Time for extraordinary efforts to proceed strolling the discuss

30/11/2021 Rome

Rome – In 2022, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) should make “extraordinary” efforts to attain tangible on-the-ground progress in the direction of lowering starvation, making agrifood programs extra environment friendly, inclusive, resilient and sustainable, and to finally obtain the Four Betters – Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life for all – Director-General QU Dongyu advised the FAO Council as we speak.

“We need extraordinary thinking, ways of doing business and extraordinary efficiency and effectiveness next year”, the Director-General stated in opening remarks to the 168th Session of the Council, the chief organ of FAO’s Conference.

“I have been walking the talk,” Qu stated in a wide-ranging tackle concerning how FAO has been made healthier for function within the 28 months since he took workplace in August 2019, whereas grappling with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. He famous that FAO continued to be “prudently optimistic on the progress towards a ‘new normal’.”

“The Organization is striving for a culture change towards a work environment that is people-centered, transparent, accountable, dynamic, engaged and ethical,” he harassed and reaffirmed his “full commitment to FAO’s zero tolerance policy towards all forms of misconduct”. FAO can be specializing in catalyzing structural reforms at Regional and Sub-regional ranges, following the restructuring of  headquarters in Rome.

The Director-General additionally harassed the necessity to repurpose monetary help within the agriculture sector, which presently receives lower than 10 p.c of allotted sources despite the fact that greater than two-thirds of the individuals affected by crises depend on it.

“Agriculture is very crucial and cannot wait for other priorities to be addressed first,” he stated. “Protecting rural livelihoods must be a fundamental element of the immediate emergency humanitarian response.”

The Director-General pointed to notably difficult meals insecurity circumstances in plenty of international locations resulting from humanitarian emergencies, the local weather disaster and pests and ailments. In this regard, he emphasised the significance of ongoing help for FAO’s efforts to include Desert Locust outbreaks and management the unfold of Fall Armyworm, that has now reached greater than 75 international locations and has precipitated an estimated $9.4 billion in crop yield losses in Africa alone.

While most agrifood programs held up throughout the COVID-19 disaster, falling incomes of many households severely restricted entry to meals, with 45 million individuals in 43 international locations presently “moving closer to starvation,” Qu stated.

The agrifood sector provides a super entry level for “nexus approaches” that sort out the foundation causes of starvation by integrating humanitarian, improvement and peace elements, Qu stated.

Hans Hoogeven, the Independent Chair of the Council, echoed that view. COVID-19 restoration plans are “humanity’s big chance to change the future,” he stated. “We need radical change and we need it right now.”

Science and Innovation

Science and innovation are wanted to ship on frequent objectives of reworking agrifood programs to nourish individuals, nurture the planet, advance equitable livelihoods and construct resilient ecosystems, the Director-General stated.

He famous the significance of growing FAO’s new thematic Strategy on Science and Innovation, to assist FAO shift to a forward-looking enterprise mannequin that successfully helps agrifood programs transformation on the bottom, he added.

FAO can be within the strategy of growing a brand new thematic Strategy on Climate Change to foster better coherence in motion for local weather and biodiversity throughout agricultural sectors, and to help Members to higher obtain their commitments underneath the Paris Agreement, the Director-General stated.

Both methods name for and wish “game-changing, innovative and wise solutions based on science and partnerships,” he added, and have been “being developed in tandem to ensure complementarity.”

Food Systems Coordination Hub

The Director-General additionally introduced that FAO will host the Coordination Hub for follow-up actions to the UN Food Systems Summit, saying that it was “Now time to accelerate the work at country level”. The Hub will begin in early 2022 and its Oversight Group contains the principals of FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the World Food Programme, the UN Development Coordination Office and the UN Environment Programme. The Oversight Group, of which UNEP is the present chair, might be chaired on a rotational foundation.

Key findings going ahead

Reflecting on his 851 days in workplace, the Director-General additionally shared some key findings shifting ahead with  implementing the brand new FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031, together with that connectivity is a pre-condition for inclusivity; the necessity to scale back meals loss and waste; stopping future pandemics is a collective and coherent duty; smallholder and household farmers, ladies, youth and indigenous peoples should be on the heart of agrifood programs transformation; and the necessity for a holistic strategy – for individuals, planet and prosperity.

Director-General Qu additionally emphasised the significance of sound authorized frameworks for sustainable agrifood programs, noting that FAO gives technical legislative help to Members.

QU recalled his vow to take “our work out of the castles and bring it to the people in the street”, and pointed to a 50 p.c enhance since 2019 in on-line engagements. The complete variety of guests to FAO’s web site is 26 million in 2021, whereas social media followers now quantity 6.3 million, each 50 p.c will increase in two years and testifying to the Organization’s elevated public visibility.

The full speech of the Director-General within the opening session of the FAO Council might be accessed right here.

FAO Council 168 continues by way of Friday 3 December and might be adopted by webcast.

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