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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO pledges support to agriculture and nutrition in Small Island Developing Countries (SIDS)

Time to move forward the Action Programme of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway

FAO Director-General speaking at a SIDS event at the FAO Regional Conference for Africa

6 April 2016, Abidjan – The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, José Graziano da Silva, has called for stronger partnerships with Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and appealed the UN system, regional and inter-regional bodies, development partners and non-state actors to address food and nutrition challenges faced by SIDS.

“Promoting agriculture development and food systems in SIDS is aimed at providing financial instruments for driving the nutrition sensitive agriculture and sustainable food systems agenda, which accordingly may not be met without the involvement of other actors’ both at national and regional levels”, he emphasized.

He was speaking at a side-event on SIDS organized in the margin of the 29th Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa (4-8 April 2016) with the purpose to encourage inputs on FAO's proposed programme of work in Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS as a contribution towards implementation of the SAMOA Pathway’s Action Programme to be approved during the Biennial Forum on SIDS planned for July 2017.

FAO has expertise in many areas in which the SAMOA Pathway calls for action in Food and nutrition security of course, but also social protection, sustainable natural resource management, disaster risk management, resilience and climate change; fisheries, oceans and seas; and also agricultural trade and investment.

“FAO will continue to engage with Small Island Countries to increase and diversify the productivity and competitiveness in sectors of regional interest of sustainable agriculture to improve optimal food security and nutrition.”

FAO’s ongoing work programme in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS is closely aligned with the SAMOA Pathway and focuses on improving food and nutrition security, increasing sustainable production and productivity in different sectors and promoting resilience through improved natural resource management, disaster risk management and mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

“These elements are closely interlinked. The food and nutrition challenges in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS cannot be separated from the challenges of sustainable natural resource management, food import dependence and the need to revitalize agriculture, and the imperative of building resilience in the face of natural disasters and climate change,” said Mr. Graziano.

FAO is currently engaging all countries of the Indian Ocean Region (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles) to develop their comprehensive food security nutrition strategies and action plans in alignment and follow up to the sub-regional Food Security and Nutrition strategy and ICN2 Framework for Action.

Graziano da Silva called on Atlantic and Indian Ocean countries to be among those that will enable the Port State Measure Agreement to come into force by the time of next 11 July Session of the FAO Commission on Fisheries (COFI), in Rome.  Currently, 20 states have ratified the instrument that fights illegal fisheries and contributes to the sustainable development of the Small Island Development States.

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