New Delhi, April 16 (SocialNews.XYZ) As the world confronts war, humanitarian emergencies, the impacts of the climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, overlapping with the persistent challenges of hunger and poverty, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is “responding urgently” to build resilient agrifood systems.
This was the message of QU Dongyu, Director-General of the FAO at the just concluded 7th session of the Informal North American Regional Conference (INARC), which was hosted virtually by the US.
The INARC was established in 2010 as a forum to strengthen collaboration between FAO and the North American Region, comprising Canada and the US.
It provides an opportunity for these two FAO members to share their priorities with FAO, and for a mutual exchange on the way forward for the effective implementation of the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31.
Since the idea of a permanent UN agency focused on food, nutrition and agriculture was first planted in Hot Springs, Virginia, where 44 governments gathered 80 years ago, and FAO’s establishment in Quebec in 1945, both the US and Canada have “played a key role” across FAO’s areas of work, and are among the organization’s top resource partners.
“The ongoing fruitful collaboration between the North America region and FAO is crucial, and I appreciate the continued support you have provided,” said Dongyu.
“The US will look to FAO to use its voice, its data, its policy recommendations, and its leadership to implement the council’s decision and address the far-reaching food security effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine,” said Ambassador Cindy McCain, Permanent Representative of the US Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome (FAO, WFP, IFAD).
“We also are ready to work with FAO to achieve an ambitious climate change strategy that addresses mitigation and adaptation, and bolsters agricultural resilience while making food systems part of the solution. And we will support the science and innovation strategy as a critical tool.”
“It is in all of our interests that FAO succeeds, to avoid the human suffering, instability, and loss of potential that we know food insecurity causes, and to ultimately get back on track to achieve SDG 2 and the broader 2030 Agenda,” said Ambassador Elissa Golberg, Permanent Representative of Canada to the UN Agencies in Rome.
“Canada stands ready to be a constructive member, a thoughtful partner, and an active stakeholder as we seek to deliver effective solutions for sustainable transformation of food systems.”
Over the three-day conference that ended on Thursday, FAO’s leadership presented on the organization’s vision as outlined in the Strategic Framework 2022-31, which aims to support the 2030 agenda by creating more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable agrifood systems.
The aspiration of the Four Betters — Better Production, Better Nutrition, Better Environment and a Better Life for All, leaving no one behind — provide a strategic and system-oriented approach across FAO’s entire programme of work.
The informal conference was updated on the impacts of the war in Ukraine on global food value-chains for grains, oil seeds and fertilizer, which threaten food security in countries that are already highly vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition.
Looking forward, Canada and the US emphasised the need for FAO, along with other UN agencies, to assess the loss and damage from this conflict and to contribute to a reconstruction plan, in line with their respective mandates.
Other key areas discussed were climate adaptation and mitigation, gender equality, private sector engagement, science and innovation, FAO’s governance reforms, Rome-Based-Agencies Collaboration, and FAO’s lead role in the UN Food Systems Summit Coordination Hub, among other topics.
The next INARC will take place in 2024 and will be hosted by the government of Canada.
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