Sustainable Development Goals Hinge on Hunger Battle PDF Print E-mail
FAO media release, Thursday 19 April 2012

19 April 2012, Baku, Azerbaijan - The success of efforts to shift over the longer term to a model of sustainable economic development taking place under the Rio+20 umbrella will require that the world first tackle its "most urgent" challenge -- ending hunger, FAO Director-General Jos? Graziano da Silva said today.

"We cannot call development sustainable if we are leaving almost one in every seven people behind, victims of undernourishment," the FAO chief said at the start of the Organization's biennial regional conference for Europe, taking place this week in Baku, Azerbaijan. "With the United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development two months away, we have the opportunity to explore the convergence between the agendas of food security and climate change, choosing the path of a more sustainable and inclusive development model," Graziano da Silva argued.

Specific areas requiring concerted action highlighted by the FAO Director-General included:

  • Adopting more sustainable production approaches and technologies to produce more food with less impact
  • Shifting to healthier diets to tackle the emerging problem of obesity and reduce pressure on natural resources essential to food production
  • Cutting the 222 million tons of food thrown away or wasted in industrialized countries each year
  • In areas affected by repeated food insecurity crises, such as the Horn of Africa, moving beyond disaster response to promote local development and long term resilience
  • Creating anti-poverty programs that provide poor rural communities with food security safety nets as well as more economic opportunities, with a particular focus on women and youth.

A global dialogue

A core part of the Organization's governance structure, the regional conferences convene every two years to discuss policy and priority actions at the regional, subregional and country levels and contribute to shaping FAO's global work-agenda. In an era of increasing austerity in public services, FAO is seeking to target its resources in ways that can make the greatest difference. To that end, it has revitalized the regional conference process in order to seek guidance from member governments and better respond to their needs.


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