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Sustainable Development Goals

FAO and the post-2015 development agenda

FAO believes that food security can be the common thread that links the different challenges the world faces in building a sustainable future.

Through its experience and expertise in the three dimensions of sustainability, the Organization has supported decision-makers shape the 2030 Agenda. At the beginning of the post-2015 process, Member States helped FAO identify 14 thematic areas to its work in contributing technical knowledge to the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The themes are based on the Organization’s global goals – the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; the elimination of poverty; and the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, and are closely linked to FAO’s five strategic objectives.

View the full package: Issue papers for FAO's 14 themes.

FAO co-led the preparation of inter-agency issues briefs on sustainable agriculture (with IFAD) and food security and nutrition (with WFP and IFAD) at the 3rd OWG in May 2013, and, together with UNEP, co-led the preparation of issues briefs on oceans and seas, forests and biodiversity at the 8th OWG in February 2014.

FAO co-led technical inputs in three of the 17 SDGs proposed by the OWG: food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture (together with IFAD and WFP); marine resources, oceans and seas; and ecosystems and biodiversity, while contributing expertise to a number of other focus areas.

The Organization also helped prepare issues briefs on: water and sanitation; drought, land degradation and desertification; employment and decent work, social protection, youth; health; inclusive economic growth; macro-economic policy, trade; energy; means of implementation; needs of countries in special situations; human rights; global governance; sustainable production and consumption, climate change, disaster risk reduction; gender equality.

FAO continued to provide technical support in the negotiation stage of the post-2015 process, including identifying viable indicators and appropriate means of implementation. It also contributed capacity in sponsoring and organising post-2015 events designed to inform and engage Member States, stakeholders and the general public.

Broad consultation – the global conversation

A key objective in coming to a post-2015 framework was to involve the general public and other stakeholders – civil society and smallholders, businesses and the private sector, research institutions and academia – in helping to fashion new development goals.

The United Nations system played a facilitating role in this global conversation. Along with close to 100 national and regional consultations, and a public survey, the UN Development Group (UNDG) identified 11 themes around which UN agencies were invited to organize formal and informal meetings with different stakeholders on current and emerging challenges, while highlighting key priorities for the new agenda.

Hunger, food security and nutrition

FAO and WFP co-led the global thematic consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition, supported by IFAD, and other UN agencies and programmes, including the SG’s High Level Task Force (HLTF) on Global Food Security, Unicef and the World Bank. The governments of Colombia and Spain sponsored the consultation.

With the aim of engaging a broad range of actors in collecting views on lessons learned from MDGs and the post-2015 development agenda, the three-phase consultation culminated in the Madrid Statement

Consultation on hunger, food security and nutrition

1. An on-line discussion (see: Issues Paper available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish)

2. WFP-FAO convened consultation of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) (see: vision and building blocks for a global agenda EN/ES/FR)

3. A High-level consultation hosted by the Governments of Spain and Colombia, Madrid, 4 April 2013 (see: Background and Agenda of the Madrid High-Level Consultation)

Under the leadership of different UN agencies, FAO was also involved in eight other global thematic consultations - environmental sustainability; education; governance; inequalities; population dynamics; growth and employment; water and sanitation; and energy. The other two were health; and conflict and fragility

“Hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition can be ended sustainably by 2025. The eradication of hunger and malnutrition must be definitive and irreversible based on the right of everyone to safe, sufficient, nutritious and affordable food. This vision is achievable. Bold and effective action is urgent and both a moral and political imperative.”

- taken from the Synthesis Report from the High Level Consultation (HLC) on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Madrid, March 2013

In 2014, a second round of consultations involving stakeholders focused on means of implementation of a post-2015 Agenda, and was held at national level with leadership of UN entities at global level.