The 42nd Session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

The Minister of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Mr Flavien Joubert participated in the 42nd Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, between the 14th and 18th June, 2021.

The Conference of the FAO (Conference of Parties) is the supreme decision making body of this UN organization accentuated on food and nutrition security, and currently comprises of more than 196 member states, including the Seychelles which became a member just after its independence in 1976.

The Conference is held every two years and is usually hosted by the FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. Member states participate through their ministers for agriculture (forestry, fisheries and livestock), but many times Vice Presidents or even Presidents of invited member states do honours to the Conference.

The Conference presents usually a summary of the work and achievements of the organization along with its financial footings over the two previous years and provides the setting of the organization’s activities for the subsequent years. These matters are addressed both in plenary meetings and in various commissions which meet concurrently. As is customary both nominal votes and secret ballots were cast for various appointments on important committees of the organization which execute the directives of the Conference.

The 42nd Conference, however, was different as it was held virtually. Nonetheless, although many challenges of digitally connecting the many corners of the world, the objectives of the Conference were met to the general satisfaction of the member states.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, is a prime multilateral stakeholder in the socio-economic development of the Seychelles towards the attainment of the SDGs. For the period 2018-2021 USD 1.8 million in technical assistance is being rolled out in the natural resources management of the Seychelles, to cover fisheries, agriculture, forestry/environment, and nutrition. The technical support comes through projects with set objectives and well defined outputs.

The Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment shared the thoughts of the Seychelles under the theme of the 42nd Conference: Agriculture Food Systems Transformation: From Strategy to Action, through a written statement.

“The food production systems of the Seychelles embody the soul of those of the other small island developing states. These are being severely impacted upon by the prevailing pandemic. The Seychelles supports the motive of the 42nd Conference towards actions for transforming the world’s agriculture food systems. However, the peculiar small economies of SIDS cannot operate like large ones which have large production bases. The environment, the pandemic, climate change, energy and agriculture/food production nexus is heavily burdened. The current mixture of challenges which be-faces us is getting ever more complex. With the support of the organization, especially the Hand-in-Hand initiative along with the conventional support with the technical cooperation assistance, it will continue to work towards better production, better nutrition, better environment and a better life for its people.” Highlights from the Statement by Minister Flavien Joubert.