Fiji’s report on the recent 34th Session of the Food and Agriculture Organisation regional conference for Asia and the Pacific has been received with a positive response by all FAO members.
Fiji’s Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Inia Seruirtau, as President of Asia Pacific Regional Conference reported on the outcome of the conference which took place in Nadi on 9 to 13 April 2018.
The FAO welcomed the report by the Minister who provided the final report on behalf of the Asia Pacific region which included a summary of the main recommendations on programme and budgetary matters for the attention of the FAO council and another on regulatory and policy matters for the attention of the FAO conference.
Minister Seruiratu was speaking at the first plenary meeting of the FAO’s 159th Session at the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.
In presenting the report, the Minister underlined the need for continuity in the strategic direction of the organisation and welcomed the alignment of the FAO’s Strategic Objectives with the 2030 Agenda indicators. He added that following the April conference, countries from the Asia Pacific region recognised the need to review the FAO’s global coverage to provide effective support to members according to needs and in consultation with governments of concerned countries, recognised the specific concerns of the Pacific and allowing sufficient time for consultations.
Key areas that formed the report included the growing threat of climate change and its impact on food security not just in the Asia Pacific region but across the world especially in developing countries.
“With regard to the prioritization of country and regional needs, the regional conference underscored that food security and nutrition are fundamental requisites for national and global stability and the sustainable socio-economic development of every country. The Regional Conference emphasized the importance of SDGs, the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Sendai Framework in guiding future actions in agriculture, food security and nutrition and welcomed the FAO’s strategic objectives with the (UN) SDGs”, Minister Seruiratu said.
The April conference saw the participation of 140 delegates including 10 Ministers and 45 Vice Ministers and other high – level delegates representing 35-member country delegations plus 36 observers. The FAO director general José Graziano da Silva was also present at the conference.
Minister Seruiratu was supported in Rome by Fiji’s Ambassador in Belgium and permanent representative to the FAO, Ambassador Deo Saran.