIHEAM. With its thousands of ALUMNI today, the CIHEAM is more than an Organization, it is a community that we are committed to preserving and growing" said Mrs Yasmine Seghirate El Guerrab.
Finally, Mrs Lamiae Ghaouti, former President of the CIHEAM Advisory Board (2019-2022) received a medal for her remarkable guidance and support for key CIHEAM initiatives such as the best thesis prize, the Youth Innovation Award, and for her collaborations in initiatives focusing on the empowerment of women and young people in food systems.
« Je tiens à remercier le CIHEAM de m'avoir invitée à accompagner la concrétisation des orientations stratégiques de l'Organisation et à lancer de nouveaux projets porteurs de sens et fédérateurs comme le prix pour l’Innovation des jeunes méditerranéens” a exprimé Mme Ghaouti.
Following the Medals Ceremony, Mr. Antonio Bernardini and Mrs Cristina Hanaberg, Expo 2030 Roma Representatives, presented the vision and objectives of the Italian Candidacy to host the 2030 Universal Exposition. To conclude, Mr. Antonio Errico, President of Magna Grecia Mare, shared insights on the captivating "Eco-Porto Museo" experience in Tricase. This innovative project is an example of harmonious blend of ecological principles and cultural heritage, highlighting the commitment of Tricase to sustainable development and responsible tourism.
MEETING WITH THE STUDENTS
The ceremony ended with renewed optimism and the determination to collectively build a prosperous Mediterranean future through rich discussions held with the students of the specialised course "Sustainable Development of Coastal Communities".
Mrs Maria Zagozi, a student from Libya shared a few words on behalf of her colleagues from Egypt, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Senegal, Tunisia, and Uganda to greet the CIHEAM Governing Board and to express the opportunity that this training represents. "The aim of the course is to build an international movement of vibrant and resilient coastal communities across the Mediterranean and Africa, and to create opportunities and an environment not only for cooperation but also for friendship and shared interest" she said.