20 June 2014
149th Session of FAO Council
Your Excellency Wilfred Ngirwa, Independent Chairperson of the Council,
Your Excellencies Ministers,
Members of the Council,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me begin by noting that this Council was attended by 14 ministers and 6 vice-ministers and undersecretaries, and a total of nearly 400 delegates have worked hard during this week.
This high-level participation demonstrates the importance you attribute to FAO and to this forum.
I would like to congratulate and thank all of you for the work and for your continued support to the strategic direction FAO is on encourages us as we deliver the agreed on Programme of Work.
As you have noted, we are progressing well on implementation. I am confident that all of us will be pleased with the concrete results we will achieve, especially through the regional initiatives.
The guidance you have given this week will be of great value. And I would like to thank you for your agreement for the need to review the FAO country coverage.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me take this opportunity to remind you that the Second International Conference on Nutrition will take place in exactly five months.
This is the time to discuss and finalize the political declaration and Framework for Action to be endorsed in November.
I want to thank your increased engagement to ICN2. As I have said, nutrition is a public issue.
We need your commitment to make ICN 2 a success and to ensure that food security and nutrition is a reality for all.
I also share with your opinion on the importance of the participation of non-state actors in the dialogue on nutrition.
In fact, at your request, we are organizing an informal meeting between non-state actors and FAO Members on ICN2, today, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
I will be there with the ICC Chair. I urge you attend this meeting and continue the dialogue with non-state actors.
Let me express only one concern related to ICN2: in recent weeks we have received requests from Members on more and more details on the organization of the event.
I would like to remind you of the distinct and complementary roles of Members and the Secretariat: Members give guidance, the Secretariat manages. I ask you not to overstep this red line.
The organization of ICN is progressing well and we will continue to inform you of the process.
I also have to say that financial support to ICN2 is improving. We have received confirmation of a contribution of one million euro from the European Union this week and we are waiting for the contribution of other Members.
So I can assure you that everything is getting in place and will be ready in time. Managers are working hard in this, so do not worry.
I see a lot of anxiety for more information, but please don’t let it deviate your attention from the political declaration and the framework for action. We all need member countries to focus on the most important aspect: finalizing the draft political declaration and the framework for action, the substantive political documents that will be the outcomes of ICN2.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me end thanking you once again for your support to FAO and participation in this Council.
Thank you for your attention.