ROME, June 23. /TASS/. Russia plays a very important role in ensuring global food security, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Jose Graziano da Silva told TASS. He was speaking ahead of his Tuesday’s visit to Moscow.
"We would very much like to see Russia engaged more in supporting our programs in this region [the former Soviet Union — TASS], particularly but not exclusively in Central Asia," he said.
"I would like to see the Russian Federation become even more involved in global issues such as food security and nutrition," he added. "Russia has enormous expertise in many of the FAO technical areas, and it would be important for Russia’s technical expertise to be channelled into solving today’s global challenges."
According to da Silva, the opening of the FAO Liaison Office in Moscow testifies to the recognition of Russia’s role as a key partner of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on the international scene. "Given the indisputable importance of the Russian Federation on the world stage, and as a key partner in addressing the global issues that concern us all, we have decided to open a liaison office in Moscow," Jose Graziano da Silva said.
Referring to the agenda of this current visit to the Russian capital, the FAO Director-General noted he was planning to meet with high-ranking officials in Moscow to discuss Russia’s contribution to natural resource management. "Our agenda includes, for example, meetings with key people in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and with the Ministry for Agriculture," he said.
According to the FAO Director-General, Russia makes an invaluable contribution to improving food security for vulnerable populations, sustainable management of natural resources, food safety, social protection, and fostering regional integration in the trade of food and agricultural products, in line with WTO and other international standards.
Da Silva mentioned Russia’s support for the international Codex Alimentarius Commission, and also Russia’s membership in the Global and Eurasian Soil Partnerships — the FAO’s initiatives aimed at consolidating efforts to conserve soil as a limited natural resource.