FAO focus on breaking the cycle between conflict and hunger

FAO focus on breaking the cycle between conflict and hunger

Boosting the resilience of the most vulnerable people, activating early responses to early warnings and coordinating interventions are the three pillars of an integrated approach to peace and food security, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said at a side event during the United Nations General Assembly.

“There will be no sustainable peace if people continue to be left behind,” he said at a panel discussion of ways to break the cycle between conflict and hunger. “If we do not create conditions for vulnerable people and communities to thrive and live with dignity, this will trigger conflict, instability and forced migration.”

He specifically referred to efforts by FAO, along with the International Fund for Agriculture and the World Food Programme and other partners, in the Sahel region, which has been wracked by lethal conflicts between farmers and pastoralists over natural resources and by armed militias such as Boko Haram. Improving pasture and water management, adopting climate-smart agriculture practices, distribution of fertilizers and seeds, control of livestock and plant diseases as well as humanitarian relief are key interventions for creating peace and stability and achieving food security.

“We have to address the root causes of peace and instability,” Graziano da Silva said. “Hunger and food insecurity are among these.”

The role of the UN Security Council on conflict and hunger

In May 2018, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2417, which explicitly recognized the link between conflict and hunger.

This year, the Director-General briefed the Executive Committee of the Office of the Secretary-General on the issue on land and conflict, as part of the work of the Organization with the pastoralists, and the Organization launched the Corporate Framework to Contributing to Sustaining Peace in the framework of Agenda 2030, which was shared with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“When we first brought this approach to the Security Council in 2016, we were asked by its members: what does a food and agriculture organization has to do with us? Well, now they use our regular data as part of their analysis and passed a resolution which address the cycle of hunger in conflict-affected countries”, said Graziano da Silva.

FAO, peace and partnerships

FAO’s expertise in food and agriculture have powerful contributions to make in sustaining peace and achieving Zero Hunger, as the Director-General has been emphasizing in recent years, notably to the UN Peacebuilding Commission and the UN Security Council.

The role of partnerships is essential and can be strengthened, Graziano da Silva said.

Original source: FAO
Published on 25 September 2018