This was the main message conveyed by FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, on Wednesday at the fifth informal joint meeting of the governing bodies of the three RBAs (FAO Council, IFAD Executive Board and WFP Executive Board)
Clockwise from top left: IFAD President Gilbert F. Houngbo, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, WFP Deputy Director-General Amir Abdulla, Hans Hoogeveen, Independent Chairperson of the FAO Council, F. Carranza Cifuentes, President of the WFP's Executive Board.
Rome – With just nine agricultural seasons to go before 2030, it is crucial to strengthen the joint work by the three Rome-based United Nations agencies (RBAs) – the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) – to implement the UN Food Systems Summit outcomes and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This was the main message conveyed by FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, on Wednesday at the fifth informal joint meeting of the governing bodies of the three RBAs (FAO Council, IFAD Executive Board and WFP Executive Board).
Preparations for the UN Food Systems Summit, which took place in New York in September, already reinforced existing collaboration. The implementation of the Summit’s outcomes will provide more opportunities to strengthen teamwork, especially at the country level.
The ultimate goal is to transform agri-food systems, making them more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable. This includes taking action based on the “5 Fs”: food, feed, fiber, forestry and fuel, as well as environmental measures such as urban horticulture and growing flowers, noted the FAO Director-General.
IFAD President Gilbert Houngbo and WFP Deputy Executive Director Amir Abdulla also addressed the meeting, highlighting that the number of people facing acute food insecurity has risen dramatically since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and emphasizing that working together is more important than ever before.
The Director-General also pointed out that FAO aims to host a Coordination Hub to oversee implementation of the UN Food Systems Summit outcomes. The Hub will be operational from January 2022 and include seconded staff from the three RBAs and across the UN System. The transition from the Summit Secretariat to the RBAs underscores how the focus of global effort to transform agri-food systems is moving “from New York back to Rome.”
The Hub will coordinate and facilitate technical and policy support to assist Members in further developing and implementing their national pathways.
The RBA Principals, along with the UN Environment, and in close liaison with their governing bodies and the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), will lead the oversight and monitoring of implementation and report to the UN Secretary General.