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FAO and the 2030 Agenda follow-up and review

Guidance note for FAO Country and Regional Offices, January 2023








FAO. 2023. FAO and the 2030 Agenda Follow-up and Review – Guidance Note for FAO Country and Regional Offices. Rome.


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    The main objective of the Guidance note for FAO Regional and Country Offices is to support the process of repositioning FAO as a strong member of the UN family supporting its Members in the process of sustainable development through sustainable agrifood systems transformation, ensuring better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life for all, leaving no one behind. This Guidance note for FAO Country Offices covers information about the importance of the follow-up and review process for the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, including information about the gaps in the coverage of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and recommendations on what needs to be strengthened to make VNRs meaningful instruments for the acceleration of the transition towards sustainable development pathways. The Guidance note describes the process of the preparation of VNRs and what FAO Regional and Country Offices need to be aware and mindful of when providing support to national partners. It offers detailed how-to guidance on what needs to be achieved at each step of the preparation process and includes a set of questions to guide Regionala and Country Offices in their work with national partners. The Guidance note also includes additional resources, links to key documents and milestones useful for the preparation of the VNR report.
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    Violent conflict has increased in recent decades. The number of people worldwide who live in settings where conflict and violence are a daily occurrence is increasing. By 2030, it is estimated that more than half of all people living in poverty will be found in countries affected by high levels of violence. These conflict dynamics have a negative impact on households’ food security. Agriculture, natural resources, food security and nutrition can be sources of peace or conflict, crisis or recovery, tragedy or healing. Underpinning this is ensuring that the Organization’s projects and interventions are conflict-sensitive so that all stakeholders understand the dynamics of the diverse contexts in which FAO works. Especially in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, we need to make sure that our work avoids contributing to divisions, disputes and violent conflict, and does no harm. All that we do – both by ourselves and through partnerships – should follow this approach. We can also identify where FAO can positively contribute to social cohesion and peace – and these efforts must be rooted in robust theories of change. FAO is placing increasing emphasis on ensuring that our interventions make a positive contribution to peace – an objective shared across the United Nations system, and increasingly a requirement of our partners and donors. The focus of this how-to guide is to elaborate the pathways through which the Organization can optimize deliberate contributions to peace, and inform the design, adaptation and impact measurement of its interventions. In recent years, FAO has developed corporate tools, guidance and training on conflict sensitivity and context analysis. Operationalizing pathways to sustaining peace in the context of Agenda 2030 – A how-to guide is another crucial document in that series, developed through collaboration between the FAO Conflict and Peace Unit and Interpeace in the context of a wider partnership between the two Organizations. Following broad consultation across the Organization, this document provides operational guidance and inspiration to FAO project and technical staff on how our work can enhance FAO’s contributions to peace – and how to measure those contributions. It is part of an ongoing process, which complements FAO’s efforts through its Strategic Framework to support the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, better environment and better life, leaving no one behind.
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    This policy guidance note is part of a series that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and partners are producing to support policy makers address the food security and nutrition situation in their country. Each note provides guidance on how to sharpen the focus of sector policies in order to achieve sustainable food security and nutrition outcomes. This note gives guidance on how to use a food systems's perspective to address all forms of malnutrition. Particular focus is given to tackling overweight and obesity and preventing NCDs because of their increasing prevalence globally. The note supports decision-makers and stakeholders in the food and agriculture sector by addressing the following questions: How can food systems better coontribute to healthy diets and prevent all forms of malnutrition? What policy changes are needed to achieve this objective? What is the best way to actually bring about policy change? In a four-step approach the note provides concrete actions to undertake in order to find an answer to them.

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