Global agrifood systems must be transformed, say EU and FAO
FAO Director-General QU Dongyu and EU Commissioners for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen; for health and food safety, Stella Kyriakides; and for agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, spoke at the launch of the EU-FAO 2021 strategic dialogue.
They also exchanged views on the global challenges related to the fight against hunger and all forms of malnutrition, the need to preserve biodiversity and natural resources, as well as the importance of food security and the One -Health for the prevention of pandemics.
International Partnerships Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen said: “In the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are facing increasing food insecurity. This is a complex issue and we will continue to work globally to tackle root causes. Our long-standing partnership with FAO is essential to help us address global challenges. I welcome our continued close cooperation in agriculture, fisheries, forestry, biodiversity, food security, food crises and food safety. “
Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said: “The farm-to-plate strategy, at the heart of the Green Deal, sets out a strategic vision to transform the way we produce, distribute and consume food. food. We must act quickly and comprehensively to make our food systems sustainable. FAO will play a leading role in international work to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Our shared priorities include tackling antimicrobial resistance , the promotion of environmentally friendly agricultural systems and prevention of food loss and waste. “
Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said: “I am convinced that the EU and FAO have a common priority to advance global sustainability, climate and animal welfare agendas. The precedent we are living today has only reinforced the importance of working together. as defined in the farm-to-fork strategy, the Commission is committed to enabling the transition to sustainable food systems. the new common agricultural policy will support European farmers throughout this transition. However, we cannot do it alone. Food systems must come to fruition globally. I look forward to working together on such a crucial subject. “
The meeting appreciated the bold steps the EU has taken with its Green Deal and in particular towards sustainable food systems with the farm-to-fork strategy, keeping this essential transformation at the heart of its fundamental policies.
Participants also recognized FAO’s new strategic framework 2022-2031 as a clear path to sustainably transform agrifood systems, making them more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind.
The meeting looked forward to the upcoming United Nations Food Systems Summit in New York in September and the pre-Summit in Rome in July, which will aim to spur transformative changes in the way the world produces and handles food.
Take a holistic approach
Against the backdrop of a deteriorating global food security situation, record numbers of people face acute hunger and need humanitarian assistance.
Participants agreed that more actions are needed to strengthen the sustainability and resilience of agrifood systems in fragile contexts, as well as increased efforts to reduce conflict around the world and ensure social protection for vulnerable populations.
In many cases, the causes of food insecurity are geopolitical and can only be resolved through international cooperation and multilateralism.
EU-FAO strategic dialogue
The 2021 Strategic Dialogue focuses on five priority areas: food systems and One Health; climate change, biodiversity and natural resources; food crises, food security and resilient livelihoods; sustainable investments and policies in the agrifood value chain and transformation of the food system through digitization.
The EU and FAO cooperate closely in the fields of agriculture, fisheries, forestry, biodiversity, food security, food crises and food security. Over the past three years, cooperation agreements worth around 540 million ($ 650 million) have been signed, many of which relate to international cooperation and response to food crises; the EU and its member states provide over 30 percent of FAO’s voluntary resources.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the EU joining FAO as a member organization in 1991.