Meeting in Rome with members of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) the president of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) highlighted the “universal and inspirational” nature of the 2030 Agenda, adding that it is a tremendous benefit for system-wide coherence and coordination across all UN agencies.
“More than ever, the UN system will be required to leverage on the distinct expertise and comparative advantages of its parts in order to ensure cohesion and avoid duplication in implementing this cross cutting Agenda,” stated Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, in a speech to FAO permanent representatives at an informal seminar that also included officials from the World Food Program (WFP) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Mr. Shava also complimented the work that FAO has done in areas of security, nutrition, agriculture, fisheries, and livestock, adding that the organization has worked very hard to eradicate hunger, and that its role is critical “for the achievement of the entire Agenda.”
In an opening statement, FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva stressed the importance of closer and more coherent collaboration among all partners, including within the UN system, due to an “overlapping and closely interconnected” nature of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Both bodies have a common goal to make sustainable industrialization the thematic focus of their approach. FAO has agreed to help with a preparatory meeting on agroindustry in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, early next year.
FAO’s major approach on the ground remains focused on fostering inclusive value chains for small farmers in developing countries, and more decent employment in rural areas. The organization is also the custodian for 21 of the indicators to be used to measure progress of the SDGs.
Furthermore, FAO plans to increase its contributions to the 2030 Agenda through the creation of a new senior post, responsible for SDG implementation activities. According to Mr. Graziano da Silva, a new Office of the Chief Statistician will be created oversee the project and work under the new Deputy Director-General for Programmes.
He also stressed that FAO is strongly aware of the importance of deepening our collaboration with other organisms of the UN system, especially between the three UN Rome-based agencies, adding that FAO, WFP and IFAD are working very closely on the issue, and will present a joint report before the end of the year.