Press release, Presentation of Letters of Credence to FAO,IFAD and WFP in Rome
Ambassador Deepak Dhital Presents Credentials to FAO Director-General, IFAD Vice-President and WFP Executive Director
Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, H.E. Deepak Dhital, who is also accredited to Rome based International agricultural organizations, presented his Credentials to the Director General of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and to the Vice-President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) yesterday, and to the Executive Director of World Food Programme (WFP) today, in three separate functions organized by the respective organizations.
In a meeting that followed the credential ceremony at FAO, Ambassador Dhital appreciated FAO’s efforts in eliminating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition globally, and thanked FAO for the support it has been providing to Nepal to address some of the important needs of the agriculture sector such as capacity building, institutional improvement, food and nutritional security, poverty alleviation and rural development. He also requested FAO to help Nepal diversify its agriculture sector, and raise productivity through transfer of technology and capacity building. Acknowledging the important role FAO has been playing in advocating for mainstreaming nutrition and food security issues in post-2015 development agenda, he emphasized the need of collaboration between FAO and other Rome based UN agencies for synergy of efforts.
Congratulating Ambassador Dhital on being accredited to FAO, Director General H.E. Mr. José Graziano da Silva expressed his satisfaction with close partnership with which FAO was able to carry on activities in Nepal. He said that FAO was ready to further align its programme and strategy to the needs and priorities of Nepal in view of the critical role it plays in the economy of the country. He commended the endeavour of the Government of Nepal to have a broad vision for the development of the agriculture sector through Agriculture Perspective Plan (APP) and the well calibrated development programme and strategy, and the progress it has made to achieve MDG 1. He also assured of FAO’s continued assistance to Nepal in the areas of agriculture and food for more effective results on the ground.
Also yesterday, while presenting credentials to the IFAD vice-president, H.E. Mr. Michel Mordasini, Ambassador Dhital appreciated the role IFAD has been playing through its project-based interventions in reducing hunger and poverty in developing and least developed countries like Nepal. Underlining the critical role agriculture plays in the lives and livelihood of the people by providing employment opportunities to around 70% of the population, he said it was necessary to address the challenges seen in the modernization of agriculture to make this sector attractive for the country’s youths. He underscored the importance of harnessing the rich biodiversity available in Nepal for diversification of agriculture. He requested IFAD to support Nepal in the transfer of agricultural technology to enable farmers to produce high value, low volume products. Recalling the recently signed host country Agreement between the Government of Nepal and IFAD concerning the establishment of the IFADs Country Office in Nepal, he called upon IFAD to have full-fledged operation in Nepal.
The Vice-President welcomed Ambassador Dhital, and acknowledged the small but significantly committed financial contribution of Nepal to the Fund. While briefing on the number of ongoing projects IFAD has undertaken in Nepal, Mr. Mordasini emphasized that Nepal has remained on the priority of IFADs activities. He informed that IFAD was in the phase of decentralisation of its activities to reach out to the actual people who are in need, and in that respect pledged that it would take some time to upgrade the country programme office. He further noted that WFP was trying its best to coordinate its programmes and objectives in line with MDGs, post-2015 development agenda and other major UN initiatives, as well as the priorities of the individual member countries.
Today in a meeting that followed credential ceremony at WFP, Ambassador Dhital appreciated WFPs works as the worlds largest humanitarian agency and its efforts to save lives, prepare for emergencies, and reduce hunger and malnutrition. He also commended WFP’s support to Nepal, especially through targeted programmes such as school meals, food support to the poor and needy, etc., which have been an effective tool in breaking the cycle of hunger and poverty. Apprising Executive Director H.E. Ms. Ertharin Cousin of Nepal’s participation in global programmes like Zero Hunger Challenge and Scaling UP Nutrition Movement, he requested WFP to work out sustainable alternatives of direct food assistance so as to transform the lives and livelihood of poorest people in the country.
Executive Director Ms. Cousin noted that participation of Nepal in UN initiatives including Zero Hunger Challenge and Scaling UP Nutrition was very positive in fighting hunger and malnutrition. He said that IFAD would remain constructively engaged with Nepal in reduction of poverty and enhancing food security and nutritional status, which are necessary for meeting MDGs and moving towards achieving the post-2015 development goals as well as the goals of graduating from LDC status. She said that WFP country office was working in close cooperation with the relevant Government agencies in Nepal to create synergy and produce results.
Permanent Mission of Nepal
27 March 2015