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More Than 130 Countries Expected To Announce National Commitments At UN Food Systems Summit

At least 91 world leaders are set to participate in the Summit after the UN Secretary-General called on governments to ‘feed hope for a better future’.

September 15, New York – The Heads of State and Government from more than 90 countries are expected to announce their commitments to transform food systems to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals at the historic UN Food Systems Summit next week.

The event, which is the first of its kind and takes place during the UN General Assembly in New York on September 23, is due to hear from world leaders including President Alberto Fernández (Argentina), Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir (Iceland), and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (Japan).

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand), President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), and Prime Minister Imran Khan (Pakistan)have also confirmed their participation.

António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, who called for the Food Systems Summit in October 2019, urged world leaders earlier this week to bring to New York “ambitious commitments to feed hope for a better future”.

“A well-functioning food system can help prevent conflict, protect the environment and provide health and livelihoods for all,” Guterres said in a call for ambition. “It is our moral imperative to keep our promise to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

The Summit follows almost two years of dialogues at community, national and international levels involving more than 40,000 people around the world to share their needs, challenges and ideas for a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive food system.

During the Summit, countries are expected to announce the emerging outcomes of their national dialogues and their pathways for change, while supporting organisations from the private sector, academia, philanthropy and civil society will also make commitments.

Agnes Kalibata, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Food Systems Summit, is expected to give opening remarks, with contributions from Pau Gasol, UNICEF Global Champion for Nutrition and Zero Childhood Obesity and NBA Champion, José Andres, Chef and Founder of World Central Kitchen, and David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group.

Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet and African Union Special Envoy and head of the African COVID-19 Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), and Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are also due to address the Summit.

In light of the ongoing circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summit will take a fully virtual format, following a hybrid Pre-Summit gathering in Rome, Italy, in July. 

The full program will be online here once confirmed.

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