Regional food security at work

Following suggestions from several high level representatives of Member nations and Regional Economic Organisations (REOs) and Groupings (REGs), FAO is organizing side events within the context of the World Food Summit: five years later (WFS:fyl) devoted to the presentation of Regional or Sub-regional Strategies, Programmes and Actions addressing concrete food security issues at the regional level. The purpose of these side events is to enable each REO or REG to present their own strategies and programmes within the context of a roundtable and engage in discussions with representatives from interested or potentially interested partners, bilateral or multilateral cooperation mechanisms, financial institutions, other REOs and/or representatives from the United Nations family, all of whom will be attending the WFS:fyl.

So far, Summits and Global Meetings have concentrated on fundamental political declarations and presented global objectives and goals, particularly on the financial resources needed to attain the proposed goals. FAO's acceptance to host the WFS:fyl side events on Regional Food Security at Work is unique in that the Organization underlines its willingness to help the way forward and to promote concerted immediate action-oriented efforts. The roundtables will permit an open, direct, non binding brainstorming exercise and exchange of information among the participants. FAO will act as facilitator in this process as it will provide further support in the follow-up to the results of the side events, eventually supporting the establishment of appropriate consultative mechanisms through which donors could address the ways and means of providing their contribution to the regional food security efforts.

In general, the Regional or Sub-regional Strategies and Programmes include inter alia components on regional support to national food security efforts, regional food safety issues and agricultural trade facilitation measures. In particular, with respect to trade, the focus is on the harmonisation of policies and measures for trade facilitation by reducing sanitary and phytosanitary barriers and technical obstacles, promoting the reduction and harmonisation of tariffs and adopting international Codex Alimentarius norms and standards.


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FAO, 2002