Yesterday and today, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is taking part in the 15th edition of the European Development Days (EDD), which is being held in Brussels. The EDD brings together everyone in the development community around the European Commission. This year’s theme, “Global Gateway,” focuses on “building sustainable partnerships for an interconnected world,” a strategy that was launched by the European Commission and the European External Action Service last December.
The minister spoke at a high-level panel discussion on food security organized by France. Other speakers of note included Mohamed Salem Ould Merzoug, Mauritanian Minister of Foreign Affairs; Kako Nubukpo, Commissioner for Agriculture, Water Resources, and the Environment at the West African Economic and Monetary Union; Koen Doens, Director General for International Partnerships at the European Commission; Dr. Jo Puri, Associate Vice-President for the Strategy and Knowledge Department at the International Fund for Agricultural Development; and Jean-François Riffaud, CEO of Action Against Hunger.
The panel discussion was entitled, “Food security in times of crisis: What role can Team Europe and other development partners play in a connected world?” It served to illustrate France’s commitment to food security, nutrition and sustainable agricultural development in a world that is marked by rising food insecurity, which is the direct consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, blockade and destruction of Ukraine’s cereal infrastructure. In particular, the minister stressed the need to bring to fruition the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM) initiative, which was launched by the President of France and endorsed by the European Council. This initiative is aligned with the other initiatives taken in response to the food crisis. She underscored the need to act quickly, together with our European partners and the private sector, in order to strengthen African food sovereignty.
During the EDD, the minister also spoke with Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia; Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships; Arlette Soudan Nonault, Congolese Minister for Environment, Sustainable Development and the Congo Basin; and Pilar Cancela Rodriguez, Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation.