Global Agriculture

FAO Director-General reiterates support for SIDS and outlines array of initiatives to help transform their agrifood systems

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30 May 2024, Geneva: FAO Director-General QU Dongyu today underlined FAO’s commitment and the wide-ranging initiatives it is implementing to support Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in transforming their agrifood systems. He was speaking at a reception held in Geneva concurrently with the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) taking place in Antigua and Barbuda.

The FAO Director-General emphasized his vision of leading an Organization ready to act immediately as needed, and capable of mobilizing the technical and financial resources required to address the simultaneous risks and shocks faced by global agrifood systems.

“Leaving no one behind is central to delivering on this vision; for this reason, I have always had a strong focus on the most vulnerable regions and populations, in particular the SIDS.”

Participants in the event included ambassadors and representatives of Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, China, Cook Islands, Dominican Republic, EU, Fiji, France, Germany, Guyana, Holy See, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand,  Pakistan, Panama, Republic of Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, USA and Pacific Islands Forum. This inclusive event created an enabling platform for FAO to engage not only SIDS Members but also Member States accredited to FAO from Geneva.

Since taking office in 2019, Qu has implemented several measures to support SIDS and vulnerable nations in general:

  • Establishment of a dedicated Office of SIDS, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs).
  • Launch of the Strategy on Climate Change 2022–2031 that places vulnerable countries at its center.
  • Strengthening of Triangular Cooperation, to increase cooperation through South-South and South-North partnerships. Through FAO-China South-South Cooperation Trust Fund, FAO has been supporting SIDS with innovation, technology deployment, capacity development and partnerships.
  • Launch of the FAO Hand in Hand Initiative, providing technical, policy and investment support; currently supporting twelve SIDS to transform their agrifood systems. The annual Hand in Hand Investment Forum as one pillar of the World Food Forum is contributing to the matchmaking of potential investment in SIDS.
  • Establishment of FAO One Country One Priority Product Initiative, which focuses on developing food value chains of Special Agricultural Products, and is currently active in nine SIDS.
  • FAO 1000 Digital Villages Initiative is also currently supporting 18 SIDS to promote digital innovations to enable rural dwellers and communities to boost their livelihoods, improve their wellbeing and contribute to social inclusion.
  • FAO, together with the Government of Fiji, and in partnership with the International Telecommunications Union, organized the SIDS Solutions Forum during the COVID-19 Pandemic in August 2021.
  • The Forum also launched the SIDS Solutions Platform, consisting of a biennial Forum in the Pacific, as well as an online platform.
  • FAO has also assisted SIDS in areas such as formulating their national adaptation plans; reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation;  meeting land degradation neutrality targets; strengthening disaster management and build resilience; strengthening evidence-based decision-making; and facilitating access to finance.
  • FAO convened a High-Level Ministerial Event focused on transforming agrifood systems to increase resilience and achieve the 2030 Agenda in SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs in June 2023 at which a Ministerial Call for Action requested the establishment of an informal Ministerial Network, with technical support from FAO.
  • A SIDS specific team established to contribute FAO’s knowledge and technical expertise on agrifood systems transformation, in line with FAO’s mandate, to UN fora such as the UN Common Country Analysis, and the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, among others.

The Director-General noted that redoubling international efforts was still needed to deliver on ambitious collective commitments for SIDS.

In this context, FAO aims to undertake a study aimed at developing an evidence-based SIDS-led blueprint to inform policy makers, the private sector, and the international community on key trends, challenges and opportunities in food and agriculture in the Pacific SIDS.

The first Hand-in-Hand Regional Initiative for the Caribbean investment plan for SIDS will be presented to potential investors during the 2024 World Food Forum at FAO headquarters in Rome in October.

The FAO Global Roadmap for Achieving SDG2 without breaching the 1.5° C threshold, launched at COP28. In Synergy with the Roadmap, FAO will continue to support SIDS to access climate financing, such as through the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Also Read: Sharbati Wheat of Madhya Pradesh Still Fetching Highest Bid in Market

(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

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