Photo: ACP Secretary-General Dr Patrick I Gomes (left) and UNIDO Director General LI Yong (right). Credit: UNIDO - Photo: 2021

A Three-Day Event in Italy to Set the Stage for UN Food Systems Summit

By Jaya Ramachandran

ROME (IDN) — Under the leadership of UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, the Pre-Summit of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit from July 19 to July 21 will bring together worldwide efforts and contributions aiming at transforming global food systems.

Youth, smallholder farmers, indigenous peoples, researchers, the private sector, policy leaders and ministers of agriculture, environment, health, and finance among others will deliver the latest evidence-based and scientific approach from around the world.

They will help launch a set of new commitments through coalitions of action and mobilize new financing and partnerships. The Food Systems Summit will take place in September alongside the UN General Assembly in New York.

“The Pre-Summit in Italy will be a key moment for mobilizing the bold commitments we need to build sustainable food systems that work for people, planet, and prosperity. Through accelerated action, we can help the world recover better from COVID-19, combat rising hunger and address the climate crisis”, said the UN Chief.

As hosts of the Pre-Summit, the Italian Government will make a national food system commitment to set the tone and a high ambition ahead of the Summit.

“Italy is ready to welcome this key appointment of the Food Systems Summit in Rome. We want to address the issue of food security within our broad agenda as President of the G20. Together with the UN and its agencies based in Rome, Italy will engage with its partners to promote better agriculture, sustainable value chains and healthy lifestyles. I expect everyone to join us in a global effort to protect the environment with meaningful actions,” said Italy’s Prime Minister Draghi.

The Pre-Summit event is expected to take place in a “hybrid” virtual format over three days, during which many people will participate in person at the UN Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) in Rome, while others from around the world will be engaged on a vast virtual platform.

According to a joint announcement by the UN and the Government of Italy, global leaders are expected to step up and launch bold new actions, solutions, partnerships, and strategies to “recover better” from COVID-19 and deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each of the goals relies to some degree on nutritious, sustainable and equitable food systems.

The Pre-Summit will take place in Rome while Italy is chairing the G20 process and co-hosting the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November. The role of food systems in achieving global goals and climate targets is expected to serve as a central priority of these other events and continue to carry forward momentum from Food System Summit.

The UN Food Systems Summit was announced by the UN Secretary-General on World Food Day in October 2019 as a part of the Decade of Action for delivery on Agenda 2030. The aim of the Summit is to deliver progress on all 17 of the SDGs through a food systems approach, leveraging the interconnectedness of food systems to global challenges such as hunger, climate change, poverty and inequality. [IDN-InDepthNews – 18 March 2021]

Photo credit: United Nations

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