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Ethiopian Prime Minister supports AU-FAO-Instituto Lula high-level meeting

FAO and Ethiopia discuss action to improve food security
©FAO/Giulio Napolitano

22 November 2012, Addis Ababa – The Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn has given his full support to the high-level meeting that the African Union, Instituto Lula and FAO are organizing on 4-5 March 2012 in Addis Ababa to promote food security in Africa.

The Prime Minister gave his assurances to FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at a meeting on 22 November in the Ethiopian capital.

Earlier in the day, Graziano da Silva, Lula da Silva and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma sealed a new partnership to help eradicate hunger and undernourishment in Africa, and announced they would convene the “New, unified approaches to end hunger in Africa” high-level meeting in 2013.

They also discussed ways in which Ethiopia could contribute to food security in Africa through South-South Cooperation, such as by sharing its experiences with the Productive Safety Net Programme with other countries in the region.

During the conversation, Desalegn also requested FAO’s increased support to Ethiopia’s ongoing efforts to promote food security. The FAO Director-General raised several possibilities for action, including the strengthening of national food security governance, finding ways to improve Ethiopia’s already robust food security and agricultural development programmes, and scaling up some of the country’s successful experiences.

The ways forward were discussed with the Minister of Agriculture of Ethiopia Tefera Derbew (click here to learn more about FAO’s work in Ethiopia). The Minister also informed the Director-General of his intention to attend the next session of the FAO Council.

In Rome, the Permanent Representative of Ethiopia Almseged Gessese Mulugeta thanked the Director-General for his mission to Addis Ababa and for his commitment to promoting food security and agricultural development in Africa and Ethiopia.

On 20 November, the Director-General met in Rome with the President of Benin Thomas Boni Yayi, Chairperson of the African Union. On 21 November, the Director-General travelled to Addis Ababa for the meetings held with the AU and Ethiopian officials.

Back in Rome, on 22 November, Graziano da Silva received the President of Haiti Joseph Martelly at FAO Headquarters, where they made a joint call to increase investment in the Caribbean country.