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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

Bilateral underlines Peace and food security go hand in hand

FAO DG and German agriculture minister discuss Middle East resilience, fisheries and COP21

15 December 2015, Rome - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met Germany’s Minister for Food and Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, for talks that focused on the close linkages between nutrition and food security and global security in the context of escalating conflicts and growing migration.

Amidst growing concerns about further worsening food security situation largely due to massively declining food production in Syria, the Minister said Germany is looking forward to supporting FAO’s emergency response and resilience-building efforts to help enable affected farmers stay on their land thereby helping address some of the root causes of the current wave of migration.

The FAO Director-General further briefed the Minister on FAO’s ongoing efforts to support Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Syria, as well as Syrian refugees and their host communities in neighbouring countries. FAO is working towards improving food security in these communities through various kinds of activities including support to vegetable, cereal and poultry producers, vaccination of livestock and rehabilitation of small scale infrastructure.

Agriculture and climate change

Both principals also reviewed the Paris Climate Change Agreement that governments reached at this month’s UN Climate Summit COP21 – the first climate agreement ever to recognize food security as a priority issue. FAO is closely coordinating with Marrocco, the host of COP22, to build on this success and make agriculture a high priority at next Climate Summit, according to the FAO Director-General.

The Minister appreciated FAO’s collaboration for the forthcoming Global Forum on Food and Agriculture during Berlin’s Green Week, which is also a good occasion for FAO to present FAO’s new initiatives on Climate Change track, following on the COP-21 conclusions.

Fishing matters

Minister Schmidt also emphasized the importance of ensuring sustainability of fish management as an essential component of nutrition security.


Legal instruments like the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing are key in this effort, according to Graziano da Silva, who added that he urged other countries to follow the EU’s example in approving the agreement