FAO Regional Conference for Europe

  • In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health concerns, the Thirty-second Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Europe will be convened virtually from 2 to 4 November 2020.

The move to a virtual format followed consultations with the FAO Director-General and the Regional Group of Permanent Representatives. It is being done with the concurrence of the host country, Uzbekistan.

The Regional Conference for Europe will be conducted on the Zoom videoconferencing platform. Instructions regarding registration will be provided in the letter of invitation and on this website.

Participation in the Zoom virtual conference will be by invitation only, but the Regional Conference will be webcast for public viewing.

The 32nd Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Europe (ERC) is open to all FAO Members in the Europe and Central Asia region, to representatives of the United Nations Bodies and Specialized Agencies, and to selected Observers.

In light of the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit 2021 the ERC will focus on the Sustainable Food Systems and Healthy Diets in Europe and Central Asia as one of the main topics. The debate in the Roundtable will aim at outlining the status of nutrition and sustainable food systems, identifying the interlinkages and the related challenges and opportunities in the region and the contribution of the ERC to the UNFSS. The assessment of existing public policies related to nutrition and the sustainability of food systems will provide the basis of region-specific recommendations and pathways to transition to more sustainable food systems for healthy diets.

Linked to a food systems approach another main topic for discussion on the first day of the Conference will be “Solutions for Youth, Employment and Developing Rural Areas in relation to the United Nations Decade of Family Farming”. The discussion aims at underlining that smallholder and family farms are an integral part for ensuring long-term food security, rural poverty reduction and social and environmental sustainability in Europe and Central Asia. A situation analysis of smallholders, family farms and rural youth in agriculture will be presented under this agenda item, including a review of strategies that can potentially foster the revitalization of rural areas in the region. Finally, the roles for FAO and member countries in developing family farms and youth will be explored.

Furthermore, a standard important item on the agenda will be the Priorities for further work in the Region, which are influenced by the COVID-19 crisis and thus FAO’s priorities will reflect this. The agenda item will also provide an opportunity to provide a regional perspective to the new Strategic Framework of FAO, which will be adopted at the FAO Conference in July 2021.

Additionally, the Synthesis of FAO Evaluations 2014-2019 in Europe and Central Asia and the FAO’s Hand-in-Hand Initiative will be presented to the Regional Conference.

Given the decision to hold the 32nd Session of the Regional Conference for Europe in virtual mode and the constraints related to the span of seven time zones in Europe and Central Asia region, the programme of live plenary meetings of the Session shall be condensed. In order to streamline the proceedings of the Regional Conference, a written consultation procedure will be implemented as the main method to address e selected items indicated in the Provisional Timetable of the Session. These items to be addressed through written consultation shall not be discussed live at the virtual session of the ERC.

Members and Observers are requested to submit any inputs and statements on the selected documents by email to ERC-ECA-Secretariat@fao.org no later than Sunday, 25 October 2020. The subject line of the email has to indicate clearly, to which agenda item the submitted input relate. Where applicable, the Secretariat will provide written responses to the inputs received. All inputs received and the FAO Secretariat responses, will be translated in all languages of the Regional Conference, and posted by the ERC Secretariat on a dedicated page within the Regional Conference website.

 

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