Accelerated action called for to end hunger in Asia-Pacific region

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DENARAU ISLAND, FIJI, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Forty Asia-Pacific members of the United Nations's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) have called for action to improve nutrition, eradicate all forms of hunger and coordinate approaches to deal with the effects of climate change on the region's agricultural sectors.

According to a news release by FAO on Saturday, the calls for action were made at the 34th FAO Session of the Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC) which was held on the Denarau island in Fiji and brought together government ministers, senior technical officials in the fields of food and agriculture and civil society organizations.

Jose Graziano da Silva, FAO director-general, had earlier called upon the FAO members of Asia-Pacific to step up their actions in the fight against hunger, given that the region still has 490 million hungry people in their midst, "more than any other region," he said.

More work and stronger partnerships are necessary if the region -- indeed the world -- is to meet the 2030 Agenda of achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly, SDG2, which is to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in all its forms, he said.

The conference, which was held on April 9-13, also expressed growing concern with overweight and obesity, which, if left unchecked, would result in a time bomb of diet-related diseases such as diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.

During the conference, Asia-Pacific members of FAO focused on improving food systems for better nutrition.

Inia Seruiratu, APRC Chairperson and Fiji's Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, said Fiji highly appreciated the partnership and cooperation between Fiji and FAO and the island nation were fully committed to FAO's mission of assisting countries to eradicate hunger and malnutrition.

The Asia-Pacific members of FAO also stressed the importance of the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework in guiding future actions for agriculture, food security and nutrition in the face of climate change.

They also emphasized the need of addressing food safety challenges in the region.

The FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific is convened every two years. The nexy session will convene in Bhutan in 2020. Enditem

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