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HLPF: FAO calls for focus in rural areas to end poverty and hunger

25/07/2018

Sustainable and inclusive food systems are pathways to sustainable development but can only be successful if we advance the 2030 Agenda as a whole, FAO said at the 2018 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) held in New York from 9 to 18 July. 

“More sustainable food systems will act as an enabler of a host of other Sustainable Development Goals and targets,” said Rene Castro, FAO Assistant Director-General of Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department, delivering a joint statement on behalf of the UN Rome-based Agencies FAO, IFAD and WFP during the thematic review of SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production).

Held at UN headquarters, the 2018 HLPF was convened under the theme "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies” and included thematic reviews of SDGs 6 (Clean water and sanitation), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 and 15 (Life on land). Led by Castro, FAO moderated the thematic review of SDG15, made statements in several other sessions, and organised or participated in a number of side events.

HLPF 2018 culminated in the adoption of a Ministerial Declaration, which noted that ending hunger and achieving food security is fundamental for sustainable development. The Declaration underscored the urgency of accelerating progress towards all targets of the SDGs, in particular those with a timeframe of 2020. It acknowledged that the success of biodiversity-related targets depends on action from all sectors including agriculture, livestock, forestry, fishing and urbanization; and recognized that a strengthening of the means of implementation and a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development are required to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

Forty-seven countries presented Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), sharing their experience, successes, challenges and lessons learned in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda during the Ministerial Segment of the HLPF.

Among the Thematic Reviews, events and meetings where FAO was prominent were:

  • SDG 11: in a joint statement, the Rome-based Agencies stressed that planning processes, investments and policies – in areas such as infrastructure development, food procurement regulations and market access – should support local food system actors across the rural-urban continuum.

  • SDG 12: FAO Assistant Director-General Rene Castro emphasized that sustainable food systems, in which responsible consumption is encouraged as a driver of less resource intensive production practices, will play a critical role in the achievement of SDG 12.

  • SDG 15: moderating the session, Castro said that SDG15 was often misperceived only as an environmental goal lacking in social and economic dimensions but that it was a key enabler of many other SDGs

  • SIDS Perspective: FAO called for integrated actions that increase resilience of livelihoods and reshape development pathways; and promote poverty reduction, food security and nutrition, sustainable management of natural resources, and climate change mitigation and adaptation in a holistic manner. FAO also stressed that these actions must be intersectoral, grounded on lessons learned and well-defined priorities.

  • Building Resilience: In an joint statement, the RBA’s presented their common approach among to strengthen the resilience of rural poor, vulnerable and food insecure people’s livelihoods and production systems. FAO, IFAD and WFP are collaborating to integrate, layer and sequence interventions to target the same people, in the same place and often at the same time for greater transformative impacts, said the three agencies

Selected side-events

  • 2018 Global Multi-Stakeholder Small Island Developing States Partnership Dialogue:FAOpresented progress in developing regional frameworks to adapt the Global Action Plan on Food Security and Nutrition in SIDS to different realities and needs, and called for strengthening partnerships to implement the required actions to improve the health and well-being and sustainably manage natural resources in SIDS.

  • Strengthening rural urban linkages for inclusive and resilient societies and healthy ecosystems: bringing together representatives of the European Union, the Governtment Government of Colombia, the City of New York, FAO, IFAD, WFP, Cities Alliance, Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and farmer representatives, the side-event addressed in-depth how strengthening urban-rural linkages can support the sustainability of cities while also improving liver in rural areas

  • Safe Food for Sustainable and Resilient Societies: Carla Mucavi, Director of FAO Liaison Office in New York, said that food safety needs to be built into sustainable food systems and cannot be an afterthought when discussing food security and sustainable development.

  • Sustainable Mountain Development: Delivering opening remarks, Castro noted that one out of every three mountain dwellers is at a risk of food insecurity, stressing the importance of advocating for pro-mountain policies and building a coalition that can increase the visibility of mountains in the 2030 Agenda.

 

The HLPF is the central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Meeting annually, the forum identifies progress and challenges, and mobilises action to accelerate implementation of the SDGs.

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