United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Mr. Rene Castro, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

High-Level Political Forum 2018
2018 Global Multi-Stakeholder Small Island Developing States Partnership Dialogue
12 July 2018, 10.00 AM – 01.00 PM, ECOSOC Chamber
FAO Statement delivered by FAO Assistant Director-General, Mr. Rene Castro

Moderator, thank you for giving me the floor.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests,
I would like to recall that in 2017, FAO, DESA and OHRLLS developed the Global Action Programme on Food Security and Nutrition (GAP), in response to a request made in Paragraph 61 of the Samoa Pathway.
The GAP went through a thorough consultation process at regional and national levels and is well aligned with national priorities regarding food security and nutrition.
The GAP provides a framework within which SIDS and their development partners can work to design and implement more coherent actions at the global, regional and local levels to promote food security and nutrition.
This is especially crucial considering that the undernourishment rate in SIDS is falling slower than the global average. Furthermore, there is also a marked increase of obesity. In the Caribbean, an estimated 33 percent of the adult population is obese. In the Pacific, three-quarters of all adult deaths are due to non-communicable diseases of which obesity is a leading factor.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Following the launch, FAO is working with partners to adapt the GAP and its proposed actions to regional realities and needs. The regional frameworks for Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans were presented and discussed at the regional preparatory meetings for the Mid Term Review of the SAMOA Pathway for the AIMS region, in Mauritius, and for the Pacific region, in Tonga, and in their respective Partnership Dialogues.
FAO is supporting the implementation of the GAP through an Interregional Initiative (IRI) and has already allocated 2 Million US dollars from its budget to kickstart implementation. The Africa Solidarity Trust Fund has approved an additional investment of 1.5 Million US dollars which will support the implementation of the GAP in African SIDS.
I would like to stress that while FAO, UNDESA and UNOHRLLS facilitated the development of the GAP, a wide range of partnerships will be required to implement the programme and to accelerate progress towards food security and nutrition in SIDS.
The GAP implementation and, more broadly, the achievement of food security and nutrition in SIDS will require additional resources, political commitment, collective action, and strong national leadership.
Therefore, I would like to invite all Member States and SIDS partners to join the implementation of the GAP.
In closing, I would like to reiterate that we must all act in a coherent manner to respond to the challenges of food security and nutrition in SIDS.
Thank you for your attention.