Today, Cyprus’ Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Nicholas Emiliou, and European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, co-signed the new Food Assistance Convention on behalf of the European Union.
The new Convention, negotiated by the European Union and 35 countries, puts an emphasis on the most vulnerable populations, through an efficient and effective mix of tools including cash, nutrition and protection of livelihoods in emergency and recovery situations. The Convention also explicitly notes the importance of accountability and calls on donors to “monitor, evaluate and communicate, on a transparent basis” on the outcomes of their food assistance activities.
The European Union played an active role during negotiations for the new Convention, seeking to promote a modern, needs-based approach to food assistance.
The Food Assistance Convention is an international agreement that has been negotiated by the European Union and 35 countries (all EU Member States plus Argentina, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the United States).
Its predecessor, the Food Aid Convention, was first negotiated in 1967 and regularly updated since then. The Convention defines global rules for food aid by major donors: it requires members to provide a minimum amount of food assistance, demonstrating an important commitment among donor states to address world hunger.
To complete the ratification of the new Food Assistance Convention after the signature by the Ambassador Emiliou, on behalf of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council, and Commissioner Georgieva, the consent of the European Parliament is required. It is expected that the Parliament’s consent will be formally given by November 2012, so that the EU can deposit the instrument of ratification by 30 November 2012. If by that date five of the signatories have ratified the new Convention, it will enter into force on 1 January 2013.
The full text of the Convention can be found on the UN Treaties website, at: