GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — The World Trade Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organization will bolster their collaboration on matters related to trade and food security, offering mutual assistance on critical themes such as the functioning of international grain markets, the groups announced on April 17.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo met with José Graziano da Silva, the director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and announced their agreement in Geneva.

"Food security is closely linked to trade and therefore it is an important element of our work at the WTO," Azevêdo said. "I am delighted that we will now be able to enhance our work on this crucial issue, which affects so many people, through an even closer partnership with the FAO."

The WTO will be taking part in the preparatory work on FAO's flagship publication, the State of Agricultural Commodity Markets, which this year will focus on trade and food security.

The FAO and WTO chiefs discussed how the report could provide evidence and greater clarity on a range of issues related to the governance of trade flows and the pursuit of broader food security. The FAO will also hold a symposium on food security at the WTO on June 5.

Considering the important role of open and strengthened food markets in supporting food security objectives, the two directors-general discussed how both enhancing opportunities for trade and the multilateral trading system could help in creating a more favorable global environment for both food security and sustainable agriculture.

"I am deeply engaged in continuing to develop our joint work with WTO as food security and trade can together play a very important role to help fulfill FAO's mandate," said Graziano da Silva.

They also discussed the current state of play in the Doha Round of trade negotiations, and the renewed efforts that the governments are making towards a successful outcome.