The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, in Rome today for the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit, met with the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu. This follows from their virtual meeting in March to launch the report “FAO + Ireland: Partnering for a peaceful, equal and sustainable world”.
Minister McConalogue said, “Ireland became a member of FAO 75 years ago, soon after its founding in the wake of the Second World War. Ireland has a long tradition of working with FAO to achieve our common goal of improving food security and nutrition for all – central to this being our farmers who produce world class, safe food. FAO, including Ireland as a member, is seeking new ways to promote sustainable agriculture and to achieve multiple Sustainable Development Goals. We are agreed that this can be done by taking a food systems approach to food production and consumption, recognising the interconnections between policies for food, health, environment and climate. This is reflected in Ireland’s new agri-food strategy Food Vision 2030.”
Director- General Qu stated that
“The dramatic worsening of world hunger in 2020 calls for us to transform our global agri-food systems, making them MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable. Our strong cooperation with Ireland will contribute substantially to addressing today’s greatest challenges and accelerate achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Minister McConalogue also met with UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley, committing that, “Ireland will continue with its multi-annual strategic partnership approach to supporting WFP, enabling them to use funds where needs are greatest. I took the opportunity to congratulate Executive Director Beasley in person on WFP being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to betteringconditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”.
Executive Director Beasley said that “Ireland always stands shoulder to shoulder with the World Food Programme, providing the best kind of flexible funding that enables us to respond quickly in areas where aid is needed most, and we saw that most recently during the Corona virus pandemic. We appreciate Ireland’s efforts in the Security Council to stress the need for peace, as together with Covid-19 and the climate crisis, conflict has driven up the number of hungry people in the world to intolerable levels.”
Minister McConalogue also participated in a Ministerial Roundtable discussion at the United Nations Food Systems Pre-summit on the topic of “Food Systems Transformation”, stating: “Ireland is fully committed to ensuring a successful UN Food Systems Summit in New York this September, and I look forward to our continued engagement with all food systems stakeholders, in support of the important work to launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems where our farmers, fishers and food producers will drive the necessary change.”
Note for editors:
- The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is a specialised agency of the UN responsible for ending hunger and achieving improved nutrition and food security for all. FAO is the custodian of SDG 2: Zero Hunger, leading international efforts in the fight against hunger and all forms of malnutrition through improving agricultural productivity and governance, while bettering the lives of rural populations and contributing to the growth of the world economy. Further information is available at www.fao.org. Ireland’s 2020 annual subscription to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) was €1.64 million. Additional funding of €2.14m was also provided for specific FAO projects. Further details of the partnership between Ireland and the FAO are outlined in the report which is available at gov.ie - FAO + Ireland: Partnering for a Peaceful, Equal and Sustainable World.
- Assisting some 100 million people in 88 countries, the World Food Programme (WFP) is the United Nations humanitarian organisation saving and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine leads Ireland's engagement with WFP. The Strategic Partnership Agreement between Ireland and WFP 2019-2021 is for a total of €70 million over that period.