FAO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation strengthen partnership on food security and sustainable development

Agreement seeks to increase the exchange of information, research data, and best practices

2 November 2019, Tashkent, Uzbekistan - FAO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation today agreed to boost joint efforts aimed at providing food security and sustainable development for present and future generations, in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's 18th meeting of the Heads of Government Council in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, by Vladimir Rakhmanin FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia and Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

"There is a whole range of topics, including food security, agriculture and environmental sustainability, where both organizations play an active role with many overlapping; it was an obvious step to forge closer ties and work together even harder for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals," Rakhmanin said. "The vision for a sustainable future is a complex matter, where all have to act together."

"The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has close ties with the United Nations and its specialized agencies," Norov said. "We are glad that the organization's connections with UN agencies has been further expanded by signing the Memorandum with FAO. The SCO highly appreciates the role of FAO in its fight against hunger, malnutrition and in ensuring food security. Our countries, where nearly half of the humanity lives, would benefit from the expertise and experience of FAO."

FAO and the SCO have collaborated on certain topics and activities, such as transboundary animal diseases and the parties today agreed to exchange information, research data, and best practices related to food security and sustainable development in a more structured manner. Further on, joint events and projects of common interests might take place.

Other possible collaboration between FAO and SCO could involve joint activities to advance climate change mitigation, sustainable management of natural resources, digitalization in agriculture, and conducting joint studies on agriculture and food markets. Common areas of interest might also include improved phytosanitary and veterinary frameworks, support to healthy diets in urban areas, just as promoting South-South Cooperation.

The SCO is a permanent intergovernmental international organization, which comprises of eight member states (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan). These countries signed up to cooperate in many areas, including trade, economy, industry, transport, agriculture, food security, environmental protection, with the ultimate goal to facilitate comprehensive and balanced economic growth, social and cultural development in the region.

SCO member states have placed special attention on agriculture and environmental protection, including water resources management.

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