Chair of the Board Razan Zuayter and General Manager Mariam Al Jaajaa represented the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature at 4 preparatory meetings of the UN Food Systems Summit at the invitation of Michael Fakhry, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, where they presented several critical recommendations (17/ 5, 6/1, 6/15, 6/18 2021).
These meetings aim to register the recommendations of participating organizations on the reality of the agricultural and food sector in the region to the leaders of the UN Food Systems Summit, which will be held in September of this year.
Mariam Al Jaajaa spoke about the situation in Palestine and Lebanon. She confirmed that the persecution of the Palestinian people by the Israeli entity during the recent aggression in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood at the end of Ramadan 2021 is not new but rather is the product of more than 70 years of settler colonialism, and the policy of Apartheid. She referred to losses in the agricultural sector in Gaza due to the deliberate and systematic Israeli bombing of agricultural lands aimed at starving residents of the Strip.
Speaking on Lebanon, Al Jaajaa confirmed that the country has fallen victim to an economic crisis and attributed this to 3 reasons, the first: Lebanon's entry into the global banking system, the second: mismanagement and corruption, and the third: the financial blockade on Lebanon, which is a form of collective punishment.
As part of another recommendation, Chair of the Board at the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature Razan Zuayter stressed the need to turn solidarity into action. She discussed the boycott movement as an effective means to resist the occupation and its oppression of the Palestinian people, referring to the experience of South Africa in confronting Apartheid.
Zuayter said it was important to support the agricultural sector in Palestine in light of colonialism and land confiscation. She also commented on the crucial role that legal and human rights institutions should play to stand up against the continuous violations of the Israeli entity, warning against using the "right to food" as a weapon. She added that there are many examples of crimes committed by the occupation that violate international laws, whether in the West Bank, Gaza, or outside of Palestine, in the example of the deliberate fires that were started by Israelis in the northern Jordan Valley.
Badia Yaroub, the representative of the Arab Network for Food Sovereignty, said that recent events in Palestine, following the heroic struggle led by the Palestinians in Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank, was a reason to revive the feeling of freedom among all Arabs, and this was embodied through the large demonstrations and the various forms of solidarity across the world.