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The South Centre and FAO step up cooperation to intensify South-South activities

New agreement aims to improve food security, boost rural development, and address climate change in the Global South

11 November 2016, Marrakesh - FAO is joining forces with the South Centre, an intergovernmental organization of developing countries, to help the countries of the Global South eliminate hunger and malnutrition, reduce poverty, address climate change and achieve sustainable rural development under the umbrella of South-South cooperation.

A five-year Memorandum of Understanding was signed today by Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General for Natural Resources, and Vicente Paulo Yu, Deputy Executive Director of the South Centre on the sidelines of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) in Marrakech (7-18 November 2016).

Building on years of successful collaboration, and given the growing importance of South-South Cooperation, the South Centre and FAO have agreed to broaden the scope of their joint activities, including capacity building for developing countries to strengthen their ability to implement sustainable development policies, facilitate exchange of information and knowledge, and promote technology transfer and innovation.  

Both FAO and the South Centre share a common interest in supporting the developing world in its efforts to overcome major development challenges arising from chronic food insecurity, climate change and acute poverty. Worldwide there are around 800 million food insecure people, while 2.1 billion people are poor, including 900 million who live in extreme poverty.  Enhancing the cooperation between the two organizations is an important step towards Zero Hunger and more sustainable rural development.

FAO and the South Centre will also promote sustainable management of natural resources including land, water, air and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations, help developing nations build resilient rural livelihoods, and apply more sustainable agricultural practices including organic and agro-ecology farming.

The South Centre is an intergovernmental organization of developing countries established in 1995. It currently has 53 member countries and its main objective is to promote South-South cooperation and the sustainable development through policy research, analysis, advice and capacity building in developing countries.

Photo: ©FAO/
Vicente Paulo Yu, Deputy Executive Director of the South Centre, and Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General for Natural Resources, signing the Memorandum of Understanding.