Near East and North Africa Countries Drawing A Roadmap Towards Zero Hunger

Near East and North Africa Countries Drawing A Roadmap Towards Zero Hunger

Countries of the region discuss challenges and progress towards food security and nutrition at FAO Regional Conference
ROME, Italy
May 9, 2018

Countries of the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region face numerous common challenges to achieving improved food security, nutrition and inclusive agricultural development. Recent conflicts and civil instability in some countries of the region as well as rapid population growth, increasing urbanisation, low growth in food production, scarce and fragile natural resources and the threat of climate change have been compounding the situation, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned yesterday.
“Building resilience and sustaining peace are key to attain zero hunger and improve people’s well-being in the NENA region. Without this, the region cannot end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, which are key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. In the presence of hunger, every other human need falls through,” said Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for the NENA.
This came during  FAO’s 34th Session of the Regional Conference for the Near East (#NERC34), today, where around 150 participants from government ministers and delegations from all countries of the region as well as representatives from civil society organizations and the private sector are gathering to chart out a roadmap for future work on shared food security challenges.
NENA Regional Initiatives
“FAO has stayed and delivered in countries riddled by conflicts. Our teams have worked tirelessly to advance the resilience agenda, supporting not only emergency operations but also sustainable livelihoods, capacity building and sustainable management of natural resources,” added Ould Ahmed during his opening speech in NERC34.
FAO’s work in both conflict and non-conflict countries has been under the framework of the three regional initiatives: water scarcity, small-scale family farming, and building resilience for food security and nutrition.  Since their launch, the regional initiatives have guided the work of the organization in NENA and have provided a reference for the country programming frameworks. Support to the members countries have come in many forms, namely, advocacy, policy developmnet and capcity building, exchange of knowledge and experiences, and support to country-specific projects and programmes.
Agroecology, Agriculture Transformation, and One Health
The conference’s agenda also discusses the agricultural transformation in the region and the challenge of youth employment and migration; agroecology and adapting to climate change in arid and semi-arid areas; the challenge of sand and dust storms in NENA; and regional cooperation to address transboundary plant, animal and fish pests and diseases through the One Health approach.  “These are matters that are high on the FAO global agenda but are also of particular relevance to the region and each one of our member countries,” said the Assistant Director General.
“The immensity of the challenges facing the region requires bold and multidimensional partnerships. In this context, FAO’s regional office is expanding and strengthening its partnerships with regional and international institutions,” stated Ould Ahmed.  Currently, FAO is working closely with the League of Arab states, Arab Organization for Agriculture Development (AOAD), UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), World Food Programme (WFP), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), International Center For Agricultural Research In The Dry Areas (ICARDA), International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), and the The Khalifa Award for Education, amongst many others, on advancing the SDGs in the region.
SDG2: Zero Hunger
NERC34 is set within the framework of achieving the SDGs, particularly SDG 2 Zero Hunger. FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, and FAO’s Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger for NENA, Darine El-Khatib, will participate in a Ministerial Roundtable on Zero Hunger on Thursday May 10 and will examine with the attendees the challenges to achieving Zero Hunger in conflict zones, and develop recommendations for strengthening collective action.
Celebrating 40 Years of Country Representation in NENA
On the sideline of NERC34, FAO will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of nine country representations in the region through a photo exhibition, highlighting important milestones and success stories between member countries and the Organization.
Distributed by APO Group 
Deputy Minister Landers leads South African delegation to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ministerial meeting in Baku

Deputy Minister Landers leads South African delegation to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ministerial meeting in Baku

PRETORIA, South Africa, April 3, 2018/ — The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Luwellyn Landers, will lead the South African delegation to attend the 18th Mid-term Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), to be held in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan, from 5-6 April 2018. The meeting takes place under the theme: “Promoting International Peace and Security for Sustainable Development”.

The NAM Ministerial Conference takes place against the backdrop of:

– the continuing international debate on finding sustainable peace in a world where too many conflicts are violating the most basic rights of people. The illicit flow of conventional arms and the potential proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, remains a serious risk.

– growing transnational organised crime, including cybercrime, illicit financial flows, trafficking in people, cultural property and drugs, as well as wildlife crime.

– the threat of terrorism and extremism remaining ever-present concerns throughout the world, with terrorist groups evolving, diversifying and expanding their reach and the nature of their threats.

– unregulated mass migration posing broader security challenges.

Given the above challenges, South Africa believes there is an urgent need for the reform of the architecture of the global system of governance, in particular, for the enhanced voice and representation of Africa in the decision-making structures of international bodies such as the United Nations. There is a continuing need to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the AU’s Agenda 2063, in particular the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan.

South Africa will take advantage of the meeting to engage NAM Member States on issues that include the reform of the UN Security Council, self-determination and nuclear disarmament. South Africa is a member of the NAM Special committee on Palestine, which has the mandate to coordinate NAM’s activities in support of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.

The NAM Committee on Palestine will meet on the margins of the NAM ministerial meeting to review the situation and developments in the occupied Palestinian Territories. The Committee will make a proposal to the NAM ministerial meeting on a program to be adopted, aimed at advancing the cause of the Palestinian people.

South Africa will use the meeting to engage NAM Member States on the initiative to mark the centenary of the birth and life of Nelson Mandela, which will be celebrated during the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2018 at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The meeting is expected to adopt the Final outcome document for the NAM Mid-Term Ministerial and the political declaration.

