The Mexican Senator Beatriz Paredes is the most recent IICA Goodwill Ambassador for her work in favor of the agriculture sector in the Americas and rural women
San Jose, 18 November 2020 (IICA). The Mexican senator Beatriz Paredes received the distinction of Goodwill Ambassador of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) for topics related to Sustainable Development and Social Equity. This title was bestowed by Manuel Otero, Director General of the specialized international organization, for her work relating to rural development in the Americas and inclusion of rural women.
The award ceremony for Mrs. Paredes was attended by the Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, Víctor Villalobos Arámbula; the Ambassador of Peru in Mexico and Chair of the Latin-American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), Julio Garro Gálvez; the Argentine businesswoman Susana Balbo, who is also an IICA Goodwill Ambassador on topics relating to Gender and Rural Youth; and Cassio Luiselli, economist, researcher and member of the IICA Advisory Council for Food Security in the Americas.
Senator Paredes is the Chairperson of the Science and Technology Committee of the Mexican Senate, which also has commissions relating to Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development, Education and Migration, in addition to the Bicameral Commission for National Security.
During her vast and prominent career, she held, among other responsibilities, the positions of federal representative, Chair of the Chamber of Representatives and President of the Latin-American Parliament. She was also Under-Secretary for Agrarian Reform, Governor of the State of Tlaxcala, Secretary General of the National Confederation of Rural Dwellers, Chairperson of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and Ambassador of Mexico in Brazil and Cuba.
“This is a recognition of the trajectory of someone who is a true fighter for agricultural causes, who has worked in a profoundly humane manner and who is committed to the causes of sustainable, productive and equitable agriculture, and who has tirelessly supported rurality in Latin-America and the Caribbean, as well as the well-being of rural women”, stated the Director General of IICA.
For her part, Paredes pointed out that “there are many challenges facing agriculture in the Americas to restore biodiversity and improve food production in adequate supplies. For this reason, support is required at the hemispheric level, as well as through partnerships with organizations such as IICA in order to carry out this work with fairness and equity”.
She added: “To be an IICA ambassador for rural development and for the struggle on behalf of rural women, field workers and indigenous women will require that we join forces with them to overcome the signs of marginalization and apply preventative measures to eradicate hunger”.
The Senator received the title from two IICA staff members of Mexican nationality: Teresa Maldonado and Héctor Iturbe.
IICA’s Goodwill Ambassadors share concerns about, and the commitment to achieve, sustainable and equitable development. They also embrace the challenge to unite with causes that seek to increase public awareness and they work toward achieving development through projects in food security, bioeconomy, gender and youth relations, and responsible production, all of which are key areas espoused by the organization specializing in rural and agricultural development.
Scientist Rattan Lal, co-laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize and the 2020 World Food Prize; Nobel Memorial Prize Laureate in Economics, Michael Kremer; psychiatrist and Argentine businessman Hugo Sigman; Brazil’s former Minister of Agriculture, Alysson Paolinelli; Executive Chairman of the National Federation of Palm Oil Growers of Colombia (Fedepalma), Jens Mesa; and CEO of Garden Pool, Dennis McClung, in addition to Susana Balbo, are also IICA Goodwill Ambassadors.
The Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mexico and Director General Emeritus of IICA, Víctor Villalobos, said there are numerous achievements and banners that distinguish Senator Paredes, among which he mentioned her leadership in the country’s agricultural causes, her training in and knowledge of rural topics and women farmers’ rights, and her contribution to Mexico’s agricultural development sector.
He also reminded the attendees that Beatriz Paredes is at the forefront of rural women’s demands and that she leads in the defense of their rights, with notable results in the state of Tlaxcala, a territory characterized by its rural vocation, where the high valley produces corn and women contribute substantially in field labor while being excluded and unrecognized for their work, a situation that occurs in other countries as well.
Moreover, he affirmed that “Senator Paredes has run an ongoing campaign in support of the demands of rural women in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean and recognition for their strategic importance in the area of food security, the role of food production in the region and promoting public policies targeting rural women”.
Peruvian Ambassador to Mexico, Julio Garro Gálvez, for his part, highlighted the track record of Senator Paredes, pointing out her skill in facilitating dialogue among countries in the Americas based on their history and cultural identity.
Susana Balbo, in speaking, congratulated Senator Paredes for the distinction conferred by IICA and stated how very critical it is to work for the rights of rural women to improve their quality of life and that of their families. “We have to work for the rights of rural women and their education so they can have a better quality of life”, she said.
In closing the heartwarming ceremony moderated by journalist Karla Iberia Sánchez, Cassio Luiselli called to mind the impressive professional career of Senator Paredes and her commitment to improving agriculture in the Americas and attending to the needs of the rural woman and global food security.
“Her voice is respected and makes a vital contribution not only to tasks involving food security in Latin American and Caribbean countries but to the work of organizations like IICA that are dedicated to rural and agricultural well-being in the Americas”, said Luiselli.
Institutional Communication Division at IICA