Ministers, the EU is fully committed to leading from the front in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, together with its Member States.
Our work here today is a key part of that collective effort, and making better and smarter use of ICT technologies is one of the most effective ways to speed things up.
We have a clear action plan in the EU: on 22 November 2016 the European Commission launched its strategy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, titled 'Next Steps for a Sustainable European Future'.
This recognises that agriculture plays a substantial role in the 2030 Agenda as it is intrinsically linked to a multitude of interrelated issues such as jobs, food, air, climate change, water, soil and biodiversity.
We are still at the start of the 15-year journey to achieve the SDGs and this gives agriculture and agricultural policy an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and be part of the solution.
Sustainability is already prominently reflected in the European Common Agricultural Policy. It guarantees a decent livelihood for farmers without distorting markets and trade.
But more needs to be done.
We will take forward work and consult widely on simplification and modernization of the Common Agricultural Policy to maximize its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.
One of the first European policy initiatives to embed Agenda 2030 was the Cork 2.0 Declaration, A Better life in Rural Areas, signed by a coalition of rural stakeholders in September 2016.
The Declaration, as well as numerous other EU policy and funding streams, prioritises the development of new research, science and ICT technologies to promote sustainability in agricultural practices.
With improved use of technology and big data, smarter machinery, improved varieties of breeds and inputs, farmers can add far greater value to making the food sector value chain more resilient and sustainable.
Using satellites to control geo-referencing data, fertiliser can be applied more evenly to agricultural land, eliminating overlaps and waste.
Smart milking robots can increase dairy yields while also monitoring the health status of cows.
These technologies will optimise returns on inputs whilst reducing environmental impacts.
Here at the G20, we need to put in place the best possible policy frameworks to move our collective efforts in this direction. Thank you.