The 149th session of the FAO Council kicks off
The Director-General opened the session this morning noting that FAO is on the right track, and that its sharpened focus needs to translate to concrete benefits at the country level. “We need to work together, we need your support”, he said addressing the Members, “we owe this to the millions of people that count on FAO to fulfill the dream of a food secure and healthy life.”
This week, many side events are also taking place. A ceremony to recognize outstanding progress in fighting hunger will be held today at noon in the Red Room. Chile, China and Morocco are the latest in a growing list of countries to make great strides in combating undernourishment, such as the early achievement of the Millennium Development Goal 1 (MDG-1) - to halve the proportion of hungry people by 2015. In 2013, FAO recognized 38 countries for reducing by half the proportion of people who suffer from achieving outstanding progress in fighting hunger. Also scheduled for today at in the Sheikh Zayed Centre, is an event celebrating the success of Morocco's national agricultural strategy "Plan Maroc Vert". The strategy is seen as the engine behind Morocco's achievement of the Millennium Development Goal 1 hunger target. The event will also mark the signing of a South-South Cooperation Tripartite Agreement – the first time that Morocco assists another African country (Guinea) through this mechanism which also involves FAO.
On Tuesday, three side events are scheduled. The Iran Room will host Achieving Food Security through South-South and Triangular Cooperation at 13:00. This event intends to raise awareness of the value of South-South Cooperation, of FAO’s role and of the importance of proactive member country engagement Evening slots in the Red Room will be dedicated to the World Day to Combat Desertification and the ministerial G77 50th Anniversary Celebration respectively. On the occasion of the global celebration of World Day to Combat Desertification, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) – Global Mechanism, the Government of Italy and FAO will present a seminar on “Land for Life – How Sustainable Land Management can Improve People’s Livelihood and Resilience”. The seminar will showcase selected initiatives of the Rome-based agencies in support of UNCCD implementation and present the priorities of the newly established Global Mechanism office at FAO.
The Regional Rice Initiative (RRI) is the highlight on Wednesday (1300-1430) in the Iran Room. The event will cover the Regional Rice Strategy (RRS) and will inform Members about progress made and lessons learnt during its pilot phase of the RRI, how it has informed the RRS and how the RRI-2 will address the recommendations made by Members at the Regional Conference held earlier this year.
The 10th anniversary of the entry-into-force of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (June 2004) will be marked at 13:00 in the Iran Room on Thursday. The event is an opportunity to reaffirm the important contributions that the Treaty makes for addressing the challenges posed to the global food security and sustainable agriculture in the context of climate change.
Finally, FAO’s role in the global health security agenda will be presented on Friday in the Iran room (13:00). The event intends to build on the commitment made by the Director-General during the launch of the Global Health Security Agenda earlier this year, which included the alliance of 29 countries, the EU, WHO and OIE, to advance the shared vision of global health security to achieve a world able to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to infectious disease threats at their source.
It’s a busy week!
For more information and updates on Council side events, see here.
See the photos here.