FAO in North America

FAO in North America Series – Society for International Development Annual Conference

Submitted by Amy McMillen on June 3, 2014

The FAO in North America Series highlights FAO’s collaboration and work with organizations and institutions in the United States and Canada.  From the voices of visiting experts, FAO staff in Washington, DC, and partners of FAO learn how FAO is engaging in the North American region to achieve our five strategic objectives.
Gabriel Laizer is Partnerships and Outreach Coordinator for FAO in the Liaison Office for North America in Washington, DC, USA.

On May 20, 2014, the Society for International Development  (SID) hosted its Annual International Conference in Washington, DC. More than 900 development professionals representing the private sector, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, government agencies, multilateral institutions, and universities attended this year’s conference. The USAID Administrator, Dr. Rajiv Shah delivered the keynote address, highlighting the importance of partnerships in the realization of the new SDG’s.

As Co-chair of SID’s Food Security and Agriculture Working group, I organized one of the conference’s eight breakout sessions focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).  Entitled ““Feed the Future 2.0-How to Improve on a Good Idea”, panelists discussed how to strengthen the effectiveness and reach of the US Government’s Feed the Future Initiative (FtF) in an interactive format that allowed for audience participation.  With nearly 200 people in attendance, this brought refreshing vitality and candidness to the discussion!

Speakers from Walmart Foundation, ACDI/VOCA, the Manoff Group and EcoVenture International stressed the importance of investment to address hunger, food security and nutrition and focused on the need for FtF to be inclusive of youth and gender conscious.

Especially interesting to me were the questions from the audience on how agriculture could be sensitive to nutritional needs of local communities.

A final report on the conference will be released later this year. To learn more about the Society for International Development, to read the report once it is released and to participate in future events, click here.

Throughout the year, the Food Security and Agriculture working group of the SID hosts about six round-table discussion focusing on issues of interest to FAO like climate smart agriculture, disaster risk reduction and many more. I welcome you to join our regular round-table discussions.

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO’s efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. Our three main goals are: the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; the elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and, the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations. Learn more about FAO and our five strategic objectives.

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