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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

José Graziano da Silva: Russia plays an important role in the global fight against hunger and malnutrition

Graziano da Silva concludes a three-day visit to Russia

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva in the Republic of Tatarstan

25 June, 2015, Moscow – FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva concluded a three-day visit to Russia, his first official trip since being re-elected to his post, meeting senior government officials, researchers and the head of the leading news agency.

Meeting with Foreign Minister

FAO Director-General and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met and outlined the priority areas for their cooperation. They highlighted the need to strengthen the interaction between FAO and the Eurasian Economic Commission, whose investment mechanisms can be used for projects in Central Asia and other regions through South-South cooperation. They also decided to explore the possibility of engaging Russia’s private sector to provide technical assistance to developing countries. Lavrov confirmed Russia’s intention to support strengthening cooperation between FAO and BRICS under Russia’s BRICS Presidency.

Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister

At the meeting, Graziano da Silva and Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich noted that they have common approaches to addressing issues related to the development of the agricultural sector in Russia. They agreed the most promising areas for collaboration are the harmonization of food safety standards, enhancing agricultural productivity, improving smallholder farmers’ access to markets and credit, and the use of the latest achievements in the field of biotechnology, simplifying the procedures of land registration and management of land resources. Both parties confirmed their willingness to enhance cooperation.

Meeting with Minister of Agriculture

The Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev expressed strong interest in using FAO’s platform to coordinate the efforts to combat foot and mouth decease in the countries of the region. FAO’s contribution to the BRICS dialogue was also outlined.

FAO Director-General welcomed Russia’s active participation in the activities related to the International Year of Soils and FAO’s 70th anniversary this year. Minister Tkachev also encouraged exploring new opportunities of cooperation between FAO and Russian research and academic institutions, particularly the Tymiryazev Agricultural Academy. 

Meeting with Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak

At the meeting the parties signed a $1m cooperation agreement to support the Global Soil Partnership.  Storchak also highlighted Russia’s intention to allocate funds to support projects around Central Asia. He also praised FAO’s efforts in promoting Russian as one of FAO’s six official languages.  

Meeting with Russia’s Chief State Sanitary Physician

José Graziano da Silva met Anna Popova, Chief State Sanitary Physician of the Russian Federation and Head of Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-being (Rospotrebnadzor) to  discuss prospects for expanded cooperation. Popova expressed her support for strengthening the global governance in the field of food safety and nutrition, and highlighted the need to improve international coordination mechanisms in this process. During the meeting, the parties focused on Russia's participation in the work of Codex Alimentarius, the Commission on international food standards, and the preparation for an international workshop later this year (St Petersburg, 17-18 September) on Strengthening Capacities for Effective Participation in Codex Alimentarius.

Popova also welcomed the outcomes of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) and confirmed the readiness of Rospotrebnadzor to share its expertise with FAO and to contribute to the implementation of the ICN2 Framework for Action and the Rome Declaration on Nutrition.

Graziano stressed that the opening of the FAO office in Moscow would give a powerful impetus to the development of cooperation not only with Russia but also with CIS countries.

Meeting with the Eurasian Economic Commission

He paid a visit to the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) and discussed with the Minister for Technical Regulation, Valery Koreshkov,  prospects for developing further cooperation between FAO and the EEC. Food safety, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, and trans-boundary animal deceases were highlighted as the area of immediate priority for both sides. They also agreed to cooperate in promoting the Russian language in the work of FAO.

Meeting with Head of Federal Service for State Registration, Cadaster and Cartography (Rosreestr)

During their talks, the Head of the Feeral Service for State Registration, Cadaster and Cartography (Rosreestr) Igor Vasiliev informed Graziano da Silva about the work of the Federal Service and expressed interest in exchanging information with FAO on land registration and cadaster. FAO and Rosreestr are already successfully implementing a World Bank funded project on Land Cadaster and Registration, which employs a unique electronic management system in the largest country of the world. The FAO Chief and and Vasiliev agreed to further strengthen cooperation between FAO and the Federal Service.

Visit to Tatarstan

FAO Director-General also visited the Republic of Tatarstan, where he met with President Rustam Minnikhanov.

A Letter of Intent between Kazan State Agricultural University and FAO was signed, opening opportunities for capacity building and exchange of knowledge. Graziano also visited one of the largest agro-industrial complexes in the Republic, where he was introduced to the modern methods of food processing and production and was shown the living conditions in the rural areas of Tatarstan.