UN FAO Conference on Agri-Food Systems organized

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The Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (#APRC37) is convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO) and hosted by the Government of Sri Lanka. This is a high-level international UN FAO conference to guide recovery and reforms of agrifood systems in Asia-Pacific for future food security. The regional conference comprises of 46 FAO Member Nations in Asia and the Pacific and takes place after years of pandemic, climate emergencies, volatile markets, and economies that have affected millions of producers and consumers. The latest Asia and the Pacific Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition, published in December 2023, shows that nearly 371 million people are undernourished in this region and this represents half of the world’s undernourished. Nearly 24 percent of the population suffer from moderate or severe food insecurity with women tending to be more food insecure than men. Stunting among children under five years of age, with a prevalence of 23.4 percent, continues to be a public health problem in the region despite the declining trend from 2000.

Delegates from Mongolia, including the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry and Ministry of Environment and Tourism as well as the Environment Policy Advisor to the President of Mongolia were present at the virtual conference for Senior Officials between January 31 and February 2. A Ministerial Session, with ministers arriving from different countries, will follow on February 19-22 in Colombo, Sri Lanka and will hold discussion themed with building resilience. Most of the issues to be discussed at the MInisterial Session are of vital interest to Mongolia as the roundtable discussions cover topics pertaining to securing future food and nutrition, lessons learned from the convergent crises, investment and financing for poverty reduction and modernization, and lessons learned in saving water and food and reducing loss and waste. The event will focus on a number of thematic areas, such as championing modernization and digitalization for smallholders in aquaculture and livestock and an overall transformation of agrifood systems in countries across the vast region. In the case of Mongolia, imperative topics of interest will be the resilience of herders, One Health, export-oriented value chain development, and regional trade and cooperation. 

FAO’s 37th Session of the Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific marks a major international, multilateral milestone in an effort to reform agrifood systems across the Asia-Pacific region, after years of pandemic, climate emergencies, volatile markets and economies that have negatively affected millions of producers, farmers, fishers, pastoralists and consumers.

Iveel Munkhbaatar