University of Galway has announced a partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to combat hunger and malnutrition.

The partnership provides the framework for University of Galway to work more closely with the UN FAO on collaborative research, education, innovation and international development activities to support the 2030 Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Director general of the UN FAO Qu Dongyu visited the university for the formal signing of the letter of intent with deputy president and registrar of Professor Peter McHugh.


The signing of a letter of intent was described as “a strong symbol of our commitment both in relation to the SDGs but also our work for the public good in line with our values of respect and sustainability” by deputy president and registrar Peter McHugh.

“We are now provided with the framework for our university and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation to pursue a vision of a world free from hunger and malnutrition, where food and agriculture contribute to improving the living standards of all, especially the poorest, in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner,” he said.

Charles Spillane, from the Ryan Institute at University of Galway, led engagement with the UN FAO.

He said that the university has been “working with FAO on a wide range of topics across its divisions and units, especially in relation to climate change, agriculture, food systems and food security”.

“We have been engaging with FAO on policy processes, such as climate-resilient food systems transformation, research projects such as the EcoFoodSystems project, and through joint research projects with our master's programmes on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security."

Ryan added that the university "looks forward to further deepening of our interdisciplinary partnership activities in support of FAO's mandate and mission over the years ahead”.