UN Food Systems Summit Session, “Carrying Forward the Vision and Momentum for 2030” – World – ReliefWeb

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Achim Steiner
UNDP Administrator
Deputy Secretary-General,
Principals of the UN Rome-based agencies,
Distinguished Ministers,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
This United Nations Food Systems Summit must be the moment when our global food systems undergo a “hard re-boot”.
That means driving structural change; making tough decisions; and bringing diverse voices to the decision-making table.
This need for change was underlined by a new UN report which found that almost 90% of global agricultural subsidies paid to farmers every year are doing immense harm:
They damage people’s health and fuel the climate crisis.
And converting land for agricultural use has led to an almost unbelievable 70% reduction in biodiversity across the world.
This is just one stark example of how our food systems are on an unsustainable trajectory.
Yet no single actor has sufficient power — on their own — to steer such a complex system in a new direction.
But together, we can “press the re-set button”.
This change needs to be sparked & driven at the country-level.
That is why the “Food Systems Summit Dialogues” organised by 148 Governments are so critical — and must continue.
They are founded upon the principles of inclusion and participation, which is key to re-formulate the governance of our food systems.
The Dialogues need to include all stakeholders: from farmers, consumers, nutritionists and economists — to indigenous peoples, women, and young people.
They are now leading to the design of bold new “National Food System Pathways” — and ultimately to ambitious action that can end hunger, improve livelihoods, and avert a climate catastrophe.
The United Nations Development Programme is proud to support these dialogues in 30 countries.
In the wider sense, UNDP is working to connect global agendas around climate, biodiversity, governance, resilience, inclusion, and poverty at the country-level.
To give just one example — over the past 13 years, UNDP has supported nearly 5 million smallholder farmers to implement climate-smart agriculture.
The challenge now is sustaining this new energy around the design of 21st Century food systems.
We know that building the effective multi-stakeholder collaboration required for the Pathways is complex.
Therefore, post-summit, a new mechanism — situated within existing UN structures — could play a crucial role.
It would provide the advice & expertise that Member States need as they set sail on their unique food systems transformation journey.
As ever, the entire United Nations family will be on hand to offer the level of support needed.
And together, we have a collective obligation to deliver strong outcomes at the Food Systems Summit.
This will be vital to not only accelerate a green recovery that will get the Sustainable Development Goals back on track:
Our very future now depends on it.
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