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25 September 2017, Rome/Brussels - Stepping up their long and fruitful partnership, FAO and the European Commission (EC) held the strategic dialogue meeting and agreed on joint priorities and deliverables for 2018-2020. The decision to intensify joint efforts comes at an important moment in time with both partners sharpening their focus in the areas of food security, nutrition, resilience, sustainable agriculture, ocean governance, all within the context of working together towards the achievement of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Since the European Union became an FAO Member Organization, the partnership has been increasing in importance. Both FAO and the EU are committed to target their efforts towards eradicating poverty and addressing major current global challenges, such as climate change, famines, a growing global population, ensuring that no-one is left behind.
The European Union is among FAO’s most important partners through programmes implemented across the world and is the largest resource partner in terms of voluntary contributions to FAO.
Today’s agreement with the European Commission (EC) commits FAO and the EC to intensify their joint work, while recognizing the strong links between the humanitarian and development fields in a world which is currently facing acute geopolitical crises that result in increased threats to food security for millions of people.
Both FAO and the EC have placed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the achievement of Zero Hunger at the center of their efforts to eradicate hunger, poverty and malnutrition globally.
During the opening session FAO Deputy Director-General (Programmes) Daniel Gustafson emphasized that “how we work together with the EC is a priority for FAO. In a fragile and complicated global context, what we do needs to be seen under the light of poverty reduction and hunger eradication. Challenges remain, particularly migration and the impact of climate change, which are linking to all our areas of work.
I believe we are now in a better shape to collaborate. The UN reforms and the implementation of Agenda 2030 influence how we support the countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the most efficient and transparent way possible. It has been a privilege to work with the EC and we will strengthen our partnership even further thanks to our shared understanding and shared goals.”
The Director-General for International Cooperation and Development Stefano Manservisi spoke about the European Union Development Agenda and the New European Consensus for Development as well as on the importance of FAO as a key development agency for the EC. Stefano Manservisi also noted: “Today's meeting with FAO reinforced our strategic partnership in four key areas- agricultural investments, climate change and natural resource management, food crises and resilience and food systems and nutrition. A dialogue will be established to develop collaborative institutional arrangements and partnerships in support of the European External Investment Plan (EIP). Partner countries will be enabled to revise and refine their National Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reflect both the Paris Agreement and the Marrakesh Action Proclamation. On tackling food crises, there will be enhanced efforts to improve joint analysis and information by delivering the Global Report on Food Crises and by establishing a far-reaching Global Network to improve coordination in building resilience and contribute to addressing the humanitarian-development nexus. And finally, to meet global commitments in the area of nutrition, both sides will scale up their collaboration to enable food systems to deliver healthy diets.”
While the need for stronger cross-sectoral collaboration is at the heart of the renewed EC-FAO partnership, investments, partnerships and joint advocacy were areas that were also extensively discussed during today’s strategic dialogue meeting. Both partners agreed that in order to maximize the food and agriculture’s sectors’ contribution to inclusive economic growth, better private and public investments should be put forward and become a key joint priority.