09/17/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/18/2023 07:30
New York - FAO Director-General QU Dongyu met today with H.E. Azali Assoumani, President of the Union of the Comoros and current Chairperson of the African Union on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The Director-General congratulated the President on the AU's membership to the G20, which was announced earlier this month at the 18th G20 Summit held in New Delhi, India.
The President thanked the Director-General for the work FAO carries out globally, especially in Africa, and noted that the AU's membership in the G20 is a reflection of the importance of the African region. He also stressed that food security and agricultural development are priorities for the Comoros, especially in the context of the climate crisis and considering the country is a vulnerable Small Island Developing State (SIDS), which depends to a large extent on imports.
In this respect, the President requested increased FAO support to the Comoros. In particular, he noted blue transformation and blue economy as specific areas that need targeted support considering the untapped potential in the country. In his remarks he cited the Moroni Declaration for Ocean and Climate Action in Africa, adopted in June 2023, which recognizes the critical importance of ocean conservation, climate action, and the sustainable development of coastal communities.
The Director-General reaffirmed FAO's ongoing and increased support and technical assistance to the Comoros. He also informed the President that FAO is supporting many of its Members through the Hand-in-Hand Initiative and noted that the Comoros could also benefit from such support if so requested.
Finally, the Director-General invited the President to this year's World Food Day celebration and the World Food Forum (WFF) 2023, highlighting that the Comoros may wish to consider participating in the Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum, which is one of the three fora of the WFF, together with the Science and Innovation Forum and the Youth Forum. The Director-General emphasized that the Comoros was welcome to join all the WFF events taking place at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, during the week of 16-20 October 2023.