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Director-General  José Graziano da Silva
A statement by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva
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4 July 2017

40th Session of FAO Conference

Side Event: SEED MONEY MATTERS – 15 years Bilateral Trust Fund Germany-FAO


Excellency Mr. Christian Schmidt, Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, Germany;

Mr. Friedrich Wacker, Director-General, Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Germany;

Ambassador Hinrich Thölken, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to FAO; 

Distinguished Panelists and Colleagues;

Ladies and gentlemen 

It is great pleasure for me to say a few words at this special event to celebrate the partnership between FAO and Germany.

I am very honored and glad to have welcomed Minister Christian Schmidt to FAO this week.

Minister Schmidt, and the Government of Germany, have strongly supported the work of FAO in many fronts.

And as the 2030 Agenda clearly sets out, we need to rely on strong and lasting partnerships to achieve sustainable development.

The Bilateral Trust Fund between FAO and Germany is good example of this.

This side event will bring evidence of such strong collaboration.

Over the past 15 years, the Bilateral Trust Fund has supported more than 100 projects in 50 countries, with a total budget of almost USD 130 million dollars.

I am sure that Minister Schmidt will mention in his remarks many initiatives that we have been implementing together to promote food security and sustainable agriculture.

This includes not only actions in the field, such as in Afghanistan; but also the development of international instruments, like the Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the Right to Food.

The German government has also been a key partner in supporting FAO to promote and implement the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure.

And this action has benefitted from the decentralization process that FAO has been promoting over the last years.

This is about being a knowledge organization with its feet on the ground.

Let me add that the seed money approach has also proved to be very successful.

As a result, international donors have been encouraged to join projects and also take action to disseminate them.

The initial investments in selected key sectors have thus yielded considerable impact.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to take this opportunity to commend and thank Germany for its successful presidency of the G20.

This has ensured that agriculture, food security and nutrition remain at the top of the global agenda.

This has also reinforced the commitment towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and also the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

I am glad to count on the support of Germany regarding the importance of building the resilience of poor rural livelihoods in developing countries.

This is crucial to address the impacts of climate change and conflicts, as well as to promote safe, orderly and regular migration.

I also applaud the German Government for highlighting the issue of water scarcity in the international agenda.

Water management is a big challenge for food production and improved nutrition.

Agriculture and food systems must be transformed to address this pressing challenge.

And this transformation must prioritize the millions of family farmers in dry areas that are at risk of water scarcity and droughts.

To conclude, I would like to stress that I am very confident that the partnership between FAO and Germany will only be strengthened in the future, as we both share the vision that food and agriculture lies at the heart of sustainable development.

Thank you very much