Pakistan Attends Int’l UN FAO Conference to Shape Future of Food Security

Wed Jan 31 2024
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ISLAMABAD: A high-level delegation from Pakistan participated virtually at a major international conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in a multilateral effort to reform agrifood systems across the Asia-Pacific region after years of the pandemic, volatile markets, climate emergencies, and economies that have affected millions of producers and consumers.

The Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (#APRC37) is convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and hosted by the Government of Sri Lanka.

The delegation comprised Pakistan’s nominated Economic Consultant in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Dr Haroon Sarwar Awan, FAO Representative in Pakistan Florence Rolle, Deputy FAO Representative Emmanuel Moncada, and Assistant FAO Representative (Program) Aamer Irshad.

Importance of Pakistan’s Participation

Florence Rolle said that Pakistan’s high-level participation in this important event would help guide FAO’s work here in Pakistan and right across the Pacific region and Asia, as all FAO member countries share a shared goal of achieving the SDGs by 2030, especially those goals relating to hunger, inequality, and poverty.

Dr Haroon, while speaking during the meeting, said that Asia-Pacific LDCs, including Pakistan, grappled with impending debt distress, necessitating a departure from short-term crisis responses to strategic investments.

He said that it is time for the international community to redirect its focus towards long-term solutions, with a spotlight on gender empowerment in agriculture, financing, and increased credit for smallholders.

There are 46 FAO member countries in Asia and the Pacific. Hundreds of high-level participants are registering for a senior official’s meeting (January 31 to February 2 – virtually) and a Ministerial Session from 19 to February 22 (in-person).

Meanwhile, FAO Director-General Dr QU Dongyu is likely to travel from the organization’s headquarters in Rome to attend the Ministerial Session.

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