23 November 2016
Remarks on the occasion of the visit to FAO of Ambassador Peter Thomson,
President of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly
It is my privilege to welcome His Excellency Ambassador Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Last week, Ambassador Thomson participated in the UN Climate Conference, COP 22, in Marrakech.
COP 22 is being called the “Action COP”, the first after the entry into force of the Paris Agreement.
It reinforced the importance of investing in agriculture and food systems for tackling climate change, poverty and hunger at the same time, which we call the “triple win”.
It was also the first COP to feature an action day on Oceans, which FAO was proud to co-organize.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Fiji for being chosen as the next COP Presidency, taking over from Morocco next year.
FAO will be honored to work with the incoming Fiji presidency to make COP23 a great success.
Maria Helena Semedo has already met the Minister for Agriculture of Fiji in this regard.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Ambassador Thomson has been one of the principal architects of the 2030 Agenda, as Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
He knows well that the SDGs are all about transforming the way of doing business.
Today, Ambassador Thomson will speak about the main theme of his mandate as PGA, which I quote: “The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world.”
His priority is to move the SDGs from commitment to action.
He is the driving force behind the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, on Oceans.
The Conference will be convened in New York in June 2017 and co-hosted by Fiji and Sweden.
FAO is actively supporting this process, participating in all seven working groups that are preparing the Conference.
FAO is strongly focused on SDG implementation.
We have identified 40 SDG targets to which FAO’s work directly contributes.
These SDG targets will be incorporated as the targets of our 5 Strategic Objectives, which are implemented by the Strategic Programme Leader Teams, the SPLs.
And we have also identified 53 SDG indicators to measure the work of the Strategic Programmes.
So FAO will naturally work in total coordination and synergy with the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.
We are also creating a Department on Climate Change and a new Office of the Chief Statistician. This proposal will be considered by FAO’s Council next December.
Monitoring is an important part of the SDGs, and FAO is the custodian of 25 indicators, which is more than 10% of the total number (230).
And of course we are exploring ways to further our collaboration especially with WFP and IFAD; but also with other important partners within the UN System and beyond.
Working together is a fundamental part of leaving no one behind.
I welcome Ambassador Thomson once again, and look forward to hearing his presentation.
Thank you for your attention.