16 June 2014, Roma – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today held a meeting with Tunisia's Minister of Agriculture, Lassad Lachâal, who was in Rome to attend the 149th session of the FAO Council.
"I was pleased to hear that FAO will support Tunisia during this transition period," the Minister said after meeting, during which both leaders reviewed the longstanding cooperation between FAO and the country.
In his role as President of the Regional Conference for Africa, a position that he will hold for the next two years, Lachâal briefed the Council on the final report and outcomes from the FAO Regional Conference for Africa held in Tunis last March.
Minister Lachâal recalled the participation of the international, regional and national Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), which gathered in Tunis before the conference to discuss priority issues related to the development of agriculture and rural areas in Africa. He underlined that their final Declaration was "very much welcomed and noted".
Lachâal stressed the importance of reinforcing the Regional Conference's recommendations, which emphasized the role of youth in agriculture: "We need to attract the youth by creating a good and modern environment for them," he said.
In its final report, the Conference recognized the importance of enhancing the business opportunities that agriculture offers to African youth as pathways to social inclusion, food security and sustainable development.
The Regional Conference was attended by 38 Ministers; 245 delegates from 49 countries; 2 UN Agencies; 2 Observer Nations and one other Observer; 16 International Governmental/Non-governmental Organizations (IGOs/INGOs); and, 13 Civil Society organizations.