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Keynote Remarks by Honourable Fiame Naomi Mataafa, Acting Prime Minister of Samoa
2nd FAO and SPC Joint Pacific Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry Meeting
Friday 4th October 2019,TATTE Conference Centre, Apia
Reverend Maauga Motu, Secretary General of the National Council of Churches,
Honourable Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry from our Pacific region,
Honourable Ministers of Cabinet of Samoa,
Assistant Director General of Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO,
Deputy Director General of the Pacific Community, SPC,
Senior Officials of Agriculture and Forestry Services,
Distinguished representatives of regional and international organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to greet you again this morning for this second FAO and SPC Joint Pacific Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry Meeting, under the theme of “enhancement of partnerships to sustainably develop agriculture and forestry systems in the Pacific”. As key decision makers and influencers, your work and concerted efforts ensure sustainable food systems and well-coordinated multi-sectoral actions, including in the implementation of our Food and Nutrition Framework.
I am aware that you endorsed the FAO Multi-Country Programming Framework for the Pacific Islands for 2018 – 2022 at your First Joint Meeting during the inaugural Pacific Week of Agriculture in Vanuatu two years ago. It is a living document that both guides the work of our region - the positive results of which you will be sharing today, as well as informs your discussion of key resolutions to promote the sustainable production of safe and nutritious food.
We acknowledge that the Framework outputs are linked to the objectives of the Global Action Plan for Small Island Development States (SIDS), which represents the FAO’s specific input into the Pacific Food and Nutrition Framework. These in turn are effectively integrated into programmes that are coordinated by the SPC for our Pacific communities. It is also worth mentioning again the vital links between the SAMOA Pathway and the Framework for Pacific Regionalism to the Pacific Multi-Country Programming Framework (2018 – 2022 ) in guiding the work of the FAO and regional organisations in the Pacific, for the sustainable development of the Pacific.
The Framework affirms the enhanced partnerships that our region has established through the FAO leadership support and the UN family, with specific Sustainable Development Goals that we are to achieve by the year 2030. Let us not kid ourselves about the importance of our work, because the role of food and the challenges of carbon emissions and climate change are detriment to the survival of all living things, if not addressed. As Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry, your respective roles and responsibilities are therefore central to the development of decisions for the sustainable development of our Blue Pacific Continent.
I wish to take this opportunity to convey our sincere appreciation to both the FAO and SPC for their enduring partnerships and ready support in our Pacific programmes. We look forward to your continued assistance in increasing agricultural resilience in the Pacific.
I am advised that you have quite a grand Agenda for today, with key presentations on: partnering to develop nutrition-sensitive food systems in our Pacific islands, which aims to deliver coordinated multi-sectoral actions through a sustainable food systems approach for healthy diets; the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, which focuses on climate change mitigation and adaptation; and other reports to discuss and establish the best resolutions for this Pacific Ministers’ Meeting.
Whilst there is a tendency to remind you of your previous resolutions, as well as the goals and objectives of your meeting, I believe common sense prevails in this case. I will only be repeating what you already know. Therefore, I wish you God’s Blessings on your deliberations, and I look forward to the results of your meeting today.
Honourable Ministers and distinguished delegates, it is now my great pleasure to declare the second FAO and SPC Joint Pacific Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry Meeting officially open.