The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) entered into a partnership with China’s Jiangsu University through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) during the 2021 “Belt and Road” Forum for International Cooperation and Development on Agricultural Modernization which was organized on 4 December 2021 by China Association for the Promotion of International Agricultural Cooperation and Jiangsu University in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, China. Mr. Adnan H. Aliani, Director, Strategy and Programme Management Division of ESCAP, attended the Forum virtually and delivered remarks at the Opening Ceremony.
The newly established partnership aims to leverage intellectual resources, specialized expertise as well as a wider network to promote sustainable agricultural mechanization for food security and rural development in China and other countries of the Asia-Pacific region, especially the developing and least developed countries, for the attainment of the relevant Sustainable Development Goals.
In his remarks, Mr. Aliani highlighted that the strategic partnership with Jiangsu University, which will engage ESCAP’s Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM), will be implemented through mechanisms such as joint training activities, research collaboration, knowledge sharing and information exchange, and mutual support for technology innovation and youth development, among other areas, for the benefit of stakeholders.
The Forum discussed challenges and related responses for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in the post-pandemic recovery phase. Against this backdrop, Mr. Aliani also pointed out that the importance of sustainable and resilient socio-economic development must be reaffirmed among different stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels in order to build back better from the pandemic. He further reiterated that efforts must be intensified for adoption and enhancement of innovative technologies and models, ‘green’ development and international cooperation mechanisms for accelerating recovery in Asia and the Pacific.
Mr. Marco Silvestri, Programme Management Officer of CSAM, also participated in the Forum and delivered a keynote speech. He elaborated on CSAM’s recent work to highlight the important role of sustainable agricultural mechanization for improved agricultural productivity and livelihoods of rural communities, emphasizing how mechanization can provide adaptable and scalable solutions for sustainable food systems transformation and post-pandemic recovery as well as accelerating progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.