Sustainable development, poverty reduction and food security issues are dealt with by a number of International bodies whose activities are actively supported or closely followed by the European Commission.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Established in 1945, the FAO is an intergovernmental UN organisation which acts as a neutral forum for 191 nations to negotiate agreements and debate policy, and is a source of knowledge and information to help developing countries and countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all.
The EU is a member organisation and recognizes the FAO as an essential actor on topics such as sustainable agriculture, harmonic rural development and food security which constitute the central business of our Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The FAO also hosts the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), a multi-stakeholder platform designed to coordinate efforts on Food Security and Nutrition.
The rise in food prices in 2007-2008 propelled agriculture and food security to the top of the world's political agenda. In the shadow of this price crisis, the agriculture ministers of the G8 met in Italy in 2009 to examine ways of improving agricultural cooperation with developing countries, especially in Africa.
At the following summit in Canada in 2010, the G8 world leaders committed USD 22 billion to the L'Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI) to be implemented over three years to help vulnerable countries boost food production. The European Union made the largest pledge of USD 3.8 billion and delivered on this commitment.
The UK holds the presidency in 2013. Russia will host in 2014.
In 2011, the G20 Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture was endorsed, comprising concrete initiatives over five broad areas: agricultural production and productivity, market information and transparency, international policy coordination, risk management and financial regulation.
Russia hosts the G20 in 2013. Australia will host in 2014.
African Union (AU)
The AU is a 54-member organisation, which is especially focussed on advancing agricultural policy. Policy cooperation is centred on the Joint Africa-EU strategy (JAES) which is built around 8 thematic partnerships – with the third one 'Regional Economic Integration, Trade and Infrastructure' focussing in 2012 on agricultural development.
UN Process on Millennium Development Goals and the post 2015 Global Development Agenda
Over the last decade, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have helped drive the eradication of poverty and further human development. Progress has been made, but challenges remain and a UN General Assembly special event will this year take stock of the efforts made to achieving MDGs, look at how to accelerate progress and consider what could follow after 2015.
There are various other UN-led processes to consider what the next global development framework beyond 2015 should look like. The UN Secretary-General appointed a High-Level Panel, reporting in May 2013, and the Rio+20 Conference in 2012 led to the creation of an Open Working Group tasked with proposing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by September 2014. Additionally, the UN development system is leading national and thematic consultations, which includes Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition.
The EU is committed to engage fully in these processes, working with all partners and stakeholders to develop a post 2015 framework which would provide a coherent and comprehensive response to the universal challenges of poverty eradication and sustainable development.
In February 2013, the Commission released a Communication on the post 2015 agenda: "A Decent Life For All".