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FAO: Day 3, resolution woes and Swedish chefs

From this morning’s session, the delegates of the FAO put forward two possible proposals for a resolution.

The most supported one has been a volunteering-based program, affectionately termed ‘The Godfather’, based on helping poorer countries to have better farming and reduce soil degradation. More specifically, rich countries – known as the Godfather – would get to share their expertise and enhanced technology with undeveloped or developing economies – called the receivers. In exchange, poor countries would have to give ‘The Godfathers’ a certain percentage of their increase in production. Not only would this program alleviate poverty, but also it would establish a sustainable development. Thus, this innovative proposal has been considered a ‘Win-Win’ strategy for the majority of countries.

On the other side, Brazil seemed not to completely agree with this resolution, arguing that it could mean a new colonisation of the wealthiest countries towards the poorest. Moreover, the country is quite skeptical and is not convinced about whether ‘The Godfather’ could fundraise money on its own or not. Accordingly Brazil proposed its new resolution, ‘International Funds’, which consists in firstly raising money and then sharing it. This is due to the fact that there are several zones, ‘the red zones’, heavily affected by degradation, which means they urgently need money in order to erase soil degradation.

These issues became more complicated however after a crisis emerged in Eritrea, with Swedish agricultural engineering experts captured by ISIS and burned to death in cages by one of their colleagues. The British tabloid media immediately dubbed the perpetrator the ‘Swedish chef’. The immediate withdrawal of thousands of aid workers from at-risk regions in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia threatened to entirely undercut the work of the proposals – but the committee decided to forge ahead and pass the Godfather resolution with three-quarters of the committee regardless and hope for the best.

Whether the resolution will actually be effective remains to be seen, but the press is doubtful. One thing you can’t fault the FAO for at least is their optimism.

GFG / JH

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