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Regional Dialogue Series | Food and Agricultural Trade in the New Policy Environment

November 17, 2020 9:30 am - December 17, 2020 4:30 pm EST

(Open to public)

banner regional dialogue series

Together with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), IISD is organizing a series of four virtual regional dialogues. The events will cover anglophone and francophone Africa, South Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The regional dialogue series will seek to bring together policy-makers and other relevant constituencies to revisit how policies affecting trade in food and agriculture can better deliver on food security, environmental sustainability, and other public policy goals in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations in the run-up to the 12th Ministerial Conference.

Trade in food and farm goods has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, imperilling efforts to make progress on tackling hunger and malnutrition according to the framework set out under the Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, the farm sector is under increasing pressure to respond to new environmental challenges—especially those associated with climate change. With the WTO’s next Ministerial Conference postponed due to the pandemic, both the substance and process of talks in Geneva on updating the global trade rulebook have been affected, amidst ongoing tensions between major economies. As governments revisit their priorities in this new context, it is important that they engage with different constituencies in their region and beyond to ensure that negotiating strategies reflect an inclusive vision of public policy goals—one that can contribute to recovery and improve resilience to future food system shocks.


IFPRI and IISD will partner with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) for the dialogue focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean region, and with Akdemiya2063 for the two dialogues focusing on Africa.


1. Africa (French panel) on November 17, 3:30 p.m. WAT / 2:30 p.m. GMT.  

The report and video recording for this event are now available  here.  The event report is in English and in French.

2. Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish panel) on November 23, 9:30 a.m. EST.  The page is available in English and in Spanish

3. Africa (English panel) on December 8, 2:30 p.m. GMT

4. South Asia (English panel) on December 17. 4:30 p.m. IST (6 a.m. EST)

Live-cast : The events will be live-cast from IFPRI website


All four dialogues will be organized as virtual roundtable discussions. Each event will last approximately 1 hour and will be moderated by a facilitator who will give a brief introduction of the topic of the event and ensure that interventions remain within the pre-allotted time.