UN General Assembly Catch Up: Day Four

Strengthening partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger was a major focus on the fourth day of the UN General Assembly High Level Week in New York. Here’s a recap.

Pathways to Zero Hunger

At the Pathways to Zero Hunger event, the heads of the three Rome-based food and agriculture agencies committed to maintaining the momentum of the UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge.

The initiative was launched in 2012 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and it has now been handed over to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Programme.

Business leader Monica Musonda

The #ZeroHunger conversation was even trending on Twitter in New York!

South Sudan in focus

Also on Thursday, leaders gathered to focus on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan, where conflict has led to a large proportion of the population needing urgent assistance to survive.

Androulla Kaminara from the European Commission

Several countries and organisations made strong expressions of support for the people of South Sudan, and the United States announced a major new funding commitment.

Many participants urged the leaders of South Sudan to cease hostilities.

Peter Wilson, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative, UK Mission to the UN
Women carry bags of cereal on their heads as they return home after receiving food assistance from WFP in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan in September 2016. Photo: WFP/George Fominyen

Important conversations

UNGA week is an important opportunity to continue conversations with world leaders on partnerships to reach zero hunger. On Thursday the World Food Programme’s Executive Director Ertharin Cousin met with María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia…

…and signed a landmark strategic partnership agreement with Iceland.

WFP’s Ertharin Cousin with Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs Lilja Alfreðsdóttir

The agreement will see flexible, predictable and multi-year funding for WFP’s work towards helping to achieve zero hunger, and is the first such agreement with Iceland.

Flexible funding is the lifeblood of humanitarian operations; it is also critical to WFP’s ability to react fast in emergencies as well as maintain support for neglected crises.

“Reaching the most vulnerable groups is essential, and through this agreement with WFP, we can do that and ensure that gender equality and women’s rights become pillars of humanitarian action.” — Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs

“At a time of unprecedented humanitarian emergencies, WFP highly appreciates partners such as Iceland for enabling us to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of millions of people caught up in conflict or natural disasters.” — Ertharin Cousin, WFP

Data Innovation Workshop

Finally on Thursday, WFP participated in a data innovation workshop with colleagues from other UN agencies to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Catch up on all the other UNGA conversations, events and meetings by reading these stories on Day One, Day Two and Day Three.

World Food Programme Insight

Insight by The World Food Programme

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