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FAO calls for int'l collaboration to confront hunger, climate change

Rome, Oct 9 (IANS) Political leaders from the G20 countries should play key roles in tackling world hunger and climate change, said the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Friday.

Addressing participants at the G20 parliamentary summit, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said on Friday that the Organization is eager to support efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition, calling for "deeper cooperation" between countries and multilateral groups, reports Xinhua news agency.

"This meeting is possibly one of the most critical gatherings held under the Italian G20 Presidency," said Qu.

"It brings together the officials that can develop policies and legal instruments to address the pressing challenges that we face together, globally."

He said that the FAO recognizes that Parliamentarians are "strategic partners as they provide the legal frameworks, approve public budget allocations, and ensure government accountability on international commitments".

During the Italian presidency of the G20, which will end this year, member countries have renewed and strengthened their political commitment to global food security and improved nutrition.

While speaking at the G20 Business 20 gathering on Friday, Qu called for transformed and more inclusive agri-food systems to survive economic downturns like the one sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

"The most destructive effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on food security and nutrition were due to the unprecedented scale of economic downturns," the FAO chief said, warning that an "uneven pace of recovery" represented further risks to countries.