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A statement by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva
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17 June 2014

 

149th Session of  the FAO Council

 Side Event “Achieving Food Security Through South-South And Triangular Cooperation”

 

Your Excellency Chen Xiaohua, Vice Minister for Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China,

Your Excellency Seyed Aminollah Taghavi Motlagh, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to FAO and Vice Chairman of Group 77 and China,

Your Excellencies Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives of the Brazil, Ethiopia and Nigeria,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome you here today to share experiences and our joint vision for South-South Cooperation.

Let me begin by congratulating G77 and China for their 50th anniversary today, which reinforces the message that the South has long been collaborating for development.

As you all know, hunger and malnutrition are still enormous challenges to be faced.

Innovative development solutions are being pioneered in many different contexts.

One of these innovations is South-South Cooperation, a horizontal cooperation among developing countries based on the concept of solidarity that breaks the traditional dichotomy between donors and recipients.

South-South Cooperation is a widely recognized, cost-effective means that allow countries to exchange their knowledge, their skills and their homegrown development initiatives.

These exchanges of development solutions strongly contribute to improve food security, poverty reduction and the sustainable management of natural resources.

 Since 1996, FAO has been facilitating South-South Cooperation and Triangular Cooperation.

In the past 20 years it has placed over 1800 experts and technicians in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Near East.

South-South Cooperation is also an important tool to help FAO Members reach the goals that have been set in our reviewed renewed Strategic Framework and strategic objectives.

Today, you will hear from Brazil, China, Ethiopia and Nigeria some successful experiences in South-South Cooperation.

They are just a few examples, as many countries are interested in exploring this new avenue. Just yesterday, for example, we signed a new project through which FAO will facilitate South-South efforts from Morocco in Guinea.

I would like to say that, in my view, every country has an experience to share with its neighbor, be it in the field of food security agriculture, livestock, fisheries or natural resources management.

There is still a lot of that we can and should do to meet the food security and sustainable development challenges we face.

South-South Cooperation has the potential to spread the benefits of globalization more widely, creating new markets and building a broader foundation for sustainable economic growth.

Investing in South-South Cooperation was the right decision.

And to better explore its potential, we have recently created a dedicated South-South Cooperation Team at Headquarters, placed experts in the regions and put in place a new South-South Cooperation Strategy.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite all Members that have South-South Cooperation proposals to share them with us so we can explore how to best help you implement them.

FAO is ready and willing to facilitate this exchange of knowledge and expertise between countries in the Global South. That is our role in this process: a facilitator.

FAO believes in South-South Cooperation and looks forward to working with you to fulfil the full potential of this modality of cooperation.

I wish you successful and rich discussions.

Thank you for your attention.