The G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting was successfully convened in Xi’an of Shaanxi Province on 3 June 2016. Mr. Han Changfu, Minister of Agriculture of China, conveyed President Xi Jinping’s congratulations on the convening of the meeting and his message to welcome all delegates to Xi’an for the discussion of global agricultural development and cooperation. Agriculture ministers of the G20 members and guest countries, as well as the leaders of international organizations including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), attended the meeting and adopted the G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting Communiqué. Mr. Han Changfu, as both the Agriculture Minister of China and head of the Chinese delegation, addressed the opening ceremony.
The meeting, the third Agriculture Ministers Meeting since the G20 was established, was held against the backdrop of the still challenging situation in global food security, the commitment of all countries to the eradication of hunger and poverty, and the newly-started implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Under the theme of “Agricultural Innovation and Sustainable Development”, all delegations had in-depth discussions on issues including the establishment of food security system, sustainable agricultural development, institutional, science and technology innovation, agricultural investment and trade, and smallholder development. It was concluded at the meeting that the G20 should continue to play a leading role and focus its attention on the food security of developing countries to make new contribution to the improvement of food security and nutrition at the global, regional, national and local levels. The meeting affirmed the commitment to support the implementation of relevant plans and programs related to agriculture in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and facilitate the experience exchange, knowledge sharing and technology application among the international community on sustainable agricultural development, and decided to advance the establishment of the agricultural science and technology cooperation sharing platform and the agricultural ICT exchange platform. The meeting supported the expansion of agricultural investment in developing countries and regions, and encouraged the private sector and other stakeholders to continue the dialogue and exchanges to advance agricultural investment facilitation, and improve the level of organization and competitiveness of smallholders in the context of agricultural openness to elevate their position and role in the global value chain.
G20 members spoke highly of the significance that China, as the G20 presidency, attached to agriculture, and have made positive responses to the Meeting. The G20 Agricultural Entrepreneurs Forum (AE20) and the Meeting of G20 Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) were convened back to back with the G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting, realizing for the first time a “three-in-one” pattern of discussion among entrepreneurs, scientists and governments on issues of global agriculture and food security cooperation; wisdom was pooled, and synergy fostered. Starting from Xi’an, China, the Agriculture Ministers Meeting will become a regular mechanism of the G20. This is an important breakthrough for the G20 on its way to a long-term governance mechanism, and a contribution to a greater role of the G20 in promoting global food security and sustainable agricultural development. Parties to the Meeting agreed that, this Meeting was a landmark featuring solidarity and innovation.
More than 260 participants in 32 delegations from 20 members, 6 guest countries, and 6 international organizations attended the Meeting. Mr. Lou Qinjian, Secretary of the Shaanxi Provincial CPC Committee, and Mr. Christian Schmidt, Minister for Food and Agriculture of Germany addressed the opening ceremony. Success of the Meeting has laid a solid foundation for a successful G20 Summit in Hangzhou this September, and the G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting Communiqué will be submitted to the Summit for deliberation.
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