The N7 Initiative convened a Conference on Agriculture, Water, and Food Security from March 14-16 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The conference, organized with the support of the government of the United Arab Emirates, brought together 50-60 leaders and subject matter experts from government, academia, and the private sector, together with governmental and non-governmental funding entities, from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, Egypt, the United States, and other select Arab and Muslim countries without formal diplomatic relations with Israel. Together they examined shared regional challenges and developed practical programs designed to address food insecurity, water availability and conservation, escalating food prices, and related regional technology applications.
The conference was held under the Chatham House Rule of non-attribution but included public plenary sessions available to view below, and private, off-the-record breakout sessions among participants.
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
7:00 – 10:00 P.M. GST
Opening reception & dinner
Oren Eisner, President, Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation
William Wechsler, Senior Director, N7 Initiative
Opening keynote speakers
H.E. Nawal Al-Hosany, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the International Renewable Energy Agency
Tzachi Hanegbi, National Security Advisor, National Security Council of Israel
Yael Lempert, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, United States Department of State
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
08:45 – 9:50 A.M. GST
Plenary session – Challenges and opportunities for regional cooperation
Ahmed Baqer, Associate Director, Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company
Shira Efron, Head of Research, Israel Policy Forum; Special Advisor, Climate Change, Ministry of Defense of Israel
H.E. Hakima El Haite, President, Liberal International; Former Minister of Environment, Kingdom of Morocco
Ahmed Kheder, Assistant Professor, Plant Pathology Research Institute, Agricultural Research Center
Shamal Abdulkhaliq Mohammed, Director, AgriTech and R&D, Silal
Khalid Saeed, Director, Agricultural Production and Exports, CTC Group
MODERATOR: Susan Saxton, Nonresident Senior Fellow, N7 Initiative
Additional speakers to be announced
The Honorable Congressman Michael McCaul, Representative (R-TX); Chairman, House Foreign Relations Committee, United States Congress
9:50 – 10:20 A.M. GST
Plenary session – Reflections from the Negev Forum
Galit A. Harari, Director, International Training and Cooperation MENA Region, Center for Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Israel
MODERATOR: William Wechsler, Senior Director, N7 Initiative
Ambassador Cindy McCain, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture
Thursday, March 16, 2023
8:30 – 9:30 A.M. GST
Plenary session – Advancing regional food and water security solutions
09:30 –10:30 A.M GST
Plenary Session–Women in Desert Tech: Creating a Sustainable Future for the Region
Ghita Bahmad, Founder and Chief Operating Officer, The Food Engineer
Angela Homsi, Founder and President, Ignite Power
Dr. Elke Neumann, Associate Professor, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, United Arab Emirates University
Aviva Steinberger, Director of Innovation Diplomacy, Start-Up Nation Central
Moderator: Katie Wachsberger, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, DANAGlobal
The Honorable Senator Joni Ernst, Senator (R-IA), United States Congress; Co-Chairwoman, Abraham Accords Congressional Caucus, United States Congress
The N7 Conference on Agriculture, Water & Food Security will be addressed by several members of the United States Congress, including the co-chairs of the Congressional Abraham Accords Caucus and the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, to reinforce sustained, bipartisan Congressional support for the Abraham Accords and the N7 as a vital regional forum for bringing the benefits of normalization to their citizens.
In the news
N7 Initiative Director Amb. Daniel Shapiro joined Connect the World with Becky Anderson to discuss the N7 Conference on Agriculture, Water, and Food Security.
N7 Initiative Director Amb. Daniel Shapiro and conference participant Abdelhadi A.W., a professor at Gulf University in Manama, joined i24News English to discuss potential projects for future collaboration between Israel and its Arab and Muslim neighbors.
Daily Kickoff: “Israeli and Arab government and non-government representatives are set to convene today for the start of a three-day N7 summit focused on cooperation in agriculture, water and food security.”
The N7 Initiative, a partnership between the Atlantic Council and Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation, seeks to broaden and deepen normalization between Israel and Arab and Muslim countries. It works with governments to produce actionable recommendations to deliver tangible benefits to their peoples.