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Speech of Ye Anping, Director of SSTC Division, FAO (Full Text),December 03, 2020 Adjust font size:

Mr. Ye Anping, Director of South-South and Triangular Cooperation Division, FAO

Distinguished Governor, Dr. Tang Renjian,

Distinguished Vice Minister, Dr. Du Zhanyuan,

Distinguished Vice Minister, Mr. Chen Zhigang,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Good afternoon and good morning!


At first, please allow me on behalf of United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, to express our sincerely congratulations to all of the organizers for this important event, and our appreciation to you all for highlighting the power of partnerships for global poverty reduction.

These type of partnerships are more important than ever in the current times. The most evident lesson of 2020 is that no one country can fight a pandemic alone. Only by joining efforts we can overcome the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.

The world was already behind in achieving the SDGs by 2030, especially SDG2 (zero hunger) and SDG1 (no poverty). According to the Global Report on Food Crises 2020, 135 million people suffered from acute food insecurity in 2019, including 17 million children, the highest number in five years.

Hunger and poverty are two sides of the same coin, and both of them are rapidly increasing this year, due to the additional challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.

However, this crisis also brings a clear opportunity for improving our present working ways, and to strengthen our efforts in the fight against hunger and poverty.

One of the clearest opportunities is linked to the amount of knowledge that COVID-19 has generated everywhere on how to mitigate its consequences. This knowledge can be leveraged through South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC), allowing others to learn from good practices that have already worked in countries facing similar challenges.

By promoting and showcasing these good practices through South-South and Triangular Cooperation, FAO and its partners will act as a facilitator by contributing to building better and Leave No One Behind.

We truly support important events such as this one today, which highlights successful practices, in particular digital innovations from different regions such as Asia, Africa and Latin America.  

We truly support important events such as this one today, which highlights successful practices, in particular digital innovations from different regions such as Asia, Africa and Latin America.  

Digital technologies and tools are essential. However, it is unfortunate that much more needs to be done in order to reduce the digital gap, and to allow for global access.

Dr. Qu Dongyu, Director-General of FAO used to state that the purpose of the 2030 Agenda is summarized with three key words and the four betters: “Transforming our world” by Better production, Better nutrition, Better environment and a Better life for the future.

In order to do so, especially for better life, poverty in both urban and rural areas needs to be eradicated, as well as inequalities, by promoting inclusive socio-economic development.

This is where FAO has a key role to play: a role that will generate a greater impact, by working together in partnerships, giving visibility to successful innovative practices and solutions that have been piloted, scaled up and which have led to tangible development outcomes.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Among these good practices, those from the People’s Republic of China should be highlighted, because China is contributing most to what the World Bank mentioned “the fastest poverty reduction in modern history”.

Indeed, China will eradicate extreme poverty in rural areas by the end of this year. According to the most updated news, with the final nine counties shaking off poverty, China has removed all its 832 impoverished counties nationwide from the poverty list, a globally significant milestone of poverty reduction for the world's most populous country. The massive reduction of poverty in China over the past 40 years since the Reform and Open Up is one of the great success stories of modern times in the area of global economic and social development.

The rapidly developing the rural economy by modernizing agriculture was an important ingredient of this success, and it has transformed China into one of the leading countries adopting digital innovations for poverty reduction in recent years. E-commerce is an innovative approach to connecting smallholder farmers and big markets is evolving rapidly.

In this line, during this Seminar we  saw an example of a success story in China thanks to a live streaming from the Gansu province. Allow me to thank now to the Gansu Government and Alibaba, for organizing this livestreaming session that clearly demonstrates the power of e-commerce.  

This is not the only good practice that China has to share with the world. Indeed, China has been one of FAO’s most important partners in the promotion of South-South and Taiangular Cooperation.

In 2009, FAO and China jointly established the FAO–China South–South Cooperation Programme, with an initial contribution of USD 30 million, followed by an additional contribution of USD 50 million in 2015. In September of this year, President Xi Jinping announced at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that China would be contributing further USD 50 million, with setting up 3rd phase of South–South Cooperation Programme.

Poverty reduction is a major aim of this Programme. From the grassroots to policy level, this Programme seeks to increase the productivity of small-scale farms and improve their access to markets, promote more efficient value chains, create jobs, especially for rural youth and women, encourage economic diversification and invest in people, fostering their skills and improving their access to critical resources.

By implementing national, regional, inter-regional and global projects in support of countries’ national development agendas and the SDGs, the Programme also seeks to reduce rural poverty and empower rural women and youth, highlighting their crucial contributions to the food system and promoting decent employment and livelihoods for all.

So far, the Programme has reached more than 70.000 direct beneficiaries at grassroots level, as well as several hundred thousand indirect beneficiaries. Moreover, over 1 300 participants from over 100 countries have benefitted from capacity development activities on a wide range of technical and policy topics, with rural poverty reduction as a cross-cutting focus.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

FAO is committed to poverty reduction, understanding that this requires rural transformation. FAO supports and encourages member countries to focus their work towards inclusive agricultural value chains; resilient food systems; decent rural employment opportunities; and granting access for all, including women and youth, to economic and natural resources, services, technologies, information and markets, including through digitalization and technological innovations.

Partnerships should be innovative in order to be transformative and really contribute to inclusive and sustainable growth. On this, FAO invites more partners to join us in our actions towards ending poverty and hunger, including Governments at all levels, international organizations, research institutions, the private sector, civil society and farmer organizations, to promote knowledge sharing on innovative approaches to poverty reduction and facilitate cooperation on sustainable agriculture.

Achieving the sustainable goals is still possible, but only by joining for a greater impact of our actions. Events such as these Seminars, which have been organized since 2017, will continue to act as a platform for South-South triangular cooperation on poverty reduction.

Finally, please allow me to have congratulations to all organizers again on the successful holding of this international seminar.

Thank you, all of you!


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