Rio de Janeiro, 21 June 2012 - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said that countries were seizing the moment to transform our goals of sustainable development into action at the Rio+20 Conference.
"The common vision that is emerging from the Rio+20 document that countries are negotiating reflects the urgencies we have today: the urgency to end hunger and extreme poverty, while preserving the environment and our natural resources. We are seizing the golden opportunity to bring together the agendas of food security and sustainable development to build the future we want," said the FAO Director-General.
"We will leave Rio with a blueprint and the understanding that the time to act is now. We are accountable to the world's poor and marginalized and to future generations, our children and grandchildren," added Graziano da Silva.
The FAO Director-General arrived in Rio after participating in the Los Cabos G20 Summit in which the Government of Russia confirmed they would maintain food security and small-scale farming among the priorities of the group in its upcoming presidency.
Graziano da Silva highlighted that the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security is part of the outcome document being negotiated.
The Voluntary guidelines were endorsed by the renewed Committee of World Food Security following extensive consultations and negotiations involving governments, civil society, private sector and other stakeholders. They provide a basis to recognize the ownership and access rights of poor families and communities to natural resources and are the result of three-years of debates and negotiations that involved over one thousand people, 130 countries, private sector and civil society.
"In any consensus building process, we need to give and take to find a common ground. As happened with the Voluntary Guidelines, I am confident that we will also come out of Rio+20 with a strong foundation to move decisively towards sustainable development," said Kostas Stamoulis, secretary of the Committee of World Food Security.
"It's very important to come out from Rio with a consensus to move ahead faster," he stressed.
The proposed outcome document being negotiated includes the main messages that FAO and the Rome Based Agencies Bioversity International, FAO, IFAD and WFP brought to the Conference.
The text recognizes the right to food and the role of the Committee of World Food Security in global food governance, and highlights the importance of food security and sustainable management and use of forests, oceans and other natural resources, the need to shift towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns, and the need to revitalize agriculture and rural development.
"It has been very rewarding to see the attention that oceans and fisheries have been getting here in Rio and that is reflected in the proposed text. Never before have we gotten such clear directions on where we want to go on these important issues. This is particularly relevant since the links between the oceans, fisheries and food security are so clear in the text. The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries is central in this and creates the connection to Rio 1992 since it is a product of the commitments made then," said FAO Assistant-Director-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Árni M. Mathiesen.