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Pathways for the future of sustainable food systems in the Mediterranean - Part 3

Way forward for regional collaboration

This third dialogue co-convened by CIHEAM, FAO, UfM, OPN-SFSP, and PRMA is the prosecution of the two other Dialogues on “Pathways for the future of sustainable food systems in the Mediterranean” held in April and June 2021. This dialogue was designed to:

  • take stock of regional and national efforts as a follow-up to the UNFSS;
  • exchange on the way forward and opportunities for collaboration at national and regional level.

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Among potential means of implementation that could be instrumental in transforming food systems is the Mediterranean diet, emerging as a powerful lever for bridging food consumption and production to accelerate food systems transformation in the whole Mediterranean region.

Published on January 26, 2022


Giorgio Marrapodi is the Italian Director General for Development Cooperation within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since February 2018. A career diplomat with 34 years of experience, he was Italian Ambassador to Austria (2013-2017) and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Italian Embassy to Spain (2005–2009). Previously he served at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the European Union in Brussels (2001–2005) and to the United Nations in New York (1994-1998). At the Foreign Ministry in Rome, he was Division Chief for Legal Affairs. Entered the diplomatic service in 1987, his first overseas assignment was in Bucharest, where he served at the Italian Embassy to Romania (1990-1994). He has been appointed Italian Ambassador to Turkey and will assume his duties as of January 2022. He is a Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Knight Grand Cross of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. He received the highest decoration from the Republic of Austria and the Star of Diplomacy from Lithuania.

Ermira Gjeci is Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development since 9th October 2017. From May 6, 2020 she serves as Albanian Negotiator with European Union for Chapters 11, 12, and Co-chair of the EU-Albania Subcommittee of Stabilization and Association on “Agriculture and Fisheries. She is a member of Tirana’s Municipal Council since July 2019. In 2014, she joined the Public Administration serving as Coordinator in the Delivery Unit -Prime Minister’s Office, assigned for the Energy Reform. She has a long and successful career in Local and International Banking System leading with competency high-level positions. A series of trainings and fellowships such as project management (PMP), quality management in public services, Monitoring and Evaluation, complement her professional profile. Mrs.Gjeçi was born in Lushnjë, Albania on July 17, 1970. She was graduated as Economist for Industry from University of Tirana, Faculty of Economy in 1992. She was post-gradueted in Financial Bank in 2007, University of Tirana. In 2012 she completed her studies at Harvard Business School in Management with optimal results. Ms. Gjeçi speaks fluent English and Greek.

• Graduated from Middle East Technical University (METU) Civil Engineering Department in 1992, fulfilled her master also in METU Civil Engineering, Water Resources Department. • Carried out planning studies between 1992-2006 in General Directorate for State Hydraulic Works, Conducted studies in 2003 in the Council of Europe Development Bank (Paris, France), on dam construction and irrigation projects financed by the Bank. • Worked as a specialist at the Secretariat General of European Union between 2006-2013. • Between 2013-2018 she served as Director of Sectoral Policies in the Ministry for the European Union Affairs. Has worked on Regional Policies and EU Structural Funds, focused on Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Transportation Policy sectors. • In 2018, she was appointed as Director General for the European Union and Foreign Relations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, which carries out the relations of the Ministry with the EU, coordinates the EU harmonization studies, carries out relations with other countries and especially with international organizations related to the Ministry's mandate such as FAO, IFAD and UNDP. • Coordinator of the Economic Cooperation Organization Regional Coordination Centre for Food Security (ECO-RCC), which was established to improve cooperation between member states in the fields of agriculture and food security in ECO member states. • In 2019, she was appointed as the Board Member of Turkish Grain Board, which is the organization responsible for monitoring agricultural product markets, especially grain markets, and taking regulatory measures to protect producers and consumers. • Appointed as the National Dialogue Convenor for Turkey for United Nations Food Systems Summit, on December 2020.

Tarek El Sherbini has 21 years of banking and investment experience gained with major financial institutions – including the last 16 years with the EBRD in London. The EBRD is a leading international development bank, with 71 governmental and inter-governmental shareholders, and operations across 36 economies. Mr. El Sherbini has been responsible with the EBRD for leading debt and equity financing and investments in the food and agribusiness sectors in North Africa, the East Mediterranean and Eastern Europe. He led more than 70 debt and equity investments of close to USD 2 billion in 13 sectors and in 14 countries. In 2011 and 2012, he played a leading role in expanding EBRD’s operations into North Africa and the East Mediterranean. Mr. El Sherbini has been a board member of several companies, including United Sugar, a subsidiary of Savola Group, the leading food group in the MENA region, with USD 7 billion of revenues, and leading operations in edible oil, sugar, retail, packaged foods, among other sectors. Mr. El Sherbini graduated with a Bachelor degree in Economics from The American University in Cairo, and he later earned an MBA degree with a specialisation in Corporate Finance from SDA Bocconi, the management school of Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.

 Fadia Kiwan has a PhD in political science from University of Paris- Sorbonne.  A CAPES in philosophy and psychology from Faculty of Pedology at the Lebanese University.  Professor at the institute of Political Science, she is Founder , former director of the same institue.2002-2014  Founder and Director of the Observatory of Public Service and Governance at Saint Joseph University, 2015-2018.  Visiting professor at several universities, including France, Italy, Spain, Egypt and Tunisia.  Member of the UNU Council 2007-2013, researcher and consultant to several international organizations.  Appointed representative of the President of the Republic of Lebanon to the Permanent Council of la Francophone 2013-2017.  Has published many research papers in the fields of civil society, good governance, good governance of political parties, women's issues, political systems in a comparative perspective.  Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of UNESCO's "Most" Social Research Program.  Member of the Executive Bureau of the Lebanese National Commission for Women, Member of the Executive Council of the Organization of Arab Women for the Republic of Lebanon 2003-2017

Begoña Pérez-Villarreal is the Director of the EIT Food Innovation hub for Southern Europe (, aimed to boost innovation involving stakeholders from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Israel. Main activity is related to building a dynamic ecosystem developing collaborative projects and activities in business creation, education, innovation and communication programs to develop products and services contributing to a healthy lifestyle and a sustainable circular bio-economy. BSc in Pharmacy, DESS-Microbiologie des Aliments, DEA-Business Management of Food companies. She has been involved in R&D&I activities and technology transfer to the food industry, particularly in the SME area, concerning quality issues, product development, traceability, authenticity and sustainability of the food chain for 25 years, coordinator of several European projects, has published 75 articles and is co-author of 5 new food products patents. She collaborates with different organizations and governments departments on strategic plans for R& D for the food industry.

Sergio Ponsá Sala is a Chemical Engineer, MSc in Environmental Technologies and PhD in Environmental Science. Since 2014, he is the Director of BETA Technological Center, a Center composed by more than 60 researchers working in the fields of Biodiversity, Ecology, Environmental Technologies, Sustainable Food Production Systems and Sustainable Rural Development. Sergio has a long and strong experience in these fields and in the transference and capitalization of research an innovation results to society. He is member of different advisory groups, supporting public administrations at all geographical levels. He is also coordinating different international innovation projects and capitalization initiatives such us the Green Growth Community (more than 150 entities and more than 35M€), funded by the Interreg Med and labelled by UfM and Med4Waste (more than 30 entities and more than 12M€), funded by ENI-CBC-MED, among others.

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