FAO and Ireland celebrate collaboration and renew commitment to partnership

FAO Director-General and Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine mark FAO-Ireland partnership with launch of a new publication

10 March 2021, Rome – The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) QU Dongyu and Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, attended a virtual ceremony today to celebrate the last six years of collaboration between FAO and Ireland.

“Ireland is widely recognised for its leadership in agri-technology and digital innovation, sustainable and climate sensitive agriculture, and food production,” the FAO Director-General said at the event. He noted that Ireland’s contributions “have supported FAO’s efforts for global food governance, sustainable agri-food systems and nutrition, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and resilience-building.”

For his part, Minister McConalogue stressed Ireland’s continued commitment to international development and highlighted the achievements made so far through the partnership with FAO.

A new publication “FAO + Ireland: Partnering for a peaceful, equal and sustainable world” was launched at the event, detailing, for the first time, the visible results achieved at global, regional and country levels through the FAO + Ireland partnership.

Between 2014 and 2020 Ireland channeled EUR 26 million into more than 40 programs and projects implemented by FAO around the world. This includes FAO’s resilience programme, which has helped family farmers in conflict-affected countries, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and the Syrian Arab Republic, rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

The publication also highlights Ireland’s contribution to the creation of innovative digital solutions for pest detection and control in Ethiopia and Kenya, national early warning systems in the Central African Republic and Sierra Leone, and efforts to end food loss and waste in Malawi and Timor-Leste. In addition, Ireland’s most recent contribution of USD 1.2 million will enable FAO to scale up support to food security and the resilience of rural communities affected by natural shocks and conflicts in Niger, as well as provide targeted assistance towards improving surveillance and control of the desert locust invasion in Kenya.

“This report shows that the cooperation between FAO and Ireland expanded and grew considerably in the past six years,” said the FAO Director General in his foreword of the report. “Ireland’s ongoing support for multilateralism and the United Nations system is as essential to achieving the 2030 Agenda as it is to addressing the immense challenges that crises, conflict and forced migration continue to pose today.”

“The examples contained in this report demonstrate the valuable contribution that Ireland’s partnership with FAO is making to achieving the SDGs and realizing the 2030 Agenda. Ireland and FAO are finding new and better ways of working together to achieve inclusive sustainable growth, reaching the furthest behind first,” said Minister McConalogue in his foreword.

Ireland has been a member of FAO since 1946 and has concentrated its support on development assistance to nine Key Partner Countries: Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Viet Nam and Zambia. In February 2021 Ireland and FAO committed to continuing their partnership, signing the first Ireland–FAO Framework Agreement. The Agreement covers the period from 2021 to 2024 and focuses on targeted cooperation in six priority areas: sustainable food systems, nutrition; gender and youth, climate action, building resilience and global governance of food systems and nutrition.

At the ceremony, the FAO Director-General Qu said the Framework Agreement was “a basis for an even more structured and harmonized cooperation”. He also commended Ireland’s international development policy, which is linked to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, adding that it “fully aligns with the aspirational priorities of FAO’s new Strategic Framework, the Four Betters: Better Production, Better Environment, Better Nutrition and Better Life”.

Minister McConalogue echoed Qu’s sentiments, reiterating Ireland’s commitment to strengthening the partnership with FAO over the coming years through the new Agreement.

Photo: ©FAO/
FAO Director-General QU Dongyu and Charlie McConalogue, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Ireland celebrate the FAO-Ireland partnership at a virtual ceremony.