11th CIHEAM Ministerial Meeting was held in Tirana, Albania, 22 September 2016.
At the invitation of the Albanian authorities, the 11th Meeting of the Ministers of agriculture of the 13 Member States of CIHEAM took place in Tirana on the 22nd of September 2016. The Meeting focused on the roots causes of distress migration from the point of view of agricultural development and food security. The Tirana Declaration endorsed the CIHEAM Action Plan for the Mediterranean (CAPMED 2025) aiming to increase the share of knowledge in the region, to manage natural resources, to improve sustainable agriculture and food and to contribute to a better Mediterranean inclusive development.
The High-Level Meeting gathered together Ministers of Mediterranean countries or their representatives and International organizations to exchange views on the root causes of distress migration and to identify opportunities and sustainable solutions from the perspective of agricultural development and food security.
The Declaration of Tirana highlighted the fact that instability in agricultural sector, especially concerning land, food insecurity, malnutrition, extreme climate deregulation and underemployment are among the factors which compel populations to leave their territories and focused on the necessity to protect natural resources, to invest on sustainable rural development and social inclusion in order to reduce distress mobility in the Mediterranean region.
The Ministers and heads of the delegations have commended on the implementation of the CIHEAM Strategic Agenda 2025, whose framework for action is divided on 15 thematic priorities and based on four pillars namely (i) Protecting the planet struggling against triple waste (knowledge, natural resources and energy, food products); (ii) Food security promoting sustainable; (iii) Inclusive development involving the youth and women and investing in fragile areas; (iv) Crises and resilience and managing tensions.
They called to the establishment of the CIHEAM Action Plan for the Mediterranean (CAPMED 2025) through the implementation of the Strategic Agenda 2025 and the launch of 5 innovative regional initiatives:
The implementation of a (i) Mediterranean Platform for Policy Dialogue on Rural Drivers of Migration, a (ii) Mediterranean Pact for Sustainable Agriculture and Food involving public and private sectors, (iii) Mediterranean Empowerment Actions for Young and Women in Rural Areas, (iv) Training activities for Zero Waste in the Mediterranean – Waste of Natural Resources, Food and Knowledge, and the (v) Development of CIHEAM Affiliated Centers in the Region to contribute to the European Neighborhood Policy.
CAPMED 2025 demands synergies between States, international/regional institutions and actors working for the development of the Mediterranean. It necessitates the mobilization of additional funding from public and private resources to conduct these initiatives in the long run.
Among other requests, the Ministers and the heads of delegation asked the countries and the International organizations to promote local initiatives which facilitate co-existence and generate entrepreneurial spirit in relation with food through incentives and pooling actors from public institutions, civil society and private sector, to foster the development of rural integration networks in the countries hosting migrants and refugees in order to provide them with professional inclusion in the agricultural, forestry or fisheries sectors, and also in agro- food enterprises and associated services, thus contributing to their social recognition as skilled human resources.
The Tirana Declaration is in straight line with the recent UN Summit that took place in New York the 19 September and highlighted the fact that refugees and migrants are not to be seen as a burden but as an opportunity if their potential is unlocked. The Tirana Declaration converges also with the European Commission and Parliament proposals concerning the establishment of a new partnership with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration and the reinforcement of the cooperation in the Mediterranean for common security, stability and prosperity.