BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — Leaders of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and E.U. agreed on Oct. 11 to work together to fight global hunger.
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso met in Brussels, Belgium with the Director-General of the FAO of the United Nations, José Graziano da Silva. They agreed that the E.U. is a key strategic partner for the FAO and should play a full role in it. They discussed food security including development, resilience and nutrition policies, as well as global governance issues. Graziano da Silva also met Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolo? and Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki.
"I am very happy to receive Director-General Graziano da Silva here in Brussels. We are partners in the fight against under-nutrition amongst the world's poorest and in the promotion of global food security,” President Barroso said. “The E.U. is consistently the largest single source of voluntary funding to the FAO. For the European Commission, food security is a key priority: worldwide, the EU is already the largest donor of aid to fight food and nutrition insecurity and we will step up our efforts in the next Multiannual Financial Framework. The E.U. remains fully committed to the Millennium Development Goals and to achieving the development aid target of 0.7 % of gross national income by 2015. The E.U. will continue to support the on-going FAO reform politically, operationally and financially."
Graziano da Silva and President Barroso said that governments and the national and international communities have an important role to play. They stressed the need to strengthen global governance mechanisms such as the Committee on World Food Security and the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), and noted that increased market transparency and coordination were helping avoid spikes in international food prices. Graziano da Silva and Barroso also reaffirmed FAO and E.U.'s commitment to supporting nationally and regionally led efforts and actions to promote sustainable and inclusive growth and mitigate the impact of high food prices in local food security.
In his meetings with Commissioners Piebalgs, Ciolo? and Damanaki, Graziano da Silva discussed various issues of EU-FAO cooperation, including the 2014 International Year of Family Farming, as well as rural development, food price volatility, global governance of food security — which FAO wants strengthened — and the need to promote pro-poor long term economic growth, including the importance of resilience building, the creation of enabling environments for the productive sectors, support to small-scale production and the strengthening of social protection.