On 9 August 2021, the SCO Secretariat and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, jointly with the FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation, the Moscow State University of Food Production (MSUFP) and the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly held an independent dialogue via videoconference on the development of sustainable food systems (the "independent dialogue").
The purpose of doing this was to contribute to the upcoming 2021 UN summit on food systems convened by the UN Secretary-General as part of the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Those taking part discussed how national food systems function and develop as well as the exchange of advanced experience and achievements in providing for food security.
The SCO Secretariat was represented by Muratbek Azymbakiev, SCO Deputy Secretary-General, who in the process of delivering his remarks outlined how things look when it comes to food security in the SCO space; he stressed the importance of building up multilateral cooperation in this field between the SCO member states. He also pointed out the buildup of cooperation between the SCO and FAO, especially after the signing of the relevant Memorandum of Understanding between the SCO Secretariat and FAO in 2019 and the SCO Secretariat and FAO Joint Action Plan until 2023.
People taking part in the independent dialogue noted the relevance of the problems associated with climate change and underscored the need for the development of sustainable food production based on the latest and most up-to-date agricultural technology designated to provide for food security, expand trade in food and harmonise standardisation and certification rules.
The SCO Secretariat signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in 2019 and approved the Joint Action Plan in December 2020.