The 42nd Session of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) began on Monday at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy. The agenda includes topics that are of strategic importance to Hungary, such as the responsible management of drinking water sources, improving access to drinking water and the role of the CFS in realising Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The CFS is the most important international forum on issues relating to global food security.

The Hungarian delegation taking part at the Session is headed by Deputy State Secretary for International Relations, Katalin Tóth. At the ceremonial opening, speeches were given by the heads of the United Nations’ three Rome-based food and agriculture organisations, the FAO, the WFP and the IFAD, and by the Chair of the CFS. All speakers welcomed the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and called on the representatives of international organisation and national government to act to ensure that the Goals are met as soon as possible.

Following the first session, Deputy State Secretary Katalin Tóth held discussions with the FAO Director General’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Mario Lubetkin. During the meeting, the Hungarian Deputy State Secretary reinforced the fact that Hungary is a committed cooperative partner of the FAO and will continue to support the organisation in the realisation of its missions and in the interests of improving global food security in future. Ms. Tóth and her negotiating partner also discussed the reinforcement of Hungary’s presence in the FAO headquarters in Rome. Hungary is planning to set up a so-called “Hungarian Meeting Point” in the building’s central courtyard, where delegated from member countries will have a chance to find out more about rural Hungary and Hungarian agriculture.

The Hungarian delegation was present at the opening of an exhibition in the FAO Headquarters to mark the 70th anniversary of the organisation’s founding. In his opening speech, FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva said that these 70 years also represent a responsibility. The goal set out by the UN Secretary-General can be realised if every member state, organisation and private individual work together; the current generation can be the “Zero Hunger Generation”. The 70th “birthday” of the FAO was also commemorated in Hungary. An exhibition of spectacular national Geographic photographs was opened on the same day on Budapest’s ‘Freedom Square’, organised jointly by the FAO and the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture.

Deputy State Secretary Katalin Tóth also met with former Dutch Minister of Agriculture Gerda Verburg, the current Chair of the UN Committee on World Food Security. The Chair of the CFS spoke with acknowledgement about Hungary’s international involvement in supporting family farming and particularly praised the Global Forum and Exhibition on Family Farming held in Budapest in March 2014 with the participation of 107 countries. Ms. Tóth also met with the Sudanese Ambassador, who expressed her thanks for having been elected the new CFS Chair and for Hungary’s support in preparing for the task.

The Hungarian Deputy State Secretary for International Relations also held discussions with the Deputy Managing Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) concerning the expansion of cooperation between the organisation and Hungary and the successful handling of the refugee crisis.

(Ministry of Agriculture)