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The Report of the Secretary-General describes challenges posed by land degradation, water scarcity and climate change, and the policies and practices that are being promoted to address these challenges.

10 August 2012: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) has released a report of the UN Secretary-General on agriculture development and food security, which examines the challenges of achieving food and nutrition security, as well as progress in implementation of sustainable agriculture policies and practices based on the Five Rome Principles for Sustainable Global Food Security.

The report highlights the commitments of policy makers at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) on the right to food. The paper describes the current state of food and nutrition insecurity, structural causes of hunger and malnutrition and environmental impacts such as climate change. It points to low productivity and low investment in smallholder agriculture, land degradation and water scarcity. Despite these challenges, it describes an increase in investment in agriculture, particularly in Africa, aimed at tackling hunger and ensuring balanced nutrition.

On emerging challenges, it describes growing demand for food crops for energy, evolving patterns of food consumption, food losses and waste, adaptation to climate change, and protracted crises and conflicts. Among the examples of progress in fostering coordination and cooperation, it describes: the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis; the Zero Hunger Challenge; the Committee on World Food Security; cooperation among Rome-based agencies; coordination on nutrition; the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in Food and Agriculture; and the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.

As steps forward, the report describes sustainable approaches to address resilience, close the gender gap, and address the food, water, energy, climate nexus. [Publication: Agriculture, Development and Food Security]

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