Key Takeaways from the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) and Private Sector Mechanism (PSM) Annual General Meetings
On the 6th and 7th of July, the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN) and Private Sector Mechanism (PSM), respectively, hosted their Annual General Meetings. The meetings were held in a hybrid mode, with the in-person portion taking place in Rome.
Over the two days, a series of events were hosted including the AGM meetings, four bilateral meetings, and internal topic-specific discussions regarding the UNFCCC held in June, the Food System Summit Stocktaking Moment to be held from 24th to 26th of July and the World Food Forum planned for October in Rome. It was a busy week for the 21 private sector delegates in Rome, some of which were also accredited to participate in the FAO Conference held during the same week.
The Annual General Meetings allowed the group to review activities against the 2023 work plans and discuss upcoming 2024 activities. Delegates welcomed the progress being made in many areas including the endorsement of the gender recommendations and continuation of data negotiations which will discuss the current negotiation draft. IAFN members discussed the outcomes of the Partnering 4 Betters event hosted in Rome on the 3rd of May, and potential follow-up. The meetings were also an opportunity to plan for the second half of the year including CFS51, taking place in October. The group was also very enthusiastic to welcome members of FAO and a Member State at four official bilateral meetings. These meetings were an occasion for PSM members to have an open exchange with the officials on several topics.
All these meetings were incredibly valuable to IAFN and PSM’s continued engagement with FAO and CFS processes and building relationships with the Member States. Highlights from these meetings include learning more on how the private sector can engage more effectively at FAO generally, and at the upcoming UN Food Systems Stocktaking Moment, World Food Forum and Committee on World Food Security. PSM members were also provided with an update an opportunity on the endorsed Voluntary Guidelines on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment and the upcoming CFS negotiation on Data which will discuss the latest draft.
Along with the meetings and events, the week of Annual General Meetings also coincided with the election for the Private Sector Mechanism Focal Point Election. The IAFN, which currently fills this role, was the only organization that was nominated.