World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Shaping The Future Of Food Systems: Thousands Commit To Dialogues Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic

UN Member States take a step closer towards national pathways for the food systems needed by 2030 ahead of the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit in Rome

July 15, 2021, NAIROBI – More than 130 governments are making food systems a top priority amid the pandemic and committing to an unprecedented programme of Dialogues in the run up to the UN Food Systems Summit in September.

The Dialogues, involving thousands of people around the world, are taking place as the impact of COVID-19 on food systems is laid bare. The recently released 2021 State of Food Insecurity (SOFI) report revealed 118 million additional people are facing hunger because of the pandemic.

Member State Dialogues, hosted by National Dialogues Convenors, give governments the opportunity to engage with actors across sectors and disciplines to shape pathways towards food systems that are sustainable, resilient, and equitable.

“It is an indictment on our entire food systems – from production to distribution and disposal – that in 2020, as many as 811 million men, women and children went without enough to eat,” said Dr. Agnes Kalibata, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit.

“Hunger on this scale is a symptom of a dysfunctional food system that buckles under pressure and abandons the most vulnerable first. We need systemic transformation, and this is the aim of the UN Food Systems Summit, but it will be up to Member States to pave the way for the changes we urgently need.”

The convening teams of the National Dialogues have a vital role in enabling national stakeholders to have a seat at the table, linking up with those from other workstreams in preparing for the Summit.

Initial insights into the country-led momentum are illustrated in outcomes from the early Member State Dialogues across 40 countries connecting more than 15,000 people. The inclusiveness and diversity of the Dialogues is evident with participants ranging from school students in Asia, rural farmers in West Africa, parliamentarians in Latin America and producers in North America.

The challenges of facilitating Dialogues amid pandemic restrictions has created a precedent for novel and extensive engagement, with National Dialogue Convenors taking full advantage of digital connectivity to involve communities who are hardest to reach.

There have been thousands of unusual interactions, exploratory conversations, heated debates and constructive exchanges through hundreds of Food Systems Summit Dialogues since October 2020, involving food producers and processors, distributors and retailers, caterers, chefs, marketers, traders and others directly involved in moving food from farm to fork.

“I commend National Convenors for embracing this unique opportunity to engage with the Summit and identify what needs to be done and who needs to be involved in shaping how their citizens can eat food that is nutritious and produced in ways that are good for the planet, despite threats of climate change, infectious disease and violent conflict,” said Dr. David Nabarro, Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy for the Summit Dialogues.

“Convenors are sparking shifts in thought, knowledge and action at scale, and this is just the beginning of a journey that will most definitely continue beyond this monumental year. This is our moment, as a human race, to reveal and respond to the most difficult and often hidden challenges so that we are united in a collective race to build a resilient, sustainable and equitable food systems for all people, and the planet.”

The UN Secretary-General’s Food Systems Summit and all of its preparatory processes have been a powerful catalyst that has brought new and unexpected voices to the forefront as well as grassroots lessons and innovative solutions in ways that will reveal the collective action and commitments the world needs, this September.

The programme of Dialogues in many countries is a three-stage multi-stakeholder exploration through food systems, starting with identifying the characteristics of current food systems, followed by generating a wide range of potential adaptations and evolutions of those systems, and then consolidating these into an agreed sense of direction.

About the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit

The UN Food Systems Summit was announced by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on World Food Day last October as a part of the Decade of Action for delivery on the SDGs by 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. More information about the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and list of Advisory Committee and Scientific Group members can be found online:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Tale Of Two Pandemics: Follow The Science And Do Not Forget One At The Cost Of The Other

Covid-19 has posed innumerable health, economic, and social challenges for all, including people living with HIV. It has exposed the fragility of health systems around the globe and has diverted political attention and funding from other infectious diseases like TB and HIV... More>>

UN: Rights Chief Calls For Prompt Release Of Protestors Held In Cuba
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday called for the prompt release of protestors and journalists detained during anti-government demonstrations in Cuba, some of whom are being held incommunicado... More>>

Scarce Goods: Isolating Daraa Al-Balad Threatens 40,000 With Starvation

The siege imposed by the Syrian government forces on Daraa al-Balad since June 24 would lead to serious humanitarian repercussions if it continues, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said in a statement on July 15, calling for lifting the siege urgently and allowing the entry of basic humanitarian supplies... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Shaping The Future Of Food Systems: Thousands Commit To Dialogues Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic

More than 130 governments are making food systems a top priority amid the pandemic and committing to an unprecedented programme of Dialogues in the run up to the UN Food Systems Summit in September... More>>

UN: Play:Fair For People And Planet – A Major United Nations Music Activation
organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign in partnership with Music Innovation Hub, Keychange, the city of Milan, the Milan Triennale, and partners from the SDG Music Network, will be held at an unexpected location in the center of Milan, Italy, taking into account safety measures with a limited on-site audience consisting of activists and fans... More>>

UN: Next 18 Months Seen As Pivotal In Global Efforts To Achieve Key Goals

Next 18 months seen as pivotal in global efforts to reverse punishing pandemic impacts and boost actions to achieve key goals - Even as pandemic erases decades of gains in development, response efforts show signs of renewed global commitment to accelerate SDG progress... More>>