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Stament by H.E. Mr. Nestor Osorio, President of ECOSOC in the closing session of the Committee on Food Security at FAO

October 11, 2013.


Mr. Chair

Distinguished Delegates

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased and honoured to address this closing session of the Committee on World Food Security, and to start my intervention praising and commending Ambassador Yaya Olaniran for his excellent work and dedication to the field of food security.

Your knowledge, your charisma and passion have given this Committee the energy and force needed for making it relevant and a decisive payer in shaping the World Food Security policies. You deserve all our admiration.

The Economic and Social Council attaches high importance to food security. Last February, ECOSOC and the Second Committee of the General Assembly held a Special Joint Meeting on food security and nutrition to scale up the global response. Many emphasized the important role of the Committee on World Food Security as the cornerstone of the new global governance system on food security. The Council also heard calls for a strengthened relationship between the Committee and the Council. Since then, we have taken a number of steps to make this a reality.

Last May, I joined Ambassador Olaniran at the briefing on the work of the Committee on World Food Security in New York. Delegations appreciated the opportunity to interact with Ambassador Olaniran and to hear about the current work of the Committee. During the substantive session of the Council in July, he intervened during the thematic debate of the Council on "The contribution of the Economic and Social Council to the elaboration of the Post-2015 development Agenda" addressing the links between food security and nutrition, climate change and the post-2015 development framework.

We heard clearly why food security and nutrition should be central in the post-2015 development agenda, in tune with the conclusions from the Secretary General's High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which called for a stand-alone goal to ensure food security and good nutrition, and stresses that "food security is not just about getting everyone enough nutritious food, it is also about access, ending waste, moving towards sustainable, efficient production and consumption."

At Rio+20, Governments reaffirmed the critical importance of shifting towards sustainable consumption and production patterns, and recognized them as an overarching objective of and an essential requirement for sustainable development." Pursuing sustainable consumption and production patterns is an imperative, given that our resource-intensive living model is posting urgent and inter-linked economic, social and environmental challenges. Experts have reiterated this week that people, especially in the high-income countries have to change their consuming patterns.

Equity and global governance have a very close link with food security, since this is not just an issue of abundance of food. A universal agenda needs to address food security with a global and structural approach, including the negative impact of subsidies, excessive food price volatility and improving the global enabling conditions for agriculture, through markets transparency and a better access to the small players. This is to say that the patterns and structure of production also have to change.

In accordance with the Council's decision 2011/217, the Chair of the Committee on World Food Security has been transmitting to ECOSOC annually a report on the main decision and policy recommendations made, as well as the results achieved by the Committee in the area of food security and nutrition. In July, the Council also had an opportunity to listen to the Chair's presentation of the report of the Committee and engage in a dialogue.

While these are positive developments, I am determined to do much more to strengthen the Council's relationship with the Committee on World Food Security. As you may know, ECOSOC has recently undergone a reform process that will provide renewed opportunities for substantive interaction between the Council and other UN entities.

The Council is asserting its role as a platform for in-depth policy discussion on development issues, with a specific role on ensuring an integrated approach to the three dimensions of sustainable development. Food security and nutrition no doubt allow for such a multidimensional approach. I therefore trust that the new focus and format of ECOSOC will provide opportunities for fruitful interaction with your Committee at key moments of the Council's sessions.

With less than 800 days left to the target date of the Millennium Development Goals and the elaboration of the Post-2015 development agenda, it would be very critical to increase the visibility of the work of the Committee and raise awareness on the issue of food security.

At the Special Event of the General Assembly on Millennium Development Goals on 25 September, Heads of State and Government underlined the role of a strengthened global partnership for development. Partnerships have become an integral part of our work. I commend the Committee for being one of the most inclusive international platforms for food security, with substantive involvement of the private sector and civil society.

The Council's Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) is reflecting on how development cooperation evolves to support the implementation of a unified and universal post-2015 development agenda and how a renewed global partnership for development could work in practice. Food security issues will be on the DCF agenda this month, when senior decision makers from developing and developed countries, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, local governments and foundations will gather at the DCF Switzerland High-Level Symposium on the theme of "Development Cooperation in a Post-2015 Era: Sustainable Development for All." They will discuss, among other issues, the lessons learned on how to best mobilize additional public and private resources and how to take advantage of the comparative advantages of specific types of development financing to ensure short and long term food security.

To conclude I want to reiterate our commitment to further strengthen the relationship between the Committee and the Council and to raise the profile of food security and nutrition, for the good of the planet and the well-being of humanity.

Thank you.