WTO and FAO announce enhanced cooperation on trade and food security

Collaboration to start with flagship report on commodity markets

17 April 2015, Geneva - The World Trade Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organization will bolster their collaboration on matters related to trade and food security, offering mutual assistance on critical themes such as the functioning of international grain markets.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, met with José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), announced their agreement in Geneva on Friday 17 April.

"Food security is closely linked to trade and therefore it is an important element of our work at the WTO," Azevêdo said. "I am delighted that we will now be able to enhance our work on this crucial issue, which affects so many people, through an even closer partnership with the FAO."

Collaboration includes focus on commodity markets

The WTO will be taking part in the preparatory work on FAO's flagship publication, the State of Agricultural Commodity Markets, which this year will focus on trade and food security.

The FAO and WTO chiefs discussed how the report could provide evidence and greater clarity on a range of issues related to the governance of trade flows and the pursuit of broader food security. The FAO will also hold a symposium on food security at the WTO on 5 June.

Considering the important role of open and strengthened food markets in supporting food security objectives, the two directors-general discussed how both enhancing opportunities for trade and the multilateral trading system could help in creating a more favourable global environment for both food security and sustainable agriculture.

"I am deeply engaged in continuing to develop our joint work with WTO as food security and trade can together play a very important role to help fulfill FAO's mandate," said Graziano da Silva.

They also discussed the current state of play in the Doha Round of trade negotiations, and the renewed efforts that the governments are making towards a successful outcome.

Photo: WTO Press Office
José Graziano da Silva of FAO and Roberto Azevêdo of the WTO announce their agreement in Geneva.