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The opening of political dialogue between MR-FJLS og Ass. Director General FAO Ann Tutwiler

It is a great pleasure for me to welcome both Ms Ann Tutwiler, who has come all the way from Rome to Trondheim to meet us, as well as my colleagues from the Nordic countries. This is my first meeting in the Nordic Council of Ministers, and I look forward to an engaging and interesting dialogue with you.

 

The topic for today’s Ministerial Dialogue is food security after Rio+20. The UN Conference on Sustainable Development 20 years after the last was concluded on Friday 22 June with the adoption of the Declaration “The Future We Want”. 

We still have a lot to do if we are to set the world on a more sustainable path. Climate change is already a fact. Poverty and hunger are everyday realities for almost a billion people in this world.  

Norway and RIO+20
My government has been actively engaged in the preparations to the meeting and in the High Level Conference last week. We participated in Rio with a delegation lead by the Prime Minister, Mr Jens Stoltenberg, and it also included the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for International Development. 

At the outset, Norway emphasized four key building blocks for a greener and more sustainable development: 1) measures for greener economic policies, 2) sustainable energy for all, 3) food and nutrition security, and 4) taking the natural capital into account. I am pleased to see that this is a part of the final Declaration.

I am equally pleased to note that the Declaration also states clearly that we are to continue our work and negotiations to formulate a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to complement the Millennium Development Goals after 2015. This will be important for the entire global community.  

Food security
Ann/Ms Tutwiler, colleagues – 

  • We have invited Ms Tutwiler from FAO here to discuss food security in after Rio+20. As mentioned, food and nutrition security were among the four main issues identified by Norway in the preparations for the Rio+20 Conference.  
  • Food security is a pressing issue in our world today. More than half of the world’s still growing population live in urban areas. Most of the poor people live in the countryside and depend in some way on agriculture for their daily bread and living.  
  • The Nordic countries have a lot in common. Food production has its natural limits due to limited arable land and relatively cold climate.  
  • We have chosen different relationships to the EU, from full membership via application for membership to trade partnership via the EEA. This impacts on how we design our agricultural and food policies. We have a lot in common still and follow this up within the Nordic Council of Ministers.  

The Nordic countries and FAO

  • The Nordic countries are active as a regional group and participate in the governance of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.  
  • We share a place in the FAO Council. Norway held this seat until the end of 2011, and Denmark now holds the seat on behalf of the Nordic Group.  
  • In the recent meeting of the FAO Council, the Nordic Group delivered a clear message to the organization related to the ongoing reform process and more specifically, the process to review the Strategic Framework of FAO.  
  • I wish to reiterate, on behalf of our group, that FAO should focus more on its comparative advantages, develop action plans based on a results-based format and meaningful partnerships with other UN agencies and other partners in this revision. Furthermore, it is vital that all parts of FAO including agriculture, forests and fishery participate fully in the formulation of these action plans. 
  • I also wish to underline that the following four crosscutting issues must be well reflected in the Strategic Framework: gender equality, increasing agricultural productivity and food availability in a sustainable manner, a stronger emphasis on normative functions and a more integrated approach to sustainable development.  

On this note, Ms Tutwiler and colleagues, it is a great pleasure for me to introduce Ann Tutwiler, Deputy Director General (Knowledge) of the FAO. We hope that you may provide us with an overview of FAOs work and organization in general. And, we also hope that you can tell us how you have worked in the preparation of the Rio+20-Conference and how you will work in the follow-up process.

 

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