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Uzbekistan to host FAO Regional Conference

In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health concerns, the Thirty-second Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Europe (ERC) will be convened virtually from 2 to 4 November 2020. The plenary debate, ministerial roundtable, and all other meetings will be webcast.
 
The FAO Regional Conference will be hosted by Uzbekistan for the first time. The conference will be chaired by the Minister of Agriculture of Uzbekistan Jamshid Khodjaev. As a reminder, FAO holds a Regional Conference for Europe every two years, which serves as a good platform for discussing problems related to the main challenges of food security in the region. The event was planned to be held on May 5-7, 2020 in Tashkent, however, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, it was decided to postpone it and conduct it in virtual mode.
 
In the run-up to the UN Food Systems Summit 2021, the ERC will focus on sustainable food systems and healthy diets in Europe and Central Asia. The roundtable debate will review the status of nutrition and sustainable food systems, identifying the interlinkages and the related challenges and opportunities in the region.
 
Another key topic for discussion on the first day of the Conference will be the youth, youth employment and the development of rural areas in the context of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming. The discussion will present a situation analysis of smallholders, family farms, and rural youth in agriculture, including a review of strategies that can revitalize rural areas in the Europe and Central Asia region. 
 
The Conference will zero in on FAO’s future priorities in the region, which have been shaped by the COVID-19 crisis. Events on innovation and digitalization, as well as on the Committee on World Food Security will take place on the sidelines of the ERC. Additionally, the Synthesis of FAO Evaluations 2014–2019 in Europe and Central Asia and FAO’s Hand-in-Hand Initiative will be presented.
 
The Regional Conference will be conducted in English, French, Russian, and Spanish with simultaneous interpretation. The webcast will be available in all four languages. All webcast recordings will become available shortly after the session as video-on-demand.
 
Key speakers of the forum are Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General, Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO Assistant Director-General, Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia, Nabil Gangi, FAO Deputy Regional Representative, ERC Secretary, Jamshid Khodjaev, Minister for Agriculture of Uzbekistan, Chair, Agricultural ministers and high-level representatives from over 40 countries and observers.