From July 9th to 18th , the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) and its representatives from all over the world gathered in New York to attend the largest annual event on SDG implementation and reiterate that farmers, men, women and youth, are the most powerful actors to accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

More than two thousand participants, including approximately 100 ministers, as well as business and civil society leaders attended the Forum to take stock of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and discuss plans, successes, challenges and lessons learnt on the road to a fairer, more peaceful and prosperous world on a healthy planet by 2030.

The theme of this year’s Forum was “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality” with a special emphasis on six out of the 17 Goals. The Goals under review this year were Goal 4 (Quality Education), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reducing Inequalities), 13 (Climate Action), 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and 17 (Partnerships).

Here’s our round-up of the events and activities WFO has been involved in during the two weeks of the High-Level Political Forum.

8 July 2019 – COOPS 4 DECENT WORK

On the 2019 International Day of Cooperatives, the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC), UN Ambassadors and government representatives and representatives of cooperatives engaged in an interactive debate on the role of cooperatives and how to further enhance their developmental impact.

Ahou Lea Kouassi, young farmer from Côte d’Ivoire and student in the WFO Gymnasium Training Program, attended the event on behalf of WFO, bringing into the debate her experience as member of a cooperative of 300 women farmers.

“Through our cooperative women have become financially independent and responsible for themselves and for their families’ wellbeing, thus having a positive impact on SDG5 (Gender Equality) and SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). We also created community forests where farmers work together to preserve biodiversity thus having a positive impact on SDG13 (Climate Action)”, said Lea Kouassi, calling attention to the virtuous model of the agricultural cooperatives in achieving Sustainable Development.


Co – organized by International Fertilizer Association (IFA), International Seed Federation (ISF), CropLife International and One Acre Fund, this special event addressed important issues of soil health, best practices to help sequester soil carbon, and new technologies to reduce the footprint of agriculture.

As representative of WFO, Jannes Maes, President of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) and member of the WFO Gymnasium Group, joined the discussion to stress how farmers are being affected by climate change and what they are experiencing, as well as suggesting what policymakers can do to address the socioeconomic effects of climate change in the agricultural sector.

12 July 2019 – HLPF DISCUSSION ON SDG 13

The session reviewed progress towards SDG 13 and addressed the inter-linkages of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Participants in the meeting shared experiences and identified concrete measures for the coherent and synergistic implementation of those agreements in order to maximize sustainable development and climate co-benefits and scale up levels of ambition towards securing the livelihoods for current and future generations.

Dimakatso Sekhoto (Nono), WFO Gymnasium young farmer from South Africa, intervened as lead discussant on behalf of the Farmers Major Group.  Read more


Co – organized by WFO and the Indigenous Peoples Major Group for the SDGs (IPMG), this side event was intended to promote the linkages between an effective implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the achievement of the entire 2030 Agenda to achieve global sustainability.

Farmers and indigenous peoples joined their efforts to gather attention on the challenges they are facing, as well as to remind the global community of their key role in achieving sustainable development, with a special focus on SDG 2 and 13.

The speakers that came together to join the debate included among others: ANNE SCHWAGERL, Young farmer, World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO); ZAK BLEICHER, Partnership Officer, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); GÁBOR FIGECZKY, Head of Global Policy, IFOAM – Organics International;  ZITOUNI OULD-DADA, Deputy Director, Climate and Environment Division, FAO; LOLA GARCÍA-ALIX, Senior Advisor Global Governance, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA); JOAN CARLING, Co-Convenor, Indigenous Peoples Major Group for the SDGs (IPMG).

16 July 2019 – THE LAUNCH OF THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE ON FAMILY FARMING (2019-2028): Synergies and main contributions to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Organized by FAO and IFAD with the Government of Costa Rica and the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations, the side-event marked the launch of the UN Decade of Family Farming at the United Nations in New York, and provided an opportunity to share with member states and delegations in New York the efforts made to pave the way for the implementation of the Decade of Family Farming as well as the next steps (Global Action Plan).

Veronica Barbati, President of Coldiretti Young Farmers and student in the WFO Gymnasium training program, joined the panel on behalf of WFO to reiterate that youth involvement is the most powerful instrument to accelerate the achievement of the Decade’s goals. Read More