Mr. Thomas Gass Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs

Mapping the Vulnerability of Mountain Peoples to Food Insecurity Sharing the results of an FAO global study

Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues:

Through the adoption of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community has agreed to act together and transform our world toward a more sustainable and resilient future.

The SDGs were conceived and shaped as a result of intensive public consultation and engagement with civil society and other stakeholders around the world—consultations that paid particular attention to the voices of the poorest and most vulnerable.

All 17 SDGs aim for more inclusive, dynamic and sustainable pathways to development. Pledges that no one will be left behind appear throughout the 2030 Agenda.

The SDGs are for all nations and peoples, and for all segments of society. For today’s children, and for their future descendants — we must deliver on our commitment to leave no one behind.

This transformation to a more sustainable pathway includes mountains—mentioned in two SDGs, which were achieved thanks to the tireless efforts of many actors—including members of the Mountain Partnership.

Mountains matter to all of us. Their complex ecosystems provide strategic resources for all humankind—water, energy, biological diversity, minerals, forest and agricultural products.

Yet mountains are incredibly vulnerable to accelerated soil erosion and landslides, as well as rapid loss of habitat and genetic diversity.

Natural disasters in mountain regions increasingly result in massive loss of life, with long-term negative social, economic and environmental consequences. This is especially severe for people living in remote mountain environments in developing countries.

The impact of poverty and malnutrition is thus much stronger in mountain areas than elsewhere.

The 2030 Agenda will not leave mountain peoples behind.

Indeed, to promote sustainable development and achieve the SDGs, our collective efforts should focus on building resilience in mountain environments and mountain communities.

It is therefore fitting that today we meet to discuss the important findings of an FAO global study on the risk that mountain peoples’ face with regard to food insecurity and malnutrition.

As the report shows, mountain peoples are among the most vulnerable populations, with food insecurity rates much higher than average.

Dedicated attention to implementing the 2030 Agenda is needed to improve the lives of mountain peoples.

The SDGs can only be achieved through political will, cooperation, coordination, resource mobilization, and partnerships … partnerships that reach the furthest behind first.

We therefore welcome innovative ways of forging ahead for transformative change to support sustainable mountain development—through providing the necessary scientific evidence base and policy advice, innovative funding mechanisms, multistakeholder alliances, multiple actors and resource partners.

Thank you

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