FAO Liaison Office in New York

RBAs advocate for food security and nutrition at the 2020 ECOSOC Management Segment


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) participated in the 2020 United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Management Segment, which was scaled down and held virtually on 21 July in an effort to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Among other topics, this year’s ECOSOC Management Segment reviewed the implementation of granting independence to colonial countries and peoples, the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people, as well as the international coordination on human rights, social and environmental issues.

The Director of the FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations in New York, Carla Mucavi, spoke on behalf of the Rome-Based Agencies (RBAs) on the issues of African countries emerging from conflict, and population and development.

Africa’s Sahel region is threatened by cyclical instability, state fragility and recurring humanitarian crises. Currently, it is estimated that 20 million people living in the Sahel are at risk of acute malnutrition, including nearly 5 million children. In 2013, the United Nations endorsed an Integrated Strategy for the Sahel to prioritize life-saving activities that meet immediate needs, while building the resilience of people and communities as part of a long-term development agenda.

“The main focus of our efforts is to strengthen the resilience of pastoral and agro-pastoral cross-border populations through economic development, social cohesion, and support to vulnerable populations, especially women and youth,” said Mucavi. FAO is actively supporting initiatives like the GLoNet program that tackles the root causes of food and nutrition insecurity, as well as coordinated response actions to the desert locust upsurge and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.

The 53rd session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development (CPD) was set to take place earlier this year, from 30 March to 3 April, but was  significantly scaled down, as it coincided with the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in the United States and Europe. The forum would have presented an ideal opportunity for the RBAs to bring food security and nutrition to the forefront of the global agenda, especially considering the Commission’s theme for 2020: “Population, food security, nutrition and sustainable development”. Carla Mucavi welcomed the decision to maintain the same theme for the 2021 CPD. She also noted that, despite all challenges, this year delegates managed to “discuss the importance of social protection, the impact of the pandemic on food systems and livelihoods, and the need to keep food systems alive and food trade functioning.”

Carla Mucavi’s full statements are available here and here.