Opening ceremony of the 46th Session of the Committee on World Food Security

FAO Director-General highlights the importance of innovative and joint actions to restore progress towards Zero Hunger

14 October 2019, Rome - Innovative collaboration and actions are needed to reverse rising food insecurity rates and resume progress towards the eradication of hunger by 2030, Director-General Qu Dongyu told delegates gathered at FAO today in the opening of 46th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

"We have a huge challenge ahead of us," he said. "We can achieve this if we work together hand in hand."

Recent trends indicate that efforts to eradicate hunger by 2030 are "coming up short," Qu said. "We must come up with new ideas and take bolder action," he said.

The Director-General took the opportunity to highlight the recently launched Hand-in-Hand Initiative, through which FAO aims to tailor assistance to the small and vulnerable hands by the big and strong hands, through match-making partnerships including donor countries, the private sectors as well as non-governmental organizations, prioritizing small island developing states, landlocked countries and the world's least developed countries. 

Qu also underscored that FAO will continue to support CFS and ensure that its policy frameworks are a central part of its own work and applied at local, national, regional and global levels. The CFS offers an inclusive platform for all stakeholders, including governments, civil society and the private sector, to work together and develop policy recommendations and guidance on topics affecting food security and nutrition.

The Director-General concluded his presentation by emphasizing that countries and all other stakeholders should "design bigger, do concrete and aim better."

This week's session of CFS will approve a new four-year programme of work with a special focus on gender, youth, data and inequalities, CFS Chair Mario Arvelo said.

Gilbert Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, also addressed the CFS plenary session.

About the CFS

High on this week's agenda for the CFS are progress on developing Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition, approving a new four-year programme of work and appointing a new chair.

More than 50 side events are also planned as well as formal events aimed at addressing factors that are slowing progress in the successful achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

Photo: ©FAO/Giuseppe Carotenuto
FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu addresses the CFS plenary.