FAO Conference Endorses New Strategic Objectives, Commits to Improving Food Security in Africa

FAO22 June 2013: At the 38th Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), FAO members approved the organization's budget and program of work, while considering FAO successes and visions for the future. The FAO also recognized the achievements of 38 countries in halving hunger in advance of the 2015 deadline. In a lecture on food security, Amartya Sen called on delegates to tackle all the causes of hunger simultaneously and not just concentrate on food production.

The conference, which took place from 15-22 June 2013, in Rome, Italy, endorsed the FAO's new Strategic Objectives, which focus on: contributing to the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; increasing and improving provision of goods and services from agriculture, forestry and fisheries in a sustainable manner; reducing rural poverty; enabling more inclusive and efficient food systems; and increasing the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises.

African countries contributed to the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund for African countries to finance regional food security efforts. Brunei Darussalam, Singapore and South Sudan were welcomed as new FAO member countries. Reports from the 21st Session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO), the 14th Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA), Regional Conferences, Sessions of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), the 23rd Session of the Committee on Agriculture, and the 30th Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) were presented, as was the FAO Gender Equality Policy. Members also approved 5 December as World Soils Day, and approved 2015 as International Year of Soils.

Members also discussed preparations for the High Level Meeting of Leaders on Ending Hunger in Africa by 2025, which took place from 20 June-1 July 2013, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the High-Level Meeting Heads of State adopted a Declaration for unified and focused action by all to end hunger and malnutrition by 2025. Leaders underscored the strong relationships with the FAO on combating food insecurity and pledged to use the African Union as a forum to highlight success, as countries embark on their roadmaps to increase food security. [FAO Press Release] [Conference Documentation] [AU End Hunger Website] [AU High-Level Meeting Declaration]