26 September 2019, New York – Having Member States’ support and buy-in is paramount to FAO successfully rolling out new initiatives, such as the new Hand-in-Hand Initiative, to help accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals – especially ending poverty and hunger – and not leaving anyone behind.
This was FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu’s message to the UN agency’s Member States at an event on the margins of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday aimed at enabling discussions to shape a new vision for a more dynamic and innovative FAO, and strengthening North-South partnerships.
The Hand-in-Hand Initiative, presented at the event, aims to enable “matchmaking” – bringing countries with the highest poverty and hunger rates together with developed countries – to support development efforts in the Least Developed Landlocked Countries, Least Developed Small Island Developing States, and countries affected by food crises. Looking ahead, the initiative will then seek to support highly-populated, less developed countries.
This will be done in close coordination and partnership with multilateral development banks and other UN agencies, with FAO identifying opportunities at national level for all priority countries, as well as bottlenecks and investment gaps, and developing a detailed monitoring and evaluation framework with clear targets for 2030.
Qu Dongyu reiterated that the new measures also aim to strengthen a digital, integrated and cooperative FAO that is worthy of Member States’ trust, and highlighted his approach geared towards partnerships, transparency and an open-door policy.
“Let us forge a true partnership, built on mutual respect and trust, and strengthened by our joint goal of reaching the SDGs and creating a world free of hunger,” he said.