Geneva, Jul 26 (UNNEWS) – The UN Secretary-General warns at an event prior to the Summit on Food Systems that various issues such as poverty and the high cost of food do not allow some 3 billion people to have access to healthy diets.
In a video message to the attendees of the preparatory meeting, António Guterres pointed to climate change and conflicts around the planet as the engines of this catastrophe.
At the same time, he recalled that there were 811 million people who suffered from hunger last year, a figure 161 million higher than that registered in 2019, especially due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UN chief added that food systems generate a third of greenhouse gas emissions and are responsible for up to 80% of the loss of biodiversity.
Despite this, he was hopeful for the energy, ideas and willingness to forge new partnerships from the Member States.
“At this pre-summit we can define the scope of our joint aspirations and reinforce our efforts to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals through the transformation of our food systems,” he explained and summoned them to meet again in New York during the celebration of the Summit.
This preparatory meeting for the Food Systems Summit, organized by the Government of Italy, is held in Rome from July 26 to 28, 2021.
Using COVID-19 as a challenge and an opportunity at the same time
For her part, the Organization’s undersecretary general also indicated that the pandemic has caused a setback in the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals, and that it has delayed the beginning of many of the main transformations necessary to achieve the 2030 goals.
“This is our challenge, but it is also our opportunity. It is the positive side of the COVID crisis ”, highlighted Amina Mohamed, who praised the leadership shown by 145 member states that are taking advantage of the situation caused by the pandemic.
“The results are being consolidated through national channels, we have clear visions of what governments, together with different stakeholders, especially civil society and indigenous peoples, expect from food systems by 2030,” he highlighted.
Mohamed also praised regional leadership, noting that “all regions have explored the unique specificities of their own contexts and have identified priorities for cooperation and action.”
Goals of the Preparatory Summit
- Bringing together the best ideas from all levels of the Summit, while at the same time identifying priorities and distilling a common vision that will form the core of the UN Secretary-General’s declaration of action at the Summit.
- Serve as a time for governments, businesses, civil society and other actors to announce new commitments to support the transformation of food systems and promote innovative solutions through multi-stakeholder collaboration
- Provide Heads of State and other public and private leaders the opportunity to present and promote their commitments to action, establish a model of leadership and great ambition and inspire the commitment of many others before the Summit
- Drive a global discourse and narrative that places food systems at the center of global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, with strong virtual engagement and a coordinated campaign of support and communication in all regions of the world
- Foster a sense of community, bringing together countries, stakeholders and interest groups from all parts of the food systems from all parts of the world
- Mobilize public and private investments to drive transformation of food systems and prioritize innovative solutions