New World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Agenda for Africa moves ahead in Berlin

New World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Agenda for Africa moves ahead in Berlin

BERLIN, Germany, March 13, 2018/ — An African ministerial working meeting conveyed by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) during this year’s Berlin International Tourism Fair ITB (8 March) agreed to move ahead with a new ten-point UNWTO Agenda for Africa. The final document will be adopted at the UNWTO Commission meeting for Africa, taking place in Nigeria in June this year.

Against the backdrop of international tourist arrivals expanding 8% in Africa in 2017, thus outgrowing the world average increase in arrivals, tourism is gaining weight as a development opportunity for the whole continent, with its vast diversity of nature, culture and wildlife its greatest vehicle for development.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stressed that “tourism has huge potential to generate lasting development opportunities in Africa if we manage it in the right way, which is economic, social and environmental sustainability”.

The participants from 17 countries, including 14 ministers, supported a coordinated approach to seizing the continent’s potential for tourism, a sector that last year attracted more than 62 million international visitors. Issues on the UNWTO Agenda for Africa include, among others, connectivity, the image and brand of Africa, poverty alleviation, climate change, education and skills development, and financing. Delegates underscored the importance of educating other economic sectors on the broad impact of tourism for the benefit of societies and its people, and promoting tourism as a priority in national agendas.

The detailed, four-year UNWTO Agenda for Africa will be approved at the upcoming 61st Regional Commission for Africa – UNWTO’s annual gathering of all its member countries of the continent – in the Nigerian capital of Abuja (4-6 June).

The following countries were represented at the meeting at ITB: Angola, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Seychelles Now a Founding member of the International Solar Alliance

Seychelles Now a Founding member of the International Solar Alliance

NEW DELHI, India, March 12, 2018/ — President Danny Faure participated today in the International Solar Alliance-ISA Founding Conference co-chaired by the French President Mr. Emmanuel Macron and the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi.

Seychelles being among the first 15 countries having ratified the ISA Agreement – a project initiated at the COP-21 in Paris in November 2015 – and having the status of Founding Member, President Danny Faure was invited to address the plenary session attended by 22 Heads of State and Heads of Government, and around 500 delegates.

In his intervention, the President highlighted Seychelles’ plan for energy security by achieving a target of 25% renewable energy in 2030 and implementing 100% renewable energy strategy by 2050. President Faure added that such strategy would enable the Country to meet its energy needs, lower carbon emissions, mitigate the adverse effects of climate change as well as provide energy to the population at affordable prices.

In connection with this, President Faure put emphasis on two initiatives already launched in Seychelles, the first one aimed at installing 10,000 LED street lamps across the main islands by 2020. As part of this same “Smart Energy in Public Spaces” programme, public schools, health centres and old people’s homes will use solar photovoltaic panels and other accessories to meet their energy needs. Second program: “Smart Energy in Homes and Businesses” focuses on the establishment of two solar farms on Ile de Romainville.

In the margins of the Summit the President had a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of India, during which he congratulated PM Narendra Modi for the success of the Conference and the role given to Seychelles as a founding member of the Alliance. He also reiterated Seychelles’ gratitude for the assistance provided by India through grants and Lines of Credit, saying it impacts very positively on many sectors at the heart of the Country’s development. President Faure and PM Modi also reviewed Seychelles-India cooperation, especially in the fields of human resources development, trade and maritime security.

The President was accompanied by the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Mr. Didier Dogley, who participated in the technical sessions of the Summit. The Delegation also comprised of Secretary of State Presidential Affairs, Mrs Aude Labaleine, Secretary of State in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Barry Faure, and Seychelles’ High Commissioner to India, Mr. Philippe Le Gall.

President of the Republic, Mr Danny Faure, attended the Official Opening of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

President of the Republic, Mr Danny Faure, attended the Official Opening of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

VICTORIA, Seychelles, January 18, 2018/ — The President of the Republic, Mr Danny Faure, attended the Official Opening of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2018 yesterday, currently being held in Abu Dhabi under the theme “Driving the Global Energy Transformation”.

ADSW is one of the world’s largest sustainability gatherings dedicated to furthering global understanding of the major social, economic, and environmental trends shaping the world’s sustainable development. It also aims to empower the global community to realise viable and effective strategies to mitigate climate change.

As an Abu Dhabi Government initiative, ADSW is the largest gathering on sustainability in the Middle East and a significant forum in stimulating the international dialogue and action. It presents an important networking platform for Seychelles as a Small Island State to learn the latest sustainable actions, emerging trends and projects, as well as innovative strategies geared towards a more sustainable future.

President Faure is in Abu Dhabi to attend the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), an annual event organized as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. WFES is the leading platform dedicated to innovation, digitalisation, and transformation in energy, and advancing the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean technology.

This is President’s Faure second participation at the Summit, which also hosts the Zayed Future Energy Prize prize-giving ceremony to finalists from around the globe. The Zayed Future Energy Prize invites innovators from around the world, particularly youths, to be part of a growing community, committed to finding solutions that will meet the challenges of climate change, energy access, and water security.

On the sidelines of WFES on Monday, the President also held bilateral talks with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The two leaders discussed areas of ongoing cooperation and ways to maintain the unique fraternal friendship based on mutual respect, understanding, and support between the two nations.