FAO Liaison Office in New York

FAO as a global advocator for cooperation in agri-food systems


As part of the observation of the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, FAO Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol participated in a high-level event in support of more inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery in the Global South 

10 September, New York – Organized by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), the high-level event served as an opportunity to discuss cooperation and knowledge exchange pathways in favour of countries in the Global South, especially as many are still reeling from the immediate and long-term effects of COVID-19.

Convened under the theme “South-South cooperation: solidarity in support of a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable future,” the event fostered a rich exchange of country priorities and commitments. It also centered on guiding actions, concrete initiatives and actionable recommendations from the international development community at large for implementing key decisions arising from the second High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) and the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation. These discussions and follow-up actions also stem from to the UN system-wide strategy on South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development 2020–2024.

FAO Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol participated at the interactive discussion that reaffirmed South-South Cooperation as a catalytic force towards working together to accelerate mutually beneficial solutions that help all countries pursue sustainable development in cooperative unison, in order to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A revamped FAO South-South and Triangular Cooperation Framework rising to the challenges during the Decade of Action

Deputy Director-General Bechdol underscored the importance that FAO affords to South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) as a key delivery modality in brokering partnerships and fostering solutions for agricultural development, food security and nutrition, rural development and poverty reduction.

Bechdol remarked that FAO is proud to reconfirm its commitment to South-South and Triangular Cooperation institutionalisation and mainstreaming in the coming years, especially in light of current redoubled efforts to deliver on FAO’s strategic objectives on agri-food systems transformation moving forward.

Speaking on FAO’s new SSTC Strategic Framework for 2022-2025, Bechdol also highlighted how FAO is raising the bar to become a “global advocator, convener, broker, facilitator and enabler of SSTC” in the areas of agri-food systems transformation, as part of FAO’s commitment to accelerating implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

“Under the new SSTC Framework, FAO aims to expand its partnership base with diverse groups of countries in the Global South to mobilise adequate financial and technical resources to implement impactful South-South and Triangular Cooperation programmes and initiatives,” Bechdol said. 

This Framework builds on more than four decades of the Organization’s work supporting country-led SSTC, with a renewed focus on programmatic, results-based, systematic, and quality-assured approaches to mainstreaming SSTC in FAO’s mandate, she added.

Four strategic areas of action: towards an SSTC learning agenda in the BAPA+40 aftermath

Bechdol further spoke on the strategic focus areas of FAO’s work under the new SSTC Framework, and how these build on the UN System-wide Strategy on SSTC and its Action Plan. 

“In 2022-2025, FAO will focus on four strategic areas of action: advocacy and agenda setting; brokering knowledge; partnerships and collaborations; evidence base and adaptive learning,” she said.

The SSTC evidence base remains a key area in which progress is needed. Despite considerable achievements made in the BAPA+40 aftermath on methodologies for assessing SSTC effectiveness, the potential of this area remains largely untapped “FAO supports the need for a learning agenda on South-South to inform SSTC policies and programming,” the Deputy Director-General added.

Against this backdrop, the revamped FAO SSTC Framework will prioritise collaborative initiatives, such as the Hand-in-Hand Initiative, the focus on agricultural innovation, amplified efforts in favour of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and the COVID-19 Recovery and Response umbrella programme.

“By leveraging on the synergies, solutions and skills from the Global South, SSTC can contribute to accelerating COVID-19 recovery, adding a multiplier effect to North-South cooperation initiatives,” Bechdol stressed.

The UN Day for South-South Cooperation also helped highlight concrete follow-up actions to the twentieth session of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation, which took place from 1 to 4 June 2021 in New York.


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