Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The United Nation’s General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.This year’s International Day of Peace celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights under the theme “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”.
The Group of Seven (G7) is an informal grouping of seven of the world’s advanced economies consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The forum offers an opportunity for G7 Leaders, Ministers and policy makers to come together each year to build consensus and set trends around some of today’s most challenging global issues.
The European Union (EU) was first invited to attend the G7 in 1977 and the President of the European Commission has attended all of its sessions since 1981. Both the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission represent the EU at G7 summits.
Organised by the European Commission, the European Development Days (EDD) bring the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
For its twelfth edition, EDD 2018 will aim at bringing together the European Union’s commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Gender equality and women empowerment are at the core of European values and enshrined within the EU’s legal and political framework. This is why the event will focus on the vital role of women and the need for their full and equal participation and leadership in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
As part of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism mandated by the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the annual collaborative Multi-stakeholder Forum on science, technology and innovation for the sustainable development Goals (STI Forum) is expected to “provide a venue for facilitating interaction, matchmaking and the establishment of networks between relevant stakeholders and multi-stakeholder partnerships in order to identify and examine technology needs and gaps, including with regard to scientific cooperation, innovation and capacity-building, and also in order to help facilitate development, transfer and dissemination of relevant technologies for the sustainable development goals.”
It will “discuss science, technology and innovation cooperation around thematic areas for the implementation of the sustainable development goals, congregating all relevant stakeholders to actively contribute in their area of expertise.”
The third annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum) will take place on 5-6 June 2018.
It provided a forum for IFAD Member States, partners and the public to discuss and debate what needs to be done to enable smallholder farmers to increase agricultural productivity by 70 per cent by 2050, which is what will be required to feed an estimated global population of 9 billion people.
Bill Gates addressed the Governing Council, urging governments to put smallholder farmers first:
If you care about the poorest, you care about agriculture. Investments in agriculture are the best weapons against hunger and poverty, and they have made life better for billions of people. The international agriculture community needs to be more innovative, co-ordinated, and focused to help poor farmers grow more. If we can do that, we can dramatically reduce suffering and build self-sufficiency.
He called for the implementation for concrete, measurable targets for increasing agricultural productivity, much like the Millennium Development Goals, in order to track the progress of initiatives. He also announced $200m in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to reinvest in projects aimed at helping smallholder farmers.
With the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development (Rio+20) only months away, Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, the CEO of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), participated in a discussion entitled “What promise will Rio herald for agriculture?” Dr. Sibanda told the forum she optimistic that the seven areas the Rio+20 conference will focus on (food, jobs, energy, cities, water, oceans and disasters) are the right combination for rural people and smallholder farmers. She did however lament the lack of leadership amidst the African countries who are yet to put farming first, despite the 2004 CAADAP pledge to dedicate 10% of national budgets in Africa towards agriculture. She also highlighted the ‘disjoint’ between technology and policy: despite the technologies being available to farmers for soil/animal management and water harvesting, but policies are restricting farmers’ ability to use them. These sustainable technologies require investment so they can be adapted and adopted by farmers.