During CIHEAM’s 151st Governing Board meeting held at the Institut Océanographique of Paris (France) on 18 November 2022, Frida KRIFCA was appointed President of the Governing Board and Teodoro Miano was elected Secretary General. The President will take office on 1 April 2023 and the new Secretary General will do so on 1 March 2023.
The Delegations of the 13 Member States of the CIHEAM were present in Paris on 18 November 2022 to elect concomitantly the new President and Secretary General of the Organization. They elected Mrs Frida KRIFCA, the candidate of Albania, as President of the Governing Board, and Mr Teodoro Miano, the candidate of Italy, as the new Secretary General.
CIHEAM will be chaired by a woman for the first time in the history of the organization. Frida Krifca is currently the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Republic of Albania. She previously served as President of the Assembly of the Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group in South East Europe (SWG) and General Director of the Agency for Agriculture and Rural Development.
The new Secretary General, Teodoro Miano is a Professor of Agricultural Chemistry in the Department of Soil, Plant, and Food Science at the University of Bari Aldo Moro. An agronomist by training, he has held positions of responsibility in the field of research and has been involved in several scientific projects in Italy and abroad. Former Delegate of Italy to CIHEAM, he was also the President of the CIHEAM Advisory Board (2004-2008).
In addition to this double election, the meeting, chaired by Mr Mohammed Sadiki, Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, and Water and Forests of Morocco recalled the importance of Mediterranean cooperation at a time of climate (record droughts, rising temperatures...) and sanitary (Covid-19) crises and the Russian-Ukrainian war (disruptions of supply chains and food imports, inflation...) that strongly affect food security in the region.
During the meeting, the Council called for more solidarity between the countries of the region and political support for the CIHEAM which, for the past 60 years, has been training Mediterranean youth, supporting research in essential areas (sustainable and intelligent water management, food security, agroecology, agricultural modernization, etc.) and contributing to the sustainable development of rural territories and the improvement of the living conditions of the most fragile populations.
President Sadiki encouraged CIHEAM to sustain the exceptional dialogue of trust and cooperation that prevails within the Organization and to continue joint efforts for sustainable agrifood systems resilient to climate change and able to feed a constantly growing population.
In this regard, he recalled the importance of investing in training and human capital, research and innovation, and knowledge sharing at regional level.
Finally, the Member States unanimously commended the achievements and efforts made by President Sadiki, the current Secretary General, Plácido Plaza, and his team for having initiated and supported strategic orientations, especially in the fields of governance, and for having developed high-impact projects that will contribute to the longevity of CIHEAM and highlight its uniqueness in the landscape of organizations of the region.
The next CIHEAM Governing Board meeting will take place on 16 December 2022.