Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Home > Director-General > My statements > detail
Director-General  José Graziano da Silva
A statement by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva
Check against delivery

4 July 2017

40th Session of FAO Conference

Side Event: Launch of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Food Security and Nutrition in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

It is my honor to welcome all of you for the launch of the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Food Security and Nutrition in Small Island Developing States.

Promoting food security and improving nutrition are major challenges facing SIDS countries, especially due to the impacts of climate change, and also economic vulnerabilities.

Let me highlight that, unfortunately, the triple burden of malnutrition is a reality among many of SIDS countries.

This means that undernourishment, micronutrient deficiency and obesity coexist within the same country, same communities, and even the same households.

The S.A.M.O.A. Pathway recognized this complex and pressing challenge. And invited FAO to develop a global framework for action.

In response, FAO worked closely  with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and with the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS).

We developed together this Global Action Programme, based on wide ranging consultations across SIDS regions.

Policy makers, technical experts, international organizations, civil society and communities themselves provided their inputs.

The result of this process is a programme that is crafted around three key objectives:

First, to strengthen the enabling environment for food security and nutrition.

This includes ensuring political commitment and promoting governance.

Second, to improve the sustainability, resilience and nutrition-sensitivity of food systems. 

This includes the implementation of actions to promote climate-adaptation and build resilience of agriculture sectors.

And third, to empower people and communities.

This involves the implementation of social protection programmes, and also tailored actions to prevent and treat malnutrition in all its forms.

Concrete actions will be required at global, regional, national and especially at local level.

We must ensure that no one will be left behind. This means paying particular attention to women and young people.

I would like to call on donors and regional partners to actively engage in supporting the implementation of the Global Action Programme.


We cannot address food security and nutrition without simultaneously addressing climate change, the health of the oceans, land degradation, social inclusion, education, gender equality, among other aspects.

The impacts of climate change are particularly worrisome. They affect everything that we plan to do in the SIDS countries.

FAO is working closely together with the upcoming presidency of Fiji for the UN Climate Conference in Bonn next November.

We want to ensure that the challenges and complexities faced by SIDS are better understood, recognized, and appropriately addressed.

Let me take this opportunity to reiterate the importance that FAO places on SIDS countries.

Over the last five years, FAO has boosted many efforts to support the small islands. We have worked on several fronts, which include:

First, improving the management and use of natural resources;
Second, promoting integrated rural development;
And third, building resilience to extreme weather events.

And last month, during the Ocean Conference in New York, FAO presented a commitment to increase economic benefits to SIDS countries / through the Blue Growth Initiative.

This will be done especially through 3 specific regional SIDS projects, coming up to 16 million US Dollars from FAO’s budget.


Before concluding, let me also refer to the FAO Port State Measures Agreement to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, the P-S-M-A.

As many of you know, the agreement entered into force one year ago.

The P-S-M-A can significantly contribute to the sustainable development of SIDS.

16 SIDS countries are already part of the Port State Measures Agreement.

I urge the Governments that have not yet signed or ratified the agreement to consider taking immediate action in this regard.

Healthy and productive oceans are critical for achieving Sustainable Development.

Thank you very much for your attention