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Emirates Food Security Council Holds Its First-Ever Meeting


Enhancing the UAE’s food security was the topic on the table at the first-ever meeting of the Emirates Food Security Council, which was held on February 10, 2020. Taking place at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of The Cabinet, and chaired by Mariam  Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, the meeting was attended by council members.
Mariam  Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security commented, “The Food Security Council is the central authority responsible for driving the implementation of the National Food Security Strategy. It aims to ensure a unified vision and will supervise the current and future direction to lead food security in respect of production and management and the whole food value chain. The council’s work will also involve establishing pioneering food projects that supports the national economy and enhance the country’s competitiveness."
“We look forward to working as one team to deliver social and economic benefits to the UAE, to add further accomplishments to the UAE’s food security profile, and to position our nation in the top 10 countries listed on the Global Food Security Index by 2021 and number one by 2051. The council will cement the UAE’s status as a food security pioneer and an inspiring example for other countries to follow in meeting their own food security agendas,” she added.
The council members discussed several methodologies to improve food security in the country, adopted the role of the council’s general secretariat to organise the council’s work, and agreed to report periodically to all relevant actors. 
The members also defined the visual identity of the council, which reflects its importance and its essential role in leading the drive to enhance food security in the UAE.
The council adopted national committees specialised in facilitating the worldwide food trade, diversifying food import resources, increasing GDP, developing technologies, and limiting food waste. 
The council discussed forming an Advisory Committee that is responsible for delivering substantive and technical support for suggested food security policies.   The tasks of the council’s general secretariat were approved during the meeting and a detailed report comprising its role was presented to the council. 
The secretariat will submit proposals by the advisory committee, which is responsible for providing technological support and policy proposals. It also assesses benchmarking standards on mechanisms to enhance food security, as well as proposes projects and initiatives related to the sector.
The general secretariat also studies proposed policies, reviews their legitimacy, establishes that there is no contradiction between the concerned policies and other applicable legislations, and ensures that the laws are easy to understand as well as apply. 
It also promotes efficiency and quality in the council's work plan, as well as creates and updates a database that includes all the reports and information produced from the council and its committees to serve as a reference for UAE food security stakeholders.
The Emirates Food Security Council works according to carefully considered priorities, plans and programmes that take into account several strategic directions; namely emergencies and crises, strategic stocks, local agricultural production, food safety, international investment, diversification of food import sources, and nutrition.
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