Rome, Italy: United Nations Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) Ambassador H.E. Winston Pinnock is currently attending the 172nd session of the FAO Council in Rome, Italy.
Initially, The Bahamas was unanimously elected to serve on the council in 2019 to represent CARICOM countries and was recently re-elected to serve for another three-year term.
During this week’s meeting, recommendations for the upcoming 43rd Session of the Conference in June 2023 will be discussed along with the work program for the upcoming year and other important matters as it relates to global food security.
FAO has historically assisted the government on a wide range of issues, with many agencies benefiting through our Country Program Framework (CPF), including The Departments of Marine Resources and Agriculture, The Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute, Ministries of Education and Health and the Department of Forestry.
Current FAO projects include a School Feeding Project, a forestry development plan and a digital village which was launched in February, providing an innovative mechanism to promote digital agriculture solutions on the Family Islands.
The meeting gives Ambassador Pinnock the opportunity to meet with other member states and other organizations that can assist our country achieve our goal of food security.
During one of the interventions, Ambassador Pinnock sought to gain more support from the FAO for small developing countries.
“Livelihoods dependent on the agriculture and fisheries sectors are impacted daily by climate change and economic challenges. As we continue to face rising food prices, there is the grave need for FAO’s support for innovative solutions to be disseminated throughout the region for adaptation and adoption,” he said.
“We wish to reiterate that it should be recognized that The Latin American and Caribbean region has the greatest number of Small Island Developing
States – 16 out of 33, globally. These SIDS are most vulnerable to impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss and increasing socio-economic risks, largely due to slow recovery from natural disasters.
“Notwithstanding the good work that FAO as done in the Caribbean region, we continue to be at a significant disadvantage compared to other regions when it comes to tangible and meaning support from the FAO which can assists SIDS in the Caribbean region in being able to recover from natural disasters, which has unfortunately become common place in our region, primarily due to more and more intense hurricanes which scientific evidence shows is directly related to climate change.”
Over the next biennium, it is hoped that FAO will assist the country to build capacity in the development of a poultry industry, the development of a National Food Security Plan and applications that will be used in the agriculture sector providing pertinent information to farmers.
Food Security is being seriously challenged globally due to climate change events, rising cost of shipping, inflation and inequalities. The Russian and Ukraine war is also negatively impacting global food security as it relates to the cost and access to fertilizers and food as they are both big producers of both items.
FAO has promised to continue to deal with the consequences of the global food crisis.
While in Rome, the delegation also met with Director General of the International Development Law Organization Jan Beagle, an international intergovernmental organization based in Rome, dedicated to the rule of law and justice for all.
IDLO is currently working in The Bahamas with the Attorney General’s Office, Police Prosecution’s Office and Civil Society. They are now phasing into working with food security and FAO.