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FAO and China set a new milestone for global South-South Cooperation in Agriculture

The Changsha Declaration towards the achievement of the SDGs

21/11/2018 - 

From 1 to 2 November 2018, more than 200 representatives from nearly 30 developing countries, 12 international organizations, and the heads of the UN Rome-based Agencies (RBAs: FAO, IFAD and WFP) gathered in Changsha, Hunan province, China, to attend the Ministerial Level Forum on Global South-South Cooperation in Agriculture, which was jointly organized by FAO and the People’s Republic of China.

The main objective of the Forum was to discuss paths to further increase South-South Cooperation (SSC) in the agricultural sector and promote it as a vital instrument to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By having a greater SSC on agriculture and rural development, it will be possible to join forces towards the achievement of the SDGs, more specifically SDGs 1 and 2 – ending poverty and hunger.

The outcome of the Forum was the Changsha Declaration, which defined clear ways to include SSC principles into national policies and programmes, especially the ones targeting the elimination of hunger and malnutrition. The document addressed the challenges on food security and nutrition, sustainable agricultural and rural development, and provided recommendations for the next steps for SSC at the global level.

These recommendations include mainly: (i) mainstreaming SSC into policies, programmes and strategies; (ii) strengthening SSC synergies with the SDGs and global strategic initiatives; (iii) scaling up best practices and fostering the transfer of solutions through SSC; (iv) enhancing SSC connectivity and global partnership for sustainable development; (v) empowering SSC under UN coordinated efforts; and finally (vi) enhancing financial support and investment to promote SSC partnerships.

The Changsha Declaration also highlighted the strong partnership between FAO and China on SSC, particularly after the setting of the FAO-China SSC Programme. Furthermore, the document recognized the key importance of the RBAs coordinated role on SSC to support member countries in achieving the SDGs.

With the Forum’s outcome, FAO and China have set a new milestone for global SSC in agriculture and a key contribution to the second UN Conference on SSC (BAPA+40) –  to be held in Argentina next March.

Several other significant outcomes were achieved during the Forum to boost FAO-China partnerships, such as the signature of a Letter of Intent to establish an International Centre of Excellence for Agriculture Innovation and Rural Development in China. The Centre will be a facility which will provide training in agriculture innovation and will promote investment in rural areas in an effort to reach the 2030 SDGs of Zero Hunger.

Moreover, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between FAO and the China Agricultural Science and Education Foundation (CASEF) to strengthen the FAO-China cooperation in fund raising. It was agreed to expand cooperation in resource mobilization from the public and private sectors, civil society organizations and foundations to upscale the FAO-China cooperation in food and agriculture.

About the FAO-China SSC Programme:

In 2008, China donated USD 30 million to FAO to set up an SSC Trust Fund to support the implementation of the FAO-China SSC Programme. In 2014, based on the significant achievements of the phase I of the Programme, the Chinese Government announced a second contribution of USD 50 million to FAO. The Programme has funded global, regional and national SSC projects in broad areas. Over the years, the Programme has demonstrated how much it is possible to innovate, for example it has expanded its partnerships modalities (involving Triangular partners, as the Netherlands, in a national project in Ethiopia) and also its thematic areas (going from sustainable agricultural crop production to value chains in aquaculture).