Deputy State Secretary for International Relations Katalin Tóth from the Ministry of Agriculture represented Hungary at the 40th session of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Conference in Rome. The main topic of discussion at the forum for the organisation’s highest level decision-makers was the relationship between climate change, agriculture and food security.

“Agro-economics could be an important instrument in the fight against climate change”, Mr. Tóth stressed in her speech at the conference. The Deputy State Secretary confirmed that agro-ecology represents an alternative that enables agriculture to preserve soil fertility and the environment, and which eliminates the need to use genetically modified organisms (GNOs), stressing that Hungary’s GMO-free status has been set down in the country’s constitution, and adding that every country must have the right to choose in this respect.

The Deputy State Secretary held several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the sidelines of the Conference meeting. She reviewed current and future possibilities with relation to cooperation between Hungary and the organisation with the FAO Deputy Director-General, and discussed the chances of Hungary becoming involved in the organisation’s South-South cooperation programme with the FAO’s Director for International Development.

In November 2017, the FAO is organising a summit for decision-makers from the African Union and European Union. In preparation for this, a conference was held in Rome on 2 July 2017 with the participation of agriculture ministers from the two Unions. At the “Making Sustainable. Agriculture a Future for Youth in Africa” conference, Hungary was also represented by Deputy State Secretary for international Relations Katalin Tóth.

The African Union is playing an increasingly important role in African integration processes and could facilitate the efforts of African countries to gain developmental and economic independence. The African continents population is increasing and getting younger at an extremely rapid rate. The key to the region’s stability is successfully creating enough jobs for young people, thus enabling them to make a respectable living and enjoy suitable living conditions. In view of the fact that in several African countries a significant part of the population makes a living from agriculture, it is indispensable that the sector should develop in a sustainable manner that also takes into account employment.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)