World Food Programme Representative visits AUD

Elise Bijon of the United Nation’s WFP spoke at AUD on the roles of UN agencies and UAE Country Team yesterday, the News and Events team said.

The lecture, held at the E Buidling, was a celebration of United Nations Day, and initially was to be led by Director of UAE and GCC of the WFP Council Mr. Abdullah Al Wardat. But Elise Bijon, WFP Private Sector Partnership Manager, spoke instead.

The lecture centered on the United Nations Country Team in the UAE and the 11 UN Agencies that operated as part of it, including the WFP itself – the world’s largest humanitarian organization – and others such as the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Environmental Program, and the Convention on Migratory Species Office.

The talk highlighted the central mandate pertaining to each of the 11 agencies based in the UAE, in addition to the government’s involvement carrying out agency mandates and their general cooperation with the UNCT, activities that may seem hidden but have a strong presence in the UAE, said Bijon.

“I actually had no clue that they had so many offices here. The UN presence and how they use Dubai as a headquarters for humanitarian aid was pretty interesting. That, I must say, I was unaware of,” Dr. Rebecca Hayes of International Studies said.

Among the subjects discussed were the Sustainable Development Goals, an agenda of 17 targets to be met by the year 2030. These world goals are successors to the eight Millennium Development Goals that were established in 2000, whose 2015 target date was reached this year.

“Some significance progress has been made. In fact, we’ve tremendously decreased the number of hungry people over the past decade. In this region, it is probably where the least progress has been made because we have new and large emergencies, which are making our work extremely complicated, with Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Palestine. So it is probably one of, if not the most challenging, region when it comes to food security,” Bijon commented on the progress of the Millennium Development Goals in the region.

The UNCT is also assisting the UAE in achieving its sustainability goals while also accommodating for its ambitious plans to becoming an important and successful world hub.

The lecture concluded with a question and answer session followed by an offering of lunch prepared by the university’s catering company, Abela & Co.

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