The IOC’s Executive Director, Abdellatif Ghedira, welcomed the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Spain, Vesna Andree Zaimović, at the IOC’s headquarters in Madrid on Thursday 19 October, 2023. The Executive Director was pleased to hand over to the Ambassador the decision of the Council of Members approving Bosnia and Herzegovina’s request to become a full member of the Organisation. He recalled that the process to welcome the Balkan country to the IOC family began with Ms Zaimović’s predecessor, and took the opportunity to convey his satisfaction with the Members’ endorsement.
The very recently appointed Ambassador thanked the IOC Director for his and the Executive Secretariat’s support for her country’s accession to the International Agreement on Olive Oil and Table Olives, 2015. She highlighted that Bosnia and Herzegovina represents a new generation for agriculture and that the future lies in developing the sector. The Ambassador emphasised that her country has all the necessary prerequisites for developing different kinds of agricultural crops, in particular olive groves, and that joining the IOC was indeed a great step in this direction.
Mr Ghedira thanked the Ambassador for her country’s trust and the initiative to adhere to the Organisation, and emphasised that this was a mutually beneficial action for both. He recalled that the IOC’s member countries enjoy countless benefits from their affiliation, such as the access to scholarships, grants, the sharing of scientific knowledge, and an overall integral support to all of the country’s stakeholders in the olive oil sector (farmers and producers, exporters and companies, researchers, policy makers, etc.). Moreover, he stressed that one of the key factors regarding the IOC’s work is the development of international trade standards for olive oil and table olives. Together, the Council of Members, which represent nearly 96% of the world’s producing countries of olive oil, jointly decide on international standards which, ultimately, benefits the end consumers and positively impacts the quality of international trade through the mechanisms in place, such as national IOC-recognised laboratories and tasting panels. The Executive Director emphasised that the IOC is finally the most essential forum for the sector’s stakeholders under the United Nations. He invited the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to participate in the upcoming session of the Council of Members and its specialised committees, as well as in the Advisory Committee and the celebration of World Olive Day scheduled for November 2023. Ms Zaimović gladly accepted the invitation to participate as an observer country until the process of adherence to the Organisation concludes throughout the next year.