SAN ISIDRO, Costa Rica Sept. 2, 2021 - Argentinian veterinarian Manuel Otero was re-elected as Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) during the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas 2021. He will serve a new term as head of the international organisation specialising in agricultural development and rural well-being, from 2022 to 2026.
The proposal to re-elect Otero, which was fully endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, was presented at the Conference by the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Argentina, Luis Basterra, who thanked his peers across the hemisphere for their support for the Argentinian candidate.
Otero took office as Director General of IICA for a four-year term on January 16, 2018 and was reelected for the post by the ministers and secretaries of the 33 countries of the Americas that participated in the Conference of Ministers, held within the framework of the meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA), IICA’s highest governing body.
In re-electing the Director General of IICA, the Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas highlighted Otero’s innovative management during his first term as head of the international organisation.
“I would like to express my appreciation and note that this endorsement is in recognition of Dr. Otero’s leadership and innovative management at the helm of IICA and is based particularly on his capacity to perceive and understand the changes that must take place in agricultural production and in our agrifood systems in these new times”, remarked Minister Basterra.
“Otero has had a remarkable term due to his managerial competence and ability to facilitate dialogue among countries of the Americas. There is no denying IICA’s role in uniting us all in pursuit of common objectives. I wish you success in your new term”, stated Tereza Cristina, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil, who led the forum’s work by serving as Chair of the Conference and the IABA.
Otero, on the other hand, expressed “appreciation for your show of support for what we have done and your confidence in what we are yet to accomplish. As Director General, I view IICA as an institution in service to the countries and one that must faithfully interpret the priorities and demands of the Member States”.
He said that, “I am committed to strengthening IICA as the organization that provides first-class technical cooperation in service to the countries, and am confident that the future of our people depends on sustainable agricultural transformation”.
The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica, Renato Alvarado, remarked that Dr. Otero “has worked assiduously and IICA has undergone a major transformation that has facilitated a closer relationship among countries, greater interaction and experience-sharing that has contributed to the development of family farming. He is a leader who has given a human face to the agriculture sector”.
Speaking from Paraguay, Minister Santiago Bertoni emphasized “Dr. Otero’s role in strengthening IICA, supporting all the ministers of Agriculture of the region, and spearheading the high-level coordination that has enabled stronger regional positioning at the various forums”.
The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of El Salvador, David Martínez commented that, “We have felt IICA’s support and as a country and government we are grateful and regard IICA as our ally and friend. We are excited about the challenges that lie ahead to provide direction to the agriculture sector”.
Other participating ministers who took the floor to convey their greetings were Zulfikar Mustapha of Guyana María Emilia Undurraga of Chile, Floyd Green of Jamaica, Indar Weir of Barbados, and the Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saboto Caesar, in addition to the United States’ head of delegation, Jason Hafemesiter and representatives of other countries in the hemisphere.
The ministers of Agriculture attending the virtual meeting voted by acclamation to re-elect the IICA Director General.
IICA Headquarters is located in San Jose, Costa Rica and the organization has offices throughout the American hemisphere.