Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim joins the FAO Scientific Advisory Committee

Dr. QU Dongyu, FAO Director General and Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim after accepting the invitation to join FAO Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).
Dr. QU Dongyu, FAO Director General and Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim after accepting the invitation to join FAO Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).

“Science, Technology and Innovation along with a trained and improved human capital can become powerful drivers for transforming the livelihoods of smallholder farmers especially in the Global South“, said Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, former President of the Republic of Mauritius and a renowned scientist after officially joining the Food and Agricultural Organization of United Nation (FAO) Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) on 18 October 2022.


Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim called on world leaders to strengthen capacities of countries in the Global South and to close the science and technology gap to enable them to meaningfully contribute to the transformation of agrifood systems and accelerate the meeting of the Sustainable Development Goals.  


Appointing Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim as member of SAC, the Director General recognized her contribution to improving science dialogue at policy level across the Global South and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and such narrative is becoming increasingly important as coutries navigate the multifaceted challenges of food insecurity in a changing climate.  


Science, technology and innovation have always been and will always be the basis of social progress and the improvement of people’s living conditions”, added Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim.  


Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim is currently in Rome at the invitation from Dr. QU Dongyu, FAO Director General, to participate in the World Food Forum (WFF) 2022 comprising the WFF Global Youth Forum, the FAO Science and Innovation Forum and the FAO Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum. 


The FAO is hosting the World Food Forum 2022 from 17-21 October 2022, bringing about 3000 participants including world leaders, youth groups, scientists, private companies, Indigenous Peoples, agricultural investors and smallholder farmers.  The WFF is an annual event and highlights the centrality of science, technology and innovation for agrifood systems transformation to address the challenges of food security and to achieve a better food future for all, leaving no one behind. The forum encourages a diversity of perspectives based on science and innovation, thereby facilitating rationalization and inclusiveness of debate.  


On 23 September 2021, at the Food Systems Summit, the UN Secretary-General issued a Chair’s Summary and Statement of Action that included a call to create a UN Food Systems Coordination Hub to collaborate with and draw upon the broader UN system to support follow-up on the Food Systems Summit. One of the responsibilities of the UNFSS Hub is to engage widely with stakeholders in the food systems landscape across all the follow-up work streams.  In this context, and to realize more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems to accelerate progress against the SDGs, FAO is creating a Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC is to address systemic challenges identified at the regional and country level as part of the transformation pathways being developed by countries. 


The SAC will serve as a professional, independent and diverse group of top scientists from around the world to provide robust, credible, timely, and impartial advice to the UNFSS Hub and intrinsically to the countries through the Hub by bringing to bear the foremost science and evidence. The SAC will act as a broker of science and evidence, and not an advocate, and contribute to countries’ transformation pathways and their implementation on enhancing the agrifood systems knowledge and evidence base; identifying scientific priority areas and emerging issues to take into consideration; strengthening science and evidence-based. The members of the SAC are appointed in their personal capacity and are selected from among the scientists of FAO Member States. The SAC takes into consideration the need for equitable geographical distribution, gender equality and the principle of non-payment of honoraria.

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