FAO Liaison Office with the United Nations in New York

Achieving SDG 2 without breaching the 1.5 °C threshold: A global roadmap

Paving the road to the fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4)



26 January, New York – With Small Island Developing States (SIDS) centre-stage this week at the United Nations headquarters, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) invited Member States, UN System and partners to explore how the new FAO Global Roadmap to achieve SDG 2 and transform agrifood systems within a 1.5°C can support SIDS efforts to achieve sustainable development and respond to climate challenges. The roadmap aligns agrifood systems transformation with climate actions, offering a blueprint toward providing healthy food for all, today and tomorrow.

“The Global Roadmap brings solutions and clear outcomes that we want to implement to contribute to food security and nutrition goals and ensure we contribute to the 1.5°C agenda," said FAO’s Chief Economist, Máximo Torero.

In order for it to be most effective for all countries, and SIDS in particular, FAO's Agrifood Economics and Policy Director, David Laborde, stressed that “finding key milestones to agree on and adapt the Global Roadmap to local needs is very important for accountability”, adding that “cross-border policy coordination is also crucial" to its success. Laborde went on to urge Member States to share lessons learned and knowledge on mechanisms already in place, as they are key actors in this process.

A united call for action

Speakers at the side event agreed on the pressing need to take action with, and for, SIDS. The Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the UN in New York, H.E. Ambassador Walton Alfonso Webson, emphasized that “Collaboration, cooperation and knowledge sharing will be for SIDS a big part of the work done in the next 10 years.” He added that SIDS must “promote climate-resilient agriculture and practices to enhance food security and [SIDS’] adaptive capacities” and emphasized that “enhancing food systems in SIDS is critical”.

The Deputy Permanent Representative of Australia to the UN in New York, H.E. Ambassador Rebecca Bryant, called on the international community to support SIDS, explaining they could do so “by delivering on ambitious commitments made, support the building of long-term food system resilience, and support strong social protection systems that provide a safety net for the food insecure”. 

Further stressing the need for social services and safety nets, UNICEF’s Director of Social Policy and Social Protection, Natalia Winder Rossi, remarked that “As children continue to bear the heaviest burden of the climate crisis, UNICEF's priority is to protect their lives and well-being while strengthening the resilience of communities by scaling up risk-informed social services like health, nutrition, education, WASH, and social protection.” 

The call for global support and action was emphasized by the Deputy Permanent Representative of Samoa to the UN, Matilda Bartley, who stressed that “the challenges faced by SIDS are not insurmountable, but they require a united front” and that “global solidarity is indispensable as we move forward." She also stressed the need for collaboration between developed nations, international organizations and the private sector. 

SIDS at the centre

The FAO-led side event “Achieving SDG2 without breaching the 1.5° Celsius threshold: a global roadmap” took place in the margins of the 1st Preparatory Committee Meeting for the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4).

Speaking at the preparatory meeting’s general discussion, the Director of FAO’s Office of Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and Landlocked Developing Countries, Angelica Jacome, assured Member States that "FAO is committed to supporting SIDS in their efforts to transform agrifood systems and to develop and implement an action-oriented blueprint for the next decade."

With SIDS facing complex, unique and interconnected challenges including biodiversity loss, vulnerability to climate change and external economic shocks, malnutrition and diet-related non-communicable diseases, the urgency and importance of the SIDS4 conference is undisputable.

Against this backdrop, the FAO organised a side event to inform Member States, particularly SIDS, about the package of solutions offered in the new FAO Global Roadmap to charter the course toward an agrifood systems transformation that ensures healthy food for all while simultaneously factoring in climate change measures.