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FAO Director-General meets the EU Commissioner for Development

The European Union, a strategic partner to eradicate hunger

FAO Director-General with the EU Commissioner for Development.

3 July 2014, Rome - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva met today with the EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, at the Organization’s headquarters in Rome.

They discussed the fruitful cooperation involving FAO and the EU on a number of crucial issues for food security and nutrition. “National governments need to develop a global vision of agriculture and give it the importance it deserves, empowering its agriculture ministers in the discussions,” the FAO Director-General said.

“Cooperation with FAO is crucial,” the EU Commissioner said, describing innovation in agricultural systems, youth capacity building and women empowerment as key areas of interest for the EU.

He also stressed the importance of good resource management. “We are paying much attention to fund monitoring and project impact and results,” Piebalgs said.

He also congratulated the FAO Director-General for the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, which he described as a “great success”.  Piebalgs also said the EU and FAO will continue working together in developing agriculture.

For his part, Graziano da Silva thanked the Commissioner for the EU’s generous contribution to the upcoming high-level, Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), which FAO and the World Health Organization are co-organizing in November. The FAO chief invited the EU Commissioner to attend the conference which  Piebalgs welcomed as a “very important and timely” initiative.

Graziano da Silva recalled FAO’s commitment to partner with the EU to support nutrition-sensitive agriculture at all levels.

Both agreed that nutrition is a public issue that needs the engagement of all sectors of society to address the major challenges and identify priorities for international cooperation on nutrition.

Graziano da Silva commented on his recent participation in the African Union Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, and stressed the importance of aquaculture, reduction of post-harvest losses in the African continent and the need to support farmers accessing markets and strengthening the food value-chain.

Discussions also touched upon the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

The European Union is FAO’s biggest partner in the fight against hunger, undernourishment and malnutrition. Both are aligned in their strategic priorities, which include hunger eradication and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, rural poverty, inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems and resilience